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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure DE-2020-14/817 Updated – measures in Germany

Emergency child supplement

Notfall Kinderzuschlag

Country Germany , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 April 2020 – 31 December 2021
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Birgit Kraemer (WSI) and Sandra Vogel (IW)
Measure added 06 May 2020 (updated 27 February 2023)

Background information

The emergency child supplement is part of the German government's response to the COVID-19 crisis and constitutes a time limited amendment regarding access to an existing benefit (child supplement - Kinderzuschlag) which is usually available to support low income families. It is additional to regular child benefit and other support measures available to low income households.

It is part of a broader package of social measures adopted by the government to address the economic consequences of the crisis (Sozialschutz-Paket) and is mainly intended to ease access to benefits and services.

Content of measure

Provisions for the emergency child supplement (Notfall KiZ) makes the following amendments to existing regulations governing the child supplement available to low income families: Between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020, the provision of this means tested benefit will not be assessed on the basis of the parental income over the last 6 months, but instead only over the last month (to take account of families suffering a dramatic, immediate and potentially short-term reduction in income as a result of short-time working or unemployment linked to the crisis). No information has to be provided on savings and other resources available to the family. This provision is aimed to speed up the claims process.

The benefit remains targeted at low income families, with eligibility thresholds linked to income remaining unchanged.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

29 September 2021

The emergency child supplement was prolonged until 31 December 2021.

Use of measure

While the number of recipients for child benefit rose only slightly from 9,507,000 in 2019 to 9,730,000 in 2020, the volume of expenses for the programme rose from approximately €39 billion in 2019 to €46 billion in 2020. The increase is correlated to COVID-19 related measures.

According to the latest statistics by the Federal Statistical Office, there were nearly 9.6 million recipients of the regular child benefit in 2021 with around €47.6 billion spent on the programme. The statistic does not detail how many for the emergency benefit.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Parents
People on low incomes

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


No information on social partner involvement.

Views and reactions

Social partners in Germany are consulted on a regular and ongoing basis. No specific information is available regarding consultation on the amendment of this measure.



Eurofound (2020), Emergency child supplement, measure DE-2020-14/817 (measures in Germany), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.