Even over 18 In seven cases you will still receive child benefit

Since this year there has been child benefit of 250 euros per child per month. As soon as you are of legal age, your entitlement to child benefit ends. In seven cases, however, the money is passed on upon request.

Whether for clothes, school supplies or leisure time: child benefit is an important financial support for many families in everyday life. It is all the more difficult for them if the payments expire when the offspring come of age. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

Because in many cases, families are entitled to child benefit after the son or daughter’s 18th birthday – with one exception, however, up to the child’s 25th birthday at the longest. In order for the money to continue to flow, however, a justified application must be submitted to the Family Benefits Office in good time. This can be done digitally, for example, via the website of the Federal Employment Agency.

The fund pays the contributions retrospectively for a maximum of six months if approved, according to the magazine “Finanztest” (issue 2/2023).

But in which cases does the application even have a chance of success?

1. Apprentices and students

If an adult child starts an apprenticeship or studies after completing school, there are no problems with the continued payment of child benefit. The benefits are retained during initial training. According to “Finanztest”, initial training is not only the first training or degree, but also other training sections that build on the content of the first.

If the child starts a second training course after completing a first training course, there will also continue to be child benefit – but only if the daughter or son is not working more than 20 hours a week at the same time.

According to “Finanztest”, the youngsters should also work a little more than 20 hours a week during their initial training. Here, too, it is important for the approval of child benefit that work is not the priority. The main thing must continue to be education or full-time study.

2. Short transition period

For example, if the adult child already has an apprenticeship or university place in their pocket after leaving school, child benefit can continue to be paid even if the start of the apprenticeship does not follow immediately after the end of school. During a transitional period, which may last a maximum of four months, the Family Benefits Office will continue to pay the benefits.

However, the Family Benefits Office does not calculate this to the exact day. “The transition period can last almost six months, for example when school ends in early May and studies begin in late October,” according to “Finanztest”. The point in time at which certificates are available or can be downloaded online is decisive for the end of training. The beginning is the time when the training actually begins – for example with lectures.

3. Search for an apprenticeship

If, despite all efforts, the adult child does not find a training place, this will not be punished financially – the child benefit continues to flow. In this case, however, the child must be registered with an employment agency or a job center as looking for a training place, according to the website of the Family Benefits Office.

And: Parents should be able to prove that the child is seriously trying to get an apprenticeship or a place at university. You should be able to present more than one application per month when looking for a training place. “Finanztest” refers in this context to a corresponding judgment of the Federal Fiscal Court (Ref.: VI R 10/14).

4. During a voluntary service

There is still child benefit for adult children even if the offspring is doing voluntary service. Probably the best known are the Federal Volunteer Service or a Voluntary Social or Ecological Year. But other offers can also be eligible for support.

5. Internship related to the intended job

Does the adult child ever practice for the desired job after the end of school? Then there is child benefit. According to the Familienkasse, however, it is important that the internship has a technical connection to the desired profession.

6. In case of unemployment

Even if an adult child is unemployed and is registered with an employment agency or a job center as looking for a job, there is still child benefit. However, only up to the age of 21.

7. Special regulations in case of disability

If the child suffers from a physical, mental or psychological disability that makes it impossible for him or her to earn a living, the child benefit is passed on despite reaching the age of majority. According to the Family Benefits Office, this is generally the case if the mark “H” (helpless) is entered in the severely disabled person’s pass or a similar document.

Another requirement: the disability must have occurred before the 25th birthday. If the child was born up to and including 1981, the disability must have occurred before the 27th birthday.

There is also a special feature here: the payments do not end with the child’s 25th birthday. In this case, there is child benefit without an age limit.

This article first appeared on

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