BaföG (law on higher education grants) for pregnant students
The BAföG contains a series of special rules for pregnant students, which are summarised in the “Infosheet on BAföG aid for pregnancy and child-raising”.
Please note that BAföG cannot be used by students with a residency permit as per § 16 of the German Residence Act. The local BAföG office will advise you on this.
Additional service for mothers-to-be
After the twelfth week of pregnancy, mothers-to-be in need are entitled to an additional service (in accordance with § 21 Para. 2 SGB II (German Social Code)), which covers extra costs for additional food, personal hygiene, additional transportation expenses, and minor clothing alterations. It does not include costs for maternity clothing, which must be requested separately (see next point). A needy situation is considered on in which the income received is less than or only slightly more than the SGB II requirement (standard rate plus appropriate rent including heating).
The amount of the additional service is income-dependent, and is 73,44 € for single pregnant students and 66,13 € for pregnant students with partners. See information on § 27 SGB II (see § 27 Leistungen für Auszubildende).
This service cannot be used by students with a residency permit as per § 16 of the German Residence Act! Applications are lodged at the local job centre. Persons residing in Hamburg can find their job centre here, everyone else can find theirs here. The Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI offers counselling on this.
Initial needs during pregnancy and birth
Pregnant women (including those studying/in training) can request services such as maternity clothes, hospital and breastfeeding needs, initial baby items incl. furniture (e.g. changing table, cot) and any household appliances needed for the children (e.g. washing machine) in accordance with § 24 Para. 3 SGB II. In order to be entitled to this, income must be under or just above the ALG II (regular unemployment benefit plus rent including heating). See information on § 27 SGB II.
These services cannot be used by students with a residency permit as per § 16 of the German Residence Act! Applications are lodged at the local job centre. Applications are lodged at the local job centre. Persons residing in Hamburg can find their job centre here, everyone else can find theirs here. The Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI offers counselling on this.
Federal “Mother and child” foundation
The funds from the federal “Mother and child” foundation are used to provide unbureaucratic help to pregnant women in need, and facilitate the rest of their pregnancy. The foundation can particularly offer financial aid for the child’s initial requirements, maternity clothing, costs for the mother to relocate to her first own apartment, and for some midwife services. The amount and duration of the aid depends on personal circumstances. The money is not credited against other services (e.g. Volume II of the German Social Code), and can also be used freely by international students holding a residency permit for the purposes of studying according to § 16 of the German Residence Act.
Counselling services and applications are organised by various providers: In Hamburg, these are the Diakonisches Werk, the Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen Hamburg, the Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen Hamburg-Altona and the respective branch offices. (Pregnant women residing in a different state can find their counselling centres on the Federal foundation’s homepage.
The maternity allowance is a wage replacement payment granted during protection periods, i.e. six weeks before and eight weeks after childbirth (or twelve weeks after in the event of premature or multiple births). Upon presenting a medical certificate, the maternity allowance is paid by the legal health funds at up to 13 € per calendar day, or by the Federal Insurance Office (a one-off payment of maximum 210 €).
It is paid out net, and is exempted from tax and social security contributions. If it is not enough to compensate for wages, the employer pays a further subsidy.
The Family portal and “Maternity Protection Act – Guidelines for maternity protection” brochure issued by the Federal Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women and Youth provide detailed information.
The Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI also offers advice on this.