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Child sick benefits in Germany (Kinderkrankengeld)

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

In Germany, parents are entitled to up to 10 days of Kinderkrankengeld per year, per child. If the child has a chronic illness, the number of days may be extended up to 25 days per year. During this time, parents can take care of their child at home without worrying about the impact on their work or income.

Kinderkrankengeld in Germany

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.

Some frequently asked questions about Kinderkrankengeld in Germany

How long can parents receive Kinderkrankengeld?

Parents can receive Kinderkrankengeld for up to 10 days per year per child (or up to 20 days per year for single parents).

How much Kinderkrankengeld can parents receive?
Can both parents receive Kinderkrankengeld at the same time?
What documents are required to apply for Kinderkrankengeld?
How long does it take to receive Kinderkrankengeld?
Can self-employed parents receive Kinderkrankengeld?
What happens if a child has a chronic illness that requires frequent care?
Can Kinderkrankengeld be used for preventive medical check-ups?
Can Kinderkrankengeld be used for caring for a sick spouse or family member?
What happens if a parent's employer does not allow them to take time off to care for a sick child?
Can Kinderkrankengeld be combined with other types of benefits?
Is Kinderkrankengeld taxable?

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