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    Informationen für Doktorandinnen, Doktoranden, Postdocs und Professorinnen und Professoren

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Family Benefits

In Germany there are several benefits that are interesting for parents. You need to have a residence and working permit to apply for Child Benefit (Kindergeld) or Parental Allowance (Elterngeld).

Required Documents to apply for Kindergeld or Elterngeld:

  • Filled in application form
  • Copy of passport
  • Birth certificate of the child
  • Confirmation of registration in Bielefeld (Meldebescheinigung)
  • Confirmation letter from your home country that there are no relevant benefits being paid

If you bring your children to Germany and you are citizen of a member state of the EU, the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway), or Switzerland you will be entitled to receive child benefits both as a scholarship holder and an employee of Bielefeld University. If you come from any other country you only qualify for benefits if you have:

  • an unlimited settlement permit, or
  • a residence permit for the purpose of employment, or
  • a residence permit for the purpose of family reunion with a German citizen or a person covered by Points 1 to 3 above
Child Benefits (Kindergeld)

Child benefits are paid until the child's 18th birthday, but may continue up to the age of 25 if the child is still attending school, vocational training, or higher education and has a personal income below 8,004€ per year. In exceptional cases, they can also continue to be paid after the age of 25.

You can obtain information on child benefits from the Familienservice of Bielefeld University or the Familienkasse der Agentur für Arbeit.

Child benefits are always paid to only one entitled person: generally, the parent with whom the child lives. This regulation is important for separated parents. Currently (Jan 2022), the entitled person receives 219€ for each of the first two children, 225€ for the third child and 250€ for the fourth and each successive child.

You can obtain further information on child benefits on the webpage of the Familyservice of Bielefeld University, Federal Employment Agency or at the webpage of Euraxess

If you do need a helping hand in filling in forms, be invited to contact the Team of the Welcome Centre.


Parental Allowance (Elterngeld)

All parents are eligible for parental allowance if they personally want to take on the main responsibility for rearing their newborn child during the first 14 months, and are therefore unable to take up full-time employment. Elterngeld is paid to fathers and mothers for a maximum of 14 months, and the two parents can divide this period up between them as they choose. One parent can receive Elterngeld for a maximum of 12 months; the other 2 months are reserved as an option for the other parent. It will be paid 65-80% of your last twelve-months-salary as a replacement for the salary that you lose by staying home instead of working.

You can download the application form for parental allowance from the Internet pages of the Amt für Jugend und Familie or here. Print it out, fill it in, and send it to the Elterngeldstelle Bielefeld.

You can obtain further information on Elterngeld from the web pages of the Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend (Federal Ministry for the Family, Seniors, and Youth) or at the webpage of Euraxess.

Maternity Benefits (Mutterschaftsgeld)

The Maternity Protection Act (Mutterschutzgesetz, MuSchuG) grants particular protection to all employed women during pregnancy and after giving birth. This protection also applies to international researchers who are employed in Germany.
Maternity benefits are paid by the statutory health insurers during the maternity period (6 weeks before and 8 weeks after birth). You have to give them a certificate from the future mother's medical practitioner specifying the anticipated birth date. In addition, you must have been insured by a statutory health insurer for at least 12 weeks between the fourth and the tenth month of pregnancy and you must be able to confirm that you have an employment contract.

You have to apply for maternity benefits with your statutory health insurer. If you are employed at the beginning of the Mutterschutzfrist and insured with a statutory health insurer, you are entitled to maternity benefits equal to your net income calculated on the basis of your income of the last three calendar months. Your insurer and your employer pay this jointly. 

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