Requirements for a child aged 18 or older
Pursuant to Article 9 para. 2 BKGG the entitlement for a child benefit at first ends at the end of the month in which the child reaches the age of 18.
Pursuant to Article 2 para. 2 No. 2 a BKGG children aged 18 or older are entitled to receive a child benefit if they are in a vocational training (attending an ordinary school, further training, studies, etc.). The entitlement then remains until the child reaches the age of 25 or up to the month in which the child is informed in writing about the overall exam results for the training.
In case of an interruption of the training that is only temporary (e.g. due to sickness or pregnancy) the child benefit is generally paid without an interruption.
Children aged 18 or older receive a child benefit up to the age of 21 when they are registered as job-seeking at the Agentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) and if they are employed in a minor employment only (Article 2 para. 2 No. 1 BKGG).
If they intend to start a vocational training, however, but did not succeed to do so because of a lack of training positions, then they will receive a child benefit up to the age of 25 (Article 2 para. 2 No. 2 c BKGG; proofs must be provided).
For children aged 25 or older child benefits are only paid if they are going to school o rare in a vocational training and were doing their compulsory military or civil service (Article 2 para. 3 BKGG).
Pursuant to Article 2 para. 2 No. 3 BKGG this also applies for children with a physical, mental or psychological handicap when their handicap existed already before they reached the age of 25 and who are not able to earn their own living. If the income of such a handicapped child exceeds the income limit of 7,680 Euro it is assumed that the child is able to earn its own living. In case of handicapped children there is no age limit concerning the entitlement for a child benefit.
A child benefit is generally not granted when the income of a child aged 18 or older exceeds the income limit of 7,680 Euro within one calendar year (Article 2 para. 2 BKGG). Income includes all taxable income minus income-related expenses.
The income-related expenses are deducted to the amount of the fixed lump sums unless they are not higher in the case of the respective child. A higher amount must be proven accordingly.
Also various benefits (e.g. BAföG benefits) are part of the income even if they are not taxable.
If the annual income limit of 7,680 Euro is exceeded, the entitlement for a child benefit lapses for the whole calendar year. If a child benefit had already been paid in that year, it must be reimbursed.