Parental allowance and parental leave

Schlafendes Baby

Parental allowance and parental leave – these benefits give parents more options to organise the care of their small children. The legal right to part-time work gives fathers in particular the opportunity to participate in raising children. This significantly improves the compatibility of family and work.

The new provisions of the “Second Act Amending the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act” make parental allowance even more flexible.

You can find all the important information in our fact sheets on parental allowance.

  • Leaflet on parental allowance


    PDF-Document (300.6 kB)


Parental allowance is paid to all mothers and fathers who take care of their child themselves after the birth and take time off from work or who work a maximum of 30 hours a week. However, trainees and students, housewives and househusbands and parents who have not worked to take care of older children are also entitled to the parental allowance.


The parental allowance is a minimum of 300 euros and a maximum of 1,800 euros. The amount of the parental allowance is based on the average monthly net income of the applying or caring parent in the year before the child was born. If your income is between 1,000 and 1,200 euros, the parental allowance replaces 67 percent of the income you lose after the birth.

For low-wage earners with an income of less than 1,000 euros, the benefit increases gradually to up to 100 percent. The lower the income, the higher the percentage of the parental benefit. For net incomes of 1,200 euros or more before the child is born, the parental allowance falls moderately from 67 to 65 percent – for incomes of 1,220 euros or more to 66 percent, for incomes of 1,240 euros or more to 65 percent.

Multiple births

In the case of multiple births, the parental allowance increases by 300 euros for each additional child. Families with one older child under three years of age (or two older children under six years of age each) benefit from the sibling bonus – a 10 percent supplement to the parental allowance, but at least 75 euros.

Calculation of the parental allowance when receiving social benefits

The parental allowance is fully counted as income for unemployment benefit (Bürgergeld – SGB II), income support and the child supplement – this also applies to the minimum amount of 300 euros. However, there is one exception: if you receive unemployment benefit (Bürgergeld – SGB II), income support or the child supplement and were gainfully employed before the birth of your child, you will receive a parental allowance tax credit as of 1 January 2011. The parental allowance exemption corresponds to the income before the birth but does not exceed 300 euros. Up to this amount, the parental allowance with the aforementioned benefits remains exempt and is therefore also available.

Income limit

Parents who jointly had a taxable income of more than 300,000 euros in the calendar year prior to the birth of their child are not entitled to parental allowance. Single parents are not entitled to the parental allowance if they have an income of more than 250,000 euros.

Changes to parental allowance in April 2024

The taxable income limit (income threshold) above which entitlement to parental allowance ceases will be set at 200,000 euros for births from 1 April 2024 for couples and single parents. For births from 1 April 2025, the income threshold for couples and single parents will be lowered again to 175,000 euros.

In addition, the option for parents to receive parental allowance in parallel will be redesigned for births from 1 April 2024. Simultaneous receipt of basic parental allowance will only be possible for a maximum of one month in future and only within the first twelve months of the child’s life.

There will be no change to the parallel receipt of Parental Allowance Plus, the partnership bonus, multiple births and premature babies. Families with newborn children with disabilities or siblings with disabilities, for whom you receive the sibling bonus, are also not affected by the restriction on parallel receipt of basic parental allowance.

*The parental allowance application is available in two different forms. Please use the appropriate parental allowance application depending on whether your child or children were born before or after 1 April 2024.

You can find more information on this in the family portal of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

Basic parental allowance

You can start receiving parental allowance on the day your child is born. One parent can receive basic parental allowance for a minimum of two months and a maximum of twelve months. You are entitled to two additional months if one parent’s earned income is reduced for at least two months due to caring for your child. You can draw the monthly amounts to which you are entitled consecutively, alternately or simultaneously.

Parental Allowance Plus

Parents whose children are born on or after 1 July 2015 are to be given the option to choose between receiving the previous parental allowance (in future: basic parental allowance) and receiving Parental Allowance Plus as well as to be able to combine both.

Parental Allowance Plus is of interest to you if you want to work part-time again while receiving the parental allowance. If you work an average of up to 30 hours per week, you can receive parental allowance for a longer period of time.

In the Parental Allowance Plus months, a maximum of half of the basic parental allowance is paid out. By making use of the Parental Allowance Plus months, the period of the parental allowance can be extended beyond your child’s 14th month of age.

Single parent

f you are a single parent and receive parental allowance to compensate for the loss of earned income, you can claim the full 14 months of parental allowance.

In addition, single parents also have the option of drawing ElterngeldPlus and thus extending the payment period accordingly.

Partnership bonus

If parents decide to work 25 to 30 hours per week for four consecutive months of their child’s life, there is an additional partnership bonus. You are then both entitled to four additional monthly amounts of Parental Allowance Plus for these months.

Flexible parental leave

Parental leave is to be made more flexible for parents whose children are born on or after 1 July 2015. You can then take up to 24 months of previously unused parental leave between your child’s third birthday and the age of eight. At the same time, the registration period for claiming parental leave and part-time parental leave will be extended from seven to 13 weeks during this period.


In Berlin, the districts are responsible for processing applications under the Federal Parental Allowance Act (Bundeselterngeldgesetz, BEEG). You submit your application to the parental allowance office responsible for you in your district. At the digital parental allowance application you will also find an Overview of parental allowance offices.

Until 2022, there was a different form for each federal state. Since 2023, there has been a uniform federal form that is used in several federal states, including Berlin.

Parents in Berlin can also fill out parental allowance applications online on the nationwide platform On the online platform, a digital application assistant guides you step by step through the application form. After entering the data, the application must be printed out, signed and sent by post to the responsible parental allowance office.

Another service offered by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth is the Elterngeldrechner. The calculator helps applicants to divide basic parental allowance, ElterngeldPlus and partnership bonus months among themselves. With the parental allowance calculator, parents can calculate without obligation how much parental allowance they can receive.

The legal regulations are more differentiated than we can present here. Parents can therefore seek advice at the Elterngeldstelle Ihres Bezirksamtes.

Please refer to the application form for all the required documents. In addition to a birth certificate and ID card, you must also provide evidence of your income, maternity allowance and, if applicable, parental leave.

For the application it is not necessary to provide the child’s tax identification number (ID no.).

Parental allowance forms

  • Uniform federal application for parental allowance

    for children born on or after 1st April 2024

    PDF-Document (2.1 MB)

  • Uniform federal application for parental allowance

    for children born before 1st April 2024

    PDF-Document (1.6 MB)

  • Berlin application for modifications of your parental allowance

    PDF-Document (1.5 MB)

  • Information sheet about parental allowance

    PDF-Document (300.6 kB)

Further Informations

Mädchen hat blaue Hände vom Malen

Child benefit

The child benefit is paid to the person in whose care the child is situated. If the child lives with both parents, they can determine which of them should receive the child benefit. More information

Mutter mit zwei Kindern auf dem Spielplatz

Maintenance advance

No child should have to suffer financial hardship. In the case of single parents, the maintenance advance fund helps out if the other parent does not or cannot provide sufficient support for the child. In this case, your child will be paid an advance by the state. More information

  • Brochure on parental allowance, parental allowance plus and parental leave