In addition to Basis Elterngeld, which we cover in this article, there are two other types of parental allowance in Germany: Elterngeld Plus and the Partnership Bonus.
This article was written in collaboration with Elodie Roux Heineck, who is the founder of Baby in Berlin, offering expert help with German baby paperwork for international families.
What are Elterngeld Plus and the Partnership Bonus?
For Elterngeld Plus, you can stretch your Elterngeld over double the number of months while receiving half the allowance.
As a Partnership Bonus, each parent may claim an additional two to four months of Parental Allowance Plus benefits if certain conditions are met.
When might you want to apply for Elterngeld Plus?
If you decide to work part-time after your child is born, the Parental Allowance Plus can be equivalent to the monthly Basic Parental Allowance you would receive while working part-time – but you will receive it for twice as many months!
Therefore, parents who start working part-time (up to 32 hours per week) soon after their child’s birth benefit most from Parental Allowance Plus.
They will receive a minimum of €150 per month up to €900 per month, plus your salary.
When might you want to apply for the Partnership Bonus?
If both parents want to reduce their hours after they have taken all their “regular” Elternzeit, the Partnership Bonus is a great way to do so. This can help the transition to juggling work life and family life, increasing hours at Kita, etc.
Here is how it works:
Each parent may claim between two and four additional months of Parental Allowance Plus benefits if the following conditions are met:
Both parents have to claim the Partnership Bonus at the same time.
You need to claim the Partnership Bonus for two to four consecutive months.
During that time, both parents work part-time (between 24 and 32 hours per week).
If you are a single parent you can also claim the Partnership Bonus and work between 24 and 32 hours per week.
The Partnership Bonus is calculated the same way as Elterngeld Plus: You will receive a minimum of €150 per month up to €900 per month, plus your income.
The latest you can start receiving the Partnership Bonus is on the 15th life month of the baby. If you have not taken it by then, this opportunity will be lost.
Want to learn more or start filling out the forms?
If you'd like to learn more, check out Elodie's comprehensive online course called “Elterngeld & Co.” Kietzee members receive a 10% discount, which you can find in the “Discounts” section of your dashboard.
Elodie also offers 1-on-1 assistance with paperwork, as does Julia Zehavi. You can also find both of these wonderful Kietzee experts on your members’ dashboard.
You can also use the federal government's Elterngeld planning tool (in German) to go through the different options.
Finally, if you’re ready to tackle the form, you have a couple of options:
Apply directly with your district’s Jugendamt. You can research the contact details here (select Thema: Elterngeld). Download the pdf form for Berlin here and send it via mail or apply online at Elterngeld Digital.
Or, use our partner dasElterngeld to fill in the form online in easy-to-understand German (in-browser translation to English in Chrome also works really well!). This is a really user-friendly tool that takes about 30 minutes and that I wish had existed when our kids were born ;) They have an expert available to answer any questions you may have, plus a money back guarantee should you not end up getting any Elterngeld. It is €24.99 well spent in our humble opinion. The tool is currently available for Elterngeld applications in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Baden Wurttemberg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and soon also Berlin. Learn more.*
*Please note that we may receive a commission when you click on our links and make a purchase. This, however, has no bearing on our reviews and recommendations.