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Tips on parental allowance
What do you have to consider when submitting an application? What options do you have and what should you do without? We will give you tips from our experience with parental allowance.
With the following tips we would like to support you in applying for parental allowance. Please note, however, that we cannot go into all the details here. Parental allowance is very complex and the guidelines for clerks alone are more than 400 pages long. If you want, we can also advise you personally. Then we can give you even more tips, depending on your situation, and also fill out the application for you.
The parental allowance office will only process your parental allowance application after your baby has been born. Together with the birth certificate, you will then receive the birth certificate required for the application. Parental allowance is granted retrospectively for the last three months of life prior to the month in which the application was submitted. The date of the receipt stamp at the parental allowance office is decisive!
Practical tip: Are you "late"? Nevertheless, it is essential that you still submit your application for parental allowance! Otherwise you are giving away cash!
In case of deadline pressure: fax the application documents
If in doubt, just fill out the first page of the application form with the personal details of the baby and the parents and sign both on the last page. You can submit all documents or missing information in between, including those for the respective reference months! Fax the above-mentioned pages of the application form to your responsible parental allowance office together with copies of your identity cards.
Practical tip: Your faxed parental allowance application receives an entry stamp and the deadlines are met! Make sure that everything has arrived safely by calling.
Parental allowance and months of your baby's life
Parental allowance is always granted after full months of your baby's life, not calendar months! You can receive parental allowance within the first fourteen months of your baby's life.
Practical tip: Let your employer grant you parental leave after your baby's months of life!
Apply for parental leave in due time
Employed fathers submit their application for parental leave in due time at the latest seven weeks, but not earlier than eight weeks before the start of the planned parental leave. A time window of one week is created, which guarantees protection against dismissal. Employed mothers apply for parental leave in due time one week after the delivery.
Practical tip: The application for parental leave must be made in writing, an email is not sufficient as an application! Ask for a written confirmation within the stated week period!
Do not take any remaining leave after the maternity leave period
In the sense of the Federal Parental Leave and Parental Allowance Act (BEEG), vacation applies as if you had worked while you were receiving parental allowance and had earned income accordingly. Your entitlement to parental allowance for the month (s) concerned will be reduced accordingly or not applicable at all if you exceed the permissible limit of 30 hours per week per month of life!
Practical tip: talk to your employer. It is best to have your remaining vacation paid out before the birth of your baby! Attention: The date of receipt of payment on your account counts for the parental allowance office!
Do not have any remaining leave or bonuses paid out while you are receiving parental allowance
Any taxable income that accrues to you while you are receiving parental allowance will be offset against your parental allowance!
Practical tip: If necessary, interrupt your parental allowance for the relevant months of life!
Work and income while receiving parental allowance
Everything that one "earns" on taxable income while receiving parental allowance is offset against the parental allowance. There is no "allowance" that would be free of credit! If you earn "too much" while you are receiving parental allowance, you will only receive a minimum parental allowance of € 300.
Always prerequisite: Do not work more than an average of 30 hours / week in the month in question!
Exception: One-off payments such as Christmas or vacation pay do not count as earned income during parental leave.
Practical tip: If you earn, the parental allowance office calculates the monthly difference between what you earned before the birth and what you now earn net. As a rule, you will receive 65% of the difference in parental allowance!
Income while receiving parental allowance
Any form of earned income while receiving parental allowance is taken into account. If in doubt, you will only receive the minimum amount or your parental allowance will be forfeited entirely. If you already know that you will have income and can estimate the timing of this, simply interrupt your parental allowance for a month or two!
Practical tip: Nobody forces you to apply for parental allowance "in one go". You can cut in pieces, at the same time or overlapping with your partner or skip months of life! You can change your reference months at any time without giving reasons, as long as the parental allowance has not yet been transferred to you for the relevant period.
Tax class change
A change of tax class is only considered by the parental allowance office if it affects the major part of the respective assessment period, i.e. at least seven of twelve months!
If the changed tax class applies for exactly six months, the tax class that is closer to the child's due date is taken into account.
Practical tip: If a change of tax class is to be of benefit to you, it should be done right at the beginning of the pregnancy - preferably before that!
Higher income = higher parental allowance
If you have the opportunity to increase your earned income during the assessment period, then do so! Additional mini or part-time jobs not only increase your income before the delivery, but also your parental allowance afterwards.
Practical tip: Do you do the office work in your husband's company anyway? Then get paid for it by the start of your maternity leave at the latest!
Attention: You can only receive parental allowance when you have officially recognized paternity for your baby! Your entitlement only begins in the month of your baby's life in which this requirement was fully met!
Practical tip: For the entitlement to parental allowance, it would be beneficial if unmarried fathers who would like to receive parental allowance immediately after the birth of the baby, give their paternity recognition before the birth.
Do not give away parental allowance, even if you are apparently "on" way too late!
Your last chance to receive parental allowance retrospectively is on the last day of your baby's 16th month. Both parents can now apply for parental allowance for the 13th and 14th month of their baby's life. The general eligibility requirements for parental allowance must then also have been met retrospectively.
Practical tip: Fax the parental allowance application and call the responsible authority immediately. You will be asked by post to submit any missing information and documents!
Be careful with simultaneous reference
Both parents would like to "share" the care of the baby and at the same time apply for parental allowance for the first seven months of life.
The entitlement to two additional monthly amounts of parental allowance only exists if at least one parent waives part of his previous monthly income from work in favor of caring for the child. Caution is therefore advised if both parents share the care of their child in the first seven months of life and continue to work at the same time.
Practical tip: The exact amount of the required loss of income is not expressly regulated in the BEEG!
The reference months are divided into "12 months for the father and 2 months for the mother"
Months of the baby's life in which the mother is entitled to maternity allowance and / or employer's allowance are deemed to be "used up" by her for parental allowance. If the maternity protection is extended after the birth because the baby was born before the calculated due date, the mother must also apply for parental allowance for a correspondingly longer month of life.
Practical tip: If your baby is born prematurely, the maternity protection period is automatically extended from eight to twelve weeks after delivery. In addition, it will be extended by the period of maternity leave that could not be taken up before the delivery!
Include correct documents
You need the following documents to apply:
- Original birth certificate "for parental allowance", if your baby was born in another European country: a copy of the birth certificate, if your baby was born outside of Europe: a certified copy and a certified translation of the birth certificate
- Copies of both parents' ID cards or passports
- From the statutory health insurance: the approval or rejection notice for maternity benefit
- From the employer: Confirmation of the parental leave granted after the baby's months of life and of the employer allowance paid during the maternity protection period
- From the employer: If you would like to work by the hour while you are receiving parental allowance: proof from your employer of the amount of your expected wage, the planned duration and the number of hours per week
- All wage or salary statements for the twelve months of your assessment period
- If necessary, ALG-I approval and cancellation notices
- If applicable, birth certificates of older or disabled siblings
- Ekst notification from the year before the birth of the baby or printout for the electronic income tax certificate
- For unmarried fathers: Certificate of paternity
Practical tip: The more complete your parental allowance application is received by the parental allowance office responsible for you, the faster it will be processed. If you are worried that you will be in default due to missing evidence, it is strongly recommended that you also submit the application incomplete so that it receives an entry stamp!
Every application for parental allowance has to be signed by both parents, even if only one parent applies for parental allowance! Exceptions are made here only for single parents, or if the partner is in custody, for example.
Practical tip: Also note the usual subdivision into parent 1 & 2 for the signatures!
Assessment period for self-employment
If you worked independently before the birth of your baby - even if only for a short time - the parental allowance office basically bases the calculation on the income of the last completed assessment period. As a rule, the EkSt notification for the year before the baby is born is required. If this is not yet available at the time of submitting the application, an EÜR income surplus calculation must be prepared as an alternative. No exceptions have been made to this rule since the change in the law on January 1st, 2013.
Practical tip: Since when calculating the parental allowance for the self-employed, it is not the turnover but rather the profit that counts, it makes sense to structure your income and expenses accordingly in the assessment period. Of course, you have to know early enough that you want to apply for parental allowance!
Calculation of the parental allowance for self-employed
Dividing the profit by twelve results in the so-called gross monthly parental allowance. From this (as with income from employment), flat-rate deductions are made for taxes and social security contributions (insofar as there was compulsory social insurance). The parental allowance net determined in this way is used to calculate the parental allowance due.
In principle, parental allowance is paid at 67% of the average monthly net parental allowance.
Practical tip: The amount of taxes and social security contributions actually paid is irrelevant for income from self-employed work. In the case of profit income, taxes are generally determined according to tax class IV!
Income from self-employed work while receiving parental allowance
Everything that one "earns" on taxable income while receiving parental allowance is offset against the parental allowance. This applies to income from both employment and self-employment. There is no "allowance" that would be free of credit! If you earn "too much" while you are receiving parental allowance, you will only receive a minimum parental allowance of € 300. The following also applies to the self-employed: Do not work more than an average of 30 hours per week in the month in question!
Practical tip: Do not apply for parental allowance "in one go", but with interruptions! Manage your invoices so that incoming payments to your business account are outside of your parental allowance months. Attention: If you do not enter the balance sheet, the date of receipt of payment on your account applies to the parental allowance office. For those who have to account for the period of service provision applies.
We help you
We have put together these tips for you from our practice as a parental allowance advisor. We have already helped over 10,000 parents with the application process and are happy to help.
If you have any questions about one of the tips listed here, would like general advice on parental allowance or would like to use our application service, please take a look at our advice services.
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