General Information about Childcare Allowance for Births from 1 March 2017 Onwards
- Childcare Allowance for More than One Child
- Childcare Allowance and Employment
- Childcare Allowance and Social Insurance
- Related Links
- Legal Basis
There are new regulations concerning childcare allowance for parents whose children were born from 1 March 2017 onwards. The flat-rate system has turned into a central childcare allowance account ["Kinderbetreuungsgeld-Konto"] whereas the income-related system remains in force.
Each system has different effects on the additional earnings limit, additional benefits such as the multiple child bonus or supplements etc. Therefore it is recommended to evaluate the differences between the systems in order to choose the best possible system.
The amount of childcare allowance is based upon the payment scheme you have chosen. You may choose between the following options:
Childcare Allowance Account [Kinderbetreuungsgeld-Konto] (Flat-Rate Childcare Allowance)
There are general prerequisites which have to be fulfilled in order to claim the flat-rate childcare allowance.
For children born from 1 March 2017 onwards, the flat-rate option is organized as a childcare allowance account:
14.53 Euro up to 33.88 Euro per day (depending on the chosen duration of allowance)
The monthly amount may vary slightly depending on whether the month has 31, 30, 29 or 28 days.
Duration of Allowance
Switching to a Different Option
Every chosen claim duration (e.g. 365, 366 or 367 days etc.) corresponds to an option.
Under specific conditions, parents can change their option once per child. Thus they are treated as if they had chosen this option right from the start. In this case the daily amount of allowance can change for past periods, but not the reference periods. The decision to switch to a different option is binding for the other parent. A corresponding application must be filed in a timely manner. For further information please contact your health insurance fund [Krankenkasse] prior to the application process.
Income-Related Childcare Allowance
There are general prerequisites as well as specific prerequisites which have to be fulfilled in order to claim the income-related childcare allowance.
- Applicants must have been engaged in an activity which is subject to mandatory health and pension insurance in Austria non-stop during the 182 calendar days immediately preceding the birth of the child or maternity protection [Mutterschutz].
- Applicants must not have received any unemployment insurance benefits (e.g. unemployment benefit [Arbeitslosengeld], unemployment assistance [Notstandshilfe], education benefits [Weiterbildungsgeld] etc.) during this period of time.
- Interruptions of this activity lasting up to 14 days in total are of no relevance.
Being on sick leave or on holiday does not count as interrupting one's activity as long as the employment relationship continues and there is continued pay during this time.
The following periods of time are considered equal to such an activity:
- Maternity protection [Mutterschutz] and maternity leave [Karenz] according to the Mutterschutzgesetz (up to an older child's 2nd birthday), if the employment relationship continues during this period, or
- Paternity leave [Väterkarenz] according to the Väterkarenzgesetz (up to an older child's 2nd birthday), if the employment relationship continues during this period, or
- Similar periods of time in the case of self-employed people, traders and farmers (temporary interruptions of this activity for the purpose of child-raising up to the child's 2nd birthday, e.g. by reporting one's trade licence as suspended, however not by surrendering one's trade licence),
as long as an activity which is subject to mandatory health and pension insurance in Austria was performed non-stop during the 182 calendar days immediately preceding this period of time.
Both parents are restricted to the chosen income-related childcare allowance system.
Income-related childcare allowance is available as follows:
Duration of Allowance
The Childcare Allowance is as a rule suspended while maternity benefit or a similar benefit (e.g. continued remuneration for civil servants) is received. It is also suspended while temporary help [Betriebshilfe] is received after the birth; therefore, childcare allowance is paid only after the period of maternity protection [Mutterschutz]. Please note that the claim duration is not prolonged in this case!
Childcare allowance is always awarded for the youngest child only. If another child is born while a parent is receiving childcare allowance, payment for the older child will end one day before the birth of the younger child. A new application must be made for the newborn child and the allowance will be paid for this child. The same rule applies for adopted children and foster children.
For parents who have chosen the childcare allowance account system [Kinderbetreuungsgeld-Konto] childcare allowance is increased by 50 percent of the daily rate for the second and each additional child in the case of multiple births. The daily rate results from the selected claim duration. For twins, the daily rate is one and a half times the basic rate, for triplets it is twice the basic rate etc.
All the prerequisites must be met regarding every child in order to draw the increased childcare allowance.
Income-related childcare allowance is not increased in the case of multiple births.
Mothers/fathers in employment (i.e. workers or employees) are entitled to maternity/paternity leave. This means that they are granted leave of absence from their workplace but receive no salary. The law provides a right to maternity/paternity leave until the day before the child's second birthday. A minimum of two months maternity or paternity leave must be taken.
Further information about "Maternity/Paternity Leave" [Elternkarenz] can be found on the German website at HELP.gv.at.
Mothers/fathers may also opt to work part time provided certain conditions are met. This does not depend on having previously taken maternity/paternity leave.
Further information regarding the circumstances under which there is an entitlement to part-time employment and the circumstances under which such an arrangement can be agreed as well as further informationGerman text on this topic can be found on the German website at HELP.gv.at.
Recipients of childcare allowance are basically covered by health insurance. Therefore, a separate application for health insurance is not necessary.
As of 1 January 2005, parents acquire contributory years for the purpose of their pension insurance during the first four years of the child's life (five years in the case of a multiple birth).
- Online Calculator for Births from 1 March 2017 Onwards (BMFJ)German text
- Information on Childcare Allowance (BMFJ)German text
- Kinderbetreuungsgeldgesetz (KBGG)
Federal Chancellery – HELP Editorial Staff