09. Parent-Independent Support and Maintenance Advance


Parent-independent support is certainly the simplest form of support, as the parents' income is not taken into account.
Parent-independent funding is granted if:

  • You are at least 30 years old when you start your studies. or
  • You have been gainfully employed for five years after your 18th birthday Periods of gainful employment do not have to be connected, they can also result from several part-time periods) or
  • you have been gainfully employed for three years after a training period of at least three years, or for a correspondingly longer period if the training period was shorter, so that a period of at least six years results.

Periods of employment also include periods of federal voluntary service, voluntary social or ecological year, development service and periods during which you received unemployment or sickness benefits. However, the income earned during these periods must have been sufficient to support yourself (except in the case of voluntary service). You can obtain more detailed information on this from the Office for Education Grants.

Advance maintenance payment

If your parents/one of your parents refuse to provide the calculated amount of income as cash maintenance (or to provide the necessary information about their income situation), it is possible to apply for advance payment ("Unterhaltsvorschuss").
The state of Berlin, represented by the studierendenWERK BERLIN, will then pay the maintenance contribution in advance, in whole or in part, if necessary, after the corresponding application has been submitted, the parents have been heard and the facts of the case have been examined.
In return, your maintenance claim against your parents/your parent is regularly transferred to the Land Berlin in the amount of the funds paid in advance (statutory transfer of claim). If a subsequent examination shows that your parents have a further obligation to support you for your higher education and that your parents have the corresponding financial capacity, the state can then claim the funding paid in advance from your parents/your parent; if necessary, this can also be done before the relevant family court.

If, on the other hand, the examination shows that your parents no longer have a further obligation to support you, you will then receive "quasi" non-parental support. Whether such a case exists, however, will be decided not least on the basis of current case law.

If your parents provide benefits in kind (e.g. accommodation and meals in the parental home), advance payments are only possible to a reduced extent or even not at all. You may then have to take legal action against your parents yourself and have the question of cash or in-kind maintenance clarified in the maintenance proceedings.