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Elterngeld benefit

Elterngeld - maternity allowance, i.e. a financial payment for a newborn child

German parental allowance Elterngeld is paid to young parents immediately after the birth of their child. This benefit is paid for 12 months up to a maximum of 36 months pro rata. The money is paid to the parent who devotes himself or herself to bringing up the child and gives up paid work for the time being.

For whom is the Elterngeld paid?

It is up to the parents to decide whether the allowance is to be paid to one or both parents, or whether it is to be paid for a few months to one parent and for the rest of the year to the other parent. The child care benefit for a newborn child is granted to the child’s parents who:
  • have a common residence in Poland or a place of permanent residence in Germany,
  • live with the child in the same household,
  • are personally responsible for the care and upbringing of their child,
  • do not work or work part-time,
  • do not exceed the income limit for the calendar year before the birth of the child.
IMPORTANT: Even parents who did not work before the birth of their child can apply for Elterngeld.

Amount of Elterngeld benefit

The amount of Elterngeld depends on the amount of income lost due to inability to work.

  • It is an amount between 65% and 67% of the income that a parent had before the birth of the child
  • Minimum €300 per month
  • Maximum 1800€ per month

ADDITIONALLY! It is possible to apply for 50% of the benefit for 2 years of the child’s life.

ADDITIONAL! It is possible to claim two extra months of benefit for the other parent. If both parents decide not to work but to take care of the child they can apply for Partnermonate.

What if one parent is in Poland?

A person who has not worked in Germany can receive maternity benefit Elterngeld if the other parent works in Germany. However all benefits from Poland will be deducted (e.g. 500+, kosiniakowe). 

The problem with the payment of benefits concerns more often the Polish side. For example if the husband works in Germany and the wife lives in Poland the Polish office will try to establish the right to Elterngeld in Germany. Unfortunately, cooperation between Polish and German offices in this respect is not exemplary and it may happen that the application for benefit in Poland will be rejected due to lack of information. 

If you are in a similar situation, please contact us and we will advise you which solution is the most profitable and easiest from the point of view of formalities. 

Documents needed to submit an application

  • completed data form (our form)
  • a recent birth certificate of a child (and other children brought up in a shared household, using the EU form)
  • Current marriage certificate (EU form)
  • photocopy of the confirmation of residence in Germany (Anmeldung)
  • a current certificate of family registration in Poland
  • photocopy of the pregnancy certificate
  • photocopy of your insurance card
  • decision on maternity allowance (from the Social Insurance Institution) and parental benefit (from the Voivodeship Office)
  • a decision on collection of child benefit or a decision on no entitlement to this benefit
  • statement of income for the 12 months preceding the birth of the child of both parents
  • a decision about no right to or amount of family benefit received in Poland
  • decision on 500+ benefit or lack of right to this benefit
  • current certificate from the employer (with confirmation of the Elternzeit period if the other parent also wants to claim Elterngeld)
  • tax decision (Steuerbescheid) from the previous year in relation to the date of birth of the child
  • declaration by the parents on the distribution of the months for the care of the newborn child
  • decision on the granting of child allowance from Germany (Kindergeld)
  • sworn translation of the certificate of residence in Poland
  • translation of certificate of no right to maternity or parental benefit
  • translation of a certificate stating that you are entitled to becikowe or a decision stating that you are not entitled to this benefit.
  • translation of a decision regarding child benefit in Poland
  • translation of a decision regarding the 500+ benefit in Poland
  • annual tax card – Lohnsteuerbescheinigung
  • monthly pay statement (Lohn/ Gehaltsabrechnung)
  • signed contract of mandate form (available in our office)


If, in addition to a newborn child, there are also small children in your household, you can apply for a Geschwisterbonus supplement.

  • It is 10% of the Elterngeld
  • Minimum 75 € /month

Parents fulfil the criteria:

  • a child under 3 years
  • 2 children under 6 years
  • a disabled child up to 14 years of age


Apply no earlier than on the day of the birth of your child and no later than within 3 months after that. The Elterngeld can only be paid retroactively for 3 months.

AS Bieniek

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