How to minimize the impact of Covid on your Elterngeld payments?

Eine Frau mit einer Maske, die ihr Kind trägt

How is the Elterngeld usually calculated?

If you’re about to apply for Elterngeld and have researched it a little, you will know by now that the calculation basis for Elterngeld is either the last 12 months before birth (for employees) or the last fiscal year (for self-employed or parents with mixed income – employed and self-employed income).

How is you Elterngeld calculated in the pandemic?

What can you do if Covid negatively impacted your income so that your average income is lower than it used to be? What if you’re a DJ, event manager or artist whose gigs got cancelled one after the other? What if the restaurant you worked put you on “Kurzarbeit” (partial unemployment) because they had to close for long periods?

Luckily the law makers have thought about this and you can request for the period in question to be skipped in favour of a period of time further in the past.

How is your Elterngeld calculation different if you’re a freelancer or an employee?

The way you can skip certain periods in your calculation basis is different whether you are an employee or a freelancer. Employees can skip specific months whereas freelancers can only skip entire fiscal years.

NOT THAT EASY TO UNDERSTAND?

Here are some examples of skipping Covid period in favour of Elterngeld

Jamie is a waiter employed in a bar, he became a dad in September 2022. His calculation basis should be September 2021 to September 2022. But he received Kurzarbeitergeld from October 2021 to January 2022 because the bar was closed due to Covid restrictions.

He can ask for the period Oct-Jan to be skipped and his new calculation period will be May 2021 to August 2021 + February 2022 to September 2022.

Woman looking bored in front of her laptop and a cup of coffee

Lia is a freelance DJ, she had her baby in October 2022. Her calculation basis should be the fiscal year 2021. But in 2021 and in 2020 she did not perform anywhere due to Covid. She can ask for the calculation basis to be the year 2019.

How can you ask for the impacted period to be skipped for your Elterngeld calculation?

If you suffered a loss of income due to Covid, you will need to apply for a certain period of time to be skipped by submitting an extra form with your application. The form differs from state to state but is usually called “Verschiebung des Bemessungszeitraum auf Antrag”. Please note you have to prove why Covid caused the loss of income. If you’re a freelance insurance broker and cannot prove that the loss of income is directly linked to Covid then your request will not be accepted.

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Baby in Berlin is a concierge service for expecting international families in Germany who need assistance with the organization of their pregnancy and the paperwork related to baby and birth. Book your consultation today to make sure your Elterngeld application goes smoothly!