Many pages of forms, some in very small braille. It contains technical terms that cannot be understood without studying the supplementary information material: basic parental allowance, parental allowance plus, partner months, partnership bonus, assessment period. This is what parents can expect when they apply for parental allowance. No wonder new moms and dads want professional help. If you enter “Elterngeldberatung” in the search engine, you will quickly find what you are looking for. But what good are such service providers? Finanztest examined four commercial and four non-profit providers in a total of 40 consultations. Result: Above all, the commercial consultants specializing in parental allowance recognize typical parental allowance pitfalls – and thus bring in thousands of euros more parental allowance for their customers. We show where you have to be careful in the run-up to the application – and where the advice is sometimes lacking.
More parental allowance with advice
Why the parental benefit advice test is worthwhile for you
- test results. Stiftung Warentest examined 8 parental allowance advice centers and conducted a total of 40 interviews. We graded the consulting service. The grades ranged from 1.6 (good) to 3.2 (satisfactory).
- The best parental allowance advice for you. You can find out where parents can get free advice on the subject of parental allowance and where parental allowance advice works best.
- Tips and Tricks. We reveal how you can legally optimize your parental allowance.
- Magazine article as PDF. After activation, you will receive the magazine article from Finanztest 1/2023 for download.
Eight parental allowance advice centers in the test
The test included the four non-profit counseling centers from Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO), Caritas, Diakonie and Pro familia. These institutions have a fairly large network of advice centers spread across the Federal Republic and, in addition to the usually free advice on parental allowance, they also offer assistance on other topics. In addition, we took advantage of counseling sessions at the four commercial parental allowance counseling centers “Einfach Elterngeld”, Elterngeldexperten, Elterngeld.net and Elterngelden. The test shows that these specialists often know more about the details – and so the test winner is a commercial consulting company.
How much does parental benefit advice cost?
Parental benefit advice is often free of charge, especially with non-profit providers. Overall, the price for a consultation (without the application service) ranged between 0 and 129 euros. Parents can also ask questions directly to the parental allowance authorities. This official advice is also free of charge.
Tip: If you want to explore the topic of parental allowance yourself, you can find help in our special How the parental allowance application works and can also post questions there. Our articles on parental allowance provide in-depth information: entitlement, duration, amount, calculation and how to apply for parental leave.