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Child Benefit (Kindergeld)

Basic information about the German child benefit (Kindergeld). List of documents to be submitted to claim the benefit. Forms to be sent to Familiankasse. 

Child Benefit (Kindergeld)

The monthly child benefit (Kindergeld) is paid in Germany for each child from the moment of the child is born until the age of eighteen. In some cases, for example, if a child stays in education, is registered as unemployed and continues to live with his or her parents, the benefit is paid until the age of twenty-five. If you come to Germany from another country, the child benefit for each child is paid to you from the first month of your registration. Neither your citizenship nor the citizenship of your children is an obstacle to receiving child benefit, provided that you are in Germany legally. The degree of consanguinity does not play any role, children can be both your own as well as adopted.   

To claim child benefit you have to complete and submit several forms to the family fund office (Familienkasse).  The basic document is Antrag auf Kindergeld KG1, it is a starting point for preparing a package of forms to claim the benefit. In addition to the main KG1 form you have to complete Anlage Kind zum Antrag auf Kindergeld for each child in the family. Before sending the completed forms to Familienkasse, please attach copies of the following documents:   

  • residence permits for Germany (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) or national identity cards for citizens of EU member states and copies of international passports,  
  • registration at the place of residence (Anmeldungsbescheinigung),  
  • employment contract for at least one of the spouses,  
  • salary certificates (Elektronische Lohnsteuerbescheinigung),  
  • payslips (Lohnabrechnung) for last three months,  
  • notarised translation of the children’s birth certificates,  
  • notarised translation of the marriage certificate into German.  

Letters have a notorious tendency to get lost, even in Germany, so please send only copies of the above documents. If Familienkasse requests the originals, send them by registered post with an acknowledgment of receipt. The originals you send must be returned to you. Please note that child benefit is transferred to accounts opened in German banks only. The questions in all the forms mentioned are mostly the same, but are worded differently. Familienkasse checks how genuine you are, so please read the questions carefully and avoid conflicting answers.   

In future, having been granted child benefit/benefits, you will need to notify Familienkasse immediately if your circumstances have changed, for example, if you changed your address or the child reached the age of eighteen etc. You can notify the family fund office by filling in the Veränderungsmitteilung für das Kindergeld (KG45) form.  

The family fund office may request details of the children who live in the family of the recipient or applicant to receive child benefit. This is why you need to complete the Haushaltsbescheinigung für das Kindergeld (KG 3a) confirmation. Before sending the completed KG 3a form to Familiankasse you need to certify it in your local registration authority. It should have the seal of the organisation and the officer’s signature. 

The family fund office will also be interested in the information about the children of the recipient or applicant to receive child benefit if these children live outside of their household. For example, if the children live in the children’s home permanently or receive education in another locality and live in the area of the educational establishment, you need to complete Lebensbescheinigung für das Kindergeld (KG 3b). In this case instead of the KG 3b form you can supply a letter from the children’s home or an educational establishment. 

You can seamlessly complete all the forms listed in the article to claim child benefit (Kindergeld) using our online service Formularclick.com in English. You can also complete many other German forms in your native language.