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Child sick benefits in Germany (Kinderkrankengeld)

Updated: Mar 13

If your child is sick, you are allowed to take time off from work to care for your child in Germany. This will not be counted against your annual leave or your salary.

If you cannot present at work due to the sickness of your child, your employer should continue to pay your salary for up to five working days. However, you need to present a doctor certificate to your employer.

In certain cases, your employer will continue to pay your salary if it is in your contract. Otherwise, the statutory health insurance will pay the Kinderkrankengeld (child sickness benefit) during this period.

If your contract does not cover the children's sick pay, you can still take off to care for your child. However, the statutory health insurance system will be paying your benefit out of the child sickness benefit (Kinderkrankengeld).

How many children's sick days are parents entitled to?

Parents with statutory health insurance can apply for child sick pay for 30 working days (single parents for 60 working days) per child in 2021 and also in 2022. In the case of several children, the entitlement per parent is not more than 65 working days and for single parents for no more than 130 working days. The special scheme for children's sick pay from the year has been extended to 2022.

Kinderkrankengeld Requirements

If you or your child are covered by private health insurance, you are not entitled to the child sickness benefit.

  • You must be a salaried employee entitled for sickness benefit

  • Your child is insured as a dependent to you

  • Your child cannot go to the school or childcare due to the sickness

  • A doctor has certified that your child needs care

  • Your child’s age is 12 years or less

  • You are covered by a statutory health insurance

How much Kinderkrankengeld can I get?

The amount of child sickness benefit you can get depends on your salary. Statutory health insurance companies will pay up to 90 percent of your lost net salary. Up to 100 percent may be paid if you received one-off payments such as holiday or Christmas bonuses in the 12 months before drawing the benefit.

How to apply for Kinderkrankengeld in Germany

To apply for child sickness benefits, first, you need to get a doctor certificate. The doctor will also provide you with the “medical certificate for receipt of sickness benefit in the event of a child’s illness” (Ärztliche Bescheinigung für den Bezug von Krankengeld bei Erkrankung eines Kindes).

You need to fill out the specified area in the form to apply for the sickness benefit about your employer details as well as your bank details, etc.

You should send both the doctor’s certificate and your signed application form to your employer as well as your health insurance company. Your health insurance company may ask for a certificate of earnings from your employer to calculate how much Kinderkrankengeld you should receive. The benefit will then be paid directly into your bank account.

How long can I avail Kinderkrankengeld in Germany?

In every year each parent may claim up to 10 days of Kinderkrankengeld per child, up to a maximum of 25 days in total. Single parents can claim up to 20 days per child - or a maximum of 50 days per year.

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