Child and family

If you work in Germany, you are entitled to various leave arrangements and payments. However, this depends not only on your circumstances, but also on the circumstances of the other parent.

You must be well informed about your rights.

Maternity leave

In Germany, maternity leave starts six weeks before the expected delivery date and ends eight weeks after the birth. During this time, your German health insurance pays you €13 per calendar day and your employer tops up your average net wage (maternity protection wage).

Parental leave and parental benefit

If you work in Germany, you are entitled to German parental leave.

This is an unpaid leave of absence from work and is possible until your child reaches the age of three. During this time, you remain covered by social security in Germany, as your employment contract continues.

From the day of birth, you can claim basic parental benefit for a minimum of two and a maximum of 14 months if you do not work or do not work more than 30 hours per week during this period. This period can be divided between both parents, even if the other parent is not insured in Germany. When distributing it, please note that one parent can claim a maximum of 12 months. There are also possibilities to claim ElterngeldPlus and partner bonus months under certain conditions.

For the partner working in Belgium, he or she must of course find an arrangement with his or her Belgian employer to reduce working hours (time credit and/ or parental leave). Any benefits from Belgium will then be offset against the German parental benefit, if applicable. You can find more information about the German parental leave and parental benefit here.

Birth or adoption bonus

In Belgium, you are entitled to the birth premium even if you do not work in Belgium.

If you adopt a child, you are entitled to the adoption premium.

Since 2019, the member states pay these premiums independently. In the German-speaking Community, you apply for it at the Ministry of the German-speaking Community. Here, the birth premium is paid to every child who has their first residence in the German-speaking Community. This amounts to €1,144/child. In Flanders, this is fons and there the premium is €1,122.

Entitlement to a child supplement

You are entitled to a child supplement from Germany. If the other parent is employed in Belgium or receives other benefits there, you will get a child supplement from Belgium as a priority. If the German child supplement is higher than the Belgian benefit, the amount from Germany will be increased by the difference.

If the other parent does not receive any income, Germany pays the German child supplement directly. In this case, Belgium does not pay the difference.

The child benefit rules in Belgium have changed fundamentally in 2019/2020, as they are now the responsibility of the Communities. It depends on where the children live.

The amounts vary from community to community and can be found under the relevant links.

If this is Wallonia, the famiwal is responsible, in Flanders it is fons, in the German-speaking Community, the Ministry of the DGand in Brussels iriscare.

You have to apply for the (additional) German child supplement at the responsible Family Benefits Office.

For families living in Belgium, the Family Benefits Office Saarland is responsible:
Postal address

  • Familienkasse Rheinland-Pfalz-Saarland
    55149 Mainz

Since 01/2021, German child benefit has been € 219 per month for the first and second child, € 225 per month for the third child and € 250 per month for the fourth child and onward.

For more information on this topic, please contact your Family Benefits Office or your nearest GrenzInfoPunkt.