Parental allowance - the basics

The birth of a child entitles parents to parental allowance, which is paid in addition to child benefit for the first 14 months of the three-year period in which parental leave can be taken.

Parental allowance is a benefit that varies in relation to previous income.

In general, 67% of previous net income is paid monthly as parental benefit. Parents who were not previously employed receive a minimum amount of €300. Scholarships are not regarded as income; in this case a minimum parental allowance of €300 can be paid. Applicants with a monthly income below €1,000 can benefit from the low-earners’ component, which can boost the percentage to up to 100% of income.

There is no income threshold for parental allowance: All parents can receive parental allowance. The maximum parental allowance is €1,800. In the case of multiple births there is an additional €300 top-up parental allowance per newborn. So a family with twins can receive a maximum €2,100 parental allowance a month.

Parents who already have one child aged under 3 or two children aged under 6 receive a sibling bonus of 10% of the parental allowance, with a minimum of €75.

Parental allowance only applies pro rata to the lost income from employment. It is calculated taking account of income from part-time work during parental leave.

One parent is entitled to twelve monthly payments of parental allowance. This entitlement extends by another two months if the other parent also takes parental leave or the first parent’s employment is reduced in accordance with the conditions of the parental allowance act (Elterngeldgesetz). Single parents also receive parental allowance for 14 months. Parents may request that the monthly parental allowance payments are halved thereby doubling the number of months payment is made. It is also possible for both parents to claim parental allowance at the same time in the first seven months. This also results in the 14 months of payments being used up. If the mother receives maternity benefits in the first two months of the child’s life, this uses up two months of parental allowance.

Parental allowance must be applied for in writing soon after the birth of the child, as an application can only be backdated for the three months of life before the start of the month in which the application is made. So we recommend submitting your application to the parental allowance office (Elterngeldstelle) within the first three months of life of the child.

Non-taxable benefits such as scholarships do not affect receipt of parental allowance.

You can find more information about parental allowance, e.g. minimum parental leave and entitlement to parental allowance, the sibling bonus, the multiple-birth supplement or how parental allowance is credited when you receive other state benefits, in the following BMFSFJ brochures: 
ElterngeldPlus mit Partnerschaftsbonus und flexible Elternzeit
Elterngeld, ElterngeldPlus und Elternzeit. Das Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz

and on the following websites: 
Elterngeldberatung der L-Bank
Kalkulator Elterngeld

General information for families resident or employed outside Germany:

Informationen der L-Bank zum Elterngeld für Familien mit Wohnsitz oder Erwerbstätigkeit außerhalb Deutschlands.

Information in English:

The ElterngeldPlus with partnership bonus and more flexible parental leave  
Parental benefit and parental leave

ElterngeldPlus and Partnerschaftsbonus

  • Parents who work part-time are able to receive ElterngeldPlus for twice as long. One parental allowance month is equal to two ElterngeldPlus months, regardless of the number of hours worked part-time (up to 30 hours a week, from Sept. 1, 2021 up to 31 hours a week). Therefore it can benefit parents to return to work early on.
  • In addition to this there is a Partnerschaftsbonus: If the parents share care of their child and they each work between between 24 and 32 hours a week for at least four months they will in each case receive ElterngeldPlus for four months. Single parents can make use of the new ElterngeldPlus to the same extent.
  • Parents of multiple-births are entitled to parental allowance for each newborn and receive the multiple-birth supplement of €300 for each additional child.

Informationsbroschüre des BFSFJ zur Einführung des ElterngeldPlus mit Partnerschaftsbonus und einer flexibleren Elternzeit zum 1. Juli 2015

More information from

ElterngeldDigital - rundum das Thema Elterngeld