Who gets the Citizen's Income? And how can you apply for it? We tell you everything you need to know - including what will change from July 1, 2023.


At the end of the money, there is always so much month left over - and during parental leave, this "leftover month" is unfortunately sometimes particularly long. After all, the income is lower, but the costs are higher. We'll show you a few ways to get more money during your parental leave.

Parental allowance — the most important things at a glance

  • The amount of your parental allowance depends on your net income before the birth.
  • If the parental allowance is not enough, you can apply for additional social benefits and subsidies.
  • Your parental allowance counts as income and may be offset against other benefits.

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It's going to be a good time! We'll give you money-wise tips on how to get through parental leave financially well.

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The basics: What was parental allowance again?

Parental allowance helps new parents start their family life. For you, this means that if you have just had a child, you don't necessarily have to go back to work full time right away. Instead, you're going on maternity leave.

In practice, this means for you: Instead of your salary from your employer, you will receive parental allowance from the state. As a rule, this is around 65% of your average net salary, but at least €300 and a maximum of €1,800 per month. This allows you to concentrate fully on your family — after all, you have your hands full right now!

Parental allowance has many special features and offers parents couples various options to work together to support their family growth. If you need more information about parental allowance and the application, take a look at our information post “Applying for parental allowance: Everything you need to know about it”.

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SOS! What to do if the parental allowance is not enough?

Parental allowance gives you the opportunity to take care of your child in peace and quiet. That is great! And undoubtedly worth every euro you have to forego because you can't work as much anymore. But what if there is simply not enough money to support the family?

We have a few tips for you on what you can do if your parental allowance is not enough:

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Check your parental allowance application again

You can apply for your parental allowance yourself after the birth of your child. The application was probably just like all other administrative procedures: terribly complicated. And unfortunately, something always goes wrong when it comes to complicated things.

If you think your parental allowance payment is too low, it's best to take another look at your application and the notification you received afterwards. You may have forgotten something or the clerk may have missed something. Take this opportunity to also check directly whether all salary figures are correct.

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Is everything correct? If you think your parental allowance is too low, take your time to review your application and notification. Perhaps something went wrong with the application?

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Increasing parental allowance with subsidies and social benefits

Families are particularly supported in Germany. That is why, in addition to parental allowance, there are also a number of additional subsidies and social benefits that you can apply for. The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth also offers a cool Online tool to: Almost like a parental allowance calculator, it tells you which social benefits you can apply for.

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child support

All parents are entitled to child benefit, regardless of income. You probably took care of it right after your child was born. If not, you should make up for it quickly. You can find out how to do this in our article “Where do I apply for child support? ”.

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Child allowance

The child allowance, also known as child benefit supplement, is an additional social benefit for families. You get this supplement if your child lives in the household with you and you receive child benefit, but the money is simply not enough. There are also strict income limits for this, which are calculated individually for each family.

However, there is also a minimum limit for child allowance: If you earn at least 600€ a month as a single parent or at least 900€ a month as a couple, you can apply for the supplement. Your parental allowance is considered income and is credited accordingly.

If you get the child allowance, do you get Up to 250€ per month and child for 6 months. You can then submit a new application. That's what you do With the Familienkasse.

By the way: If you receive the child allowance, you can also apply for additional benefits for your children. For example, when one of your kids goes on a school trip.

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housing benefit

A big chunk of your monthly income goes towards your apartment. Rent or financing rate, heating costs, ancillary costs — a lot comes together. But so that you can afford your apartment during your parental leave, you can apply for housing benefit. In other words, a subsidy for your monthly housing costs.

How much housing benefit you get depends on various factors. For example, from which city you live in, how many people live in your household and exactly what your income is. The exact calculation is rather complicated, as there are different rental levels and a lot of special features. It is therefore best to seek advice from the housing benefit authority in your municipality. You can usually find them at City Hall. You can also apply for housing benefit directly there.

By the way: When it comes to housing benefits, your parental allowance is also counted as income. You must therefore definitely state it when applying.

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Single parents are real supermamas and super dads. The state also recognizes this - and is trying to make things a bit easier for them financially.

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Increase in parental allowance from the employment office

If your income is insufficient even with the additional social benefits, you can apply for citizenship benefits. Citizens' allowance is a government benefit that you always receive when all your income combined is not enough to support your family.

It is a monthly lump sum for you and the other people in your household. In addition, you will receive support for your monthly housing costs, such as rent and heating costs.

However, the exact amount of your citizen benefit is individual. Because your income is counted against this and deducted accordingly. In the end, you won't get the lump sum, but exactly what you need at the end of the month to provide for your family.

Important for families: If you receive citizenship benefits, you can apply for further support. For example, if you need basic equipment for your child, you have to move house or your child needs special food due to health.

You apply for the citizen benefit online or at Jobcenter in your city or community. Before you submit the application, it's best to read our article on the topic — it tells you everything you need to know about citizen benefits.

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Increase in parental allowance by employers

As a new mother, you are on maternity leave for the first 8 weeks after the birth of your child. This means that you do not have to work during this time, even without parental leave. While you are on maternity leave, you will receive the so-called maternity allowance. It is a way of continued payment of wages by your employer. If you do not currently have an active employment contract, you will receive the money from your health insurance company.

And now it's getting exciting: Because if you're on maternity leave and are still employed by your employer, Can you apply for an employer subsidy. This is possible from just a monthly net wage of 390€. Especially cool: If you have several employers, you can apply for a maternity allowance from each of them.

Exactly how much this subsidy is depends on your income. You apply for it directly from your employer. You may also need a certificate from your doctor for this.

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Increasing parental allowance through part-time jobs

If your time allows, you can also supplement your monthly income with a part-time job. This is because you are generally allowed to work part-time or on a mini-job basis during your parental leave. Of course, with the requirement that your child is well cared for during this time.

If this is an option for your family, you even have special options when it comes to parental allowance. With Parental Allowance Plus, you work part-time and have twice as long parental leave. As a parent couple, you can also divide your parental leave between each other — and receive a partnership bonus in return. You can also find out more about this in our article “Applying for parental allowance: Everything you need to know about it”.

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Special opportunities for single parents

Are you a single parent and the parental allowance is not enough? In addition to the options we've presented to you above, we have a few more tips for you:

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Single parents are real supermamas and super dads. The state also recognizes this - and is trying to make things a bit easier for them financially.

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Apply for an advance on maintenance

Your child's other parent is required to pay maintenance. So much for theory. Unfortunately, things sometimes look different in practice — for a variety of reasons.

To ensure that you receive enough money even if there are no maintenance payments, you can apply for an advance on maintenance. You will then receive the maintenance not from your father or mother, but from the office.

You apply for an advance maintenance allowance at the Youth Welfare Office.

Important: Your advance on maintenance counts as income. As a result, it is offset against social benefits such as child allowance or citizen benefit.

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Tax class 2

Single parents have a few tax benefits. This includes, for example, higher allowances. When you go to work, you have a higher net wage as a result.

To take advantage of these tax benefits, you must be classified in tax class 2. It is best to do this in writing with your tax office.

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Prevention: Too little parental allowance? Not with you! — Tips for your financial family planning

Are you still in family planning and you are afraid that money could become scarce during your parental leave? You still have time to do something about it! We have a few tips for you on how to start your parental leave a bit more relaxed with clever planning.

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Are you planning a family? The earlier you also think about finances, the more relaxed your parental leave will be!

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Increase your working time

The amount of your parental allowance depends on the amount of your net income in the 12 months before the birth of your child. The logical consequence of this: The more you earn during this time, the more parental allowance you receive.

The easiest way would, of course, be a hefty pay rise. It's just a shame that they never come when you need them. Maybe you have the option to increase your working hours a bit instead? For example, if you are currently working part-time, you may be able to add a few more hours a week. At the end of the month, you already have a higher net income — and therefore also a little more money available during your parental leave.

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Take advantage of tax benefits

As a parent couple, you have a few tax options. With your tax brackets and child allowances, you influence your monthly net — depending on who is in which tax bracket, you pay different amounts of tax. If you're thinking about children right now, it's best to talk to your tax advisor. Maybe he or she has another good tip for you!

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Start saving on time

Toys, diapers, strollers: A lot comes together. If you start saving on time, you can easily finance the initial equipment for your family addition with small amounts in advance, instead of having to pay the big bill all at once.

But there are money-wise savings products to help you do just that. For example, the Sparbaum by Bling. With it, you set aside money every month and invest it in sustainable funds. Over time, they yield more returns than a call money account or savings account. In this way, you saved up a small financial cushion even before you were born, which will help you through parental leave.

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