Family allowance in Switzerland is relatively generous at a minimum of 200 CHF/Month (250 for children in full time education). However it varies considerably between cantons.
|Canton||Child Allowance||Education Allowance|
|* Individual Offices can pay more.|
|1 2nd figure is for 3rd child and upwards.|
|2 2nd figure is for children 12 and older|
|3 2nd figure is for children 19 and older|
Who is entitled to these allowances?
- Employees and the self-employed: employees are entitled to the full family allowances provided their combined salary over all employers is at least CHF 597/month or CHF 7’170/year.
- Those not in gainful employment with a modest income: for unemployed mothers who receive a maternity allowance there is no income limit.
- There are special rules for farmers and farm workers.
Which children qualify?
- Your own children, irrespective of whether you are married as parents or not, or whether they are adopted children.
- Stepchildren who live predominantly in your household or lived until they reached the age of majority.
- Foster children who you have taken in free of charge for permanent care and upbringing.
- Siblings and grandchildren for whose maintenance you are predominantly responsible.
The child allowance applies to children until the month after they reach the age of 16.
The education allowance applies to children from age 15 to 25 in the following situations:
- In compulsory education that extends beyond the child’s 16th birthday
- In non-compulsory education from the 15th birthday as follows:
- attendance at schools or courses providing general education or vocational training.
- vocational training within the framework of an actual apprenticeship, or training that represents systematic preparation for future employment (e.g. compulsory internship).
A person is not considered to be in education if he or she is mainly employed and only attends courses on the side. There is also no entitlement to education allowances for children whose annual gross earned income exceeds CHF 28’680.
What if the children are abroad?
You may still be able to receive the allowances, but they will be curtailed by any amount of similar allowance being received from abroad. In this case the application for the allowance does require more paperwork.
There are also rules for deciding which of the two parents registers for the allowance if they are working or living in different cantons to each other.
Note: since these rules vary across cantons and can change regularly, do not rely on the above information but contact your local social office for a definite ruling.
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