Understanding family benefits
Luxembourg does a lot to support families, particularly with childcare costs, and the general cost of education and child maintenance.
In most cases, to be entitled one parent must be making social security payments in Luxembourg. If you are working at an EU institution you may already be receiving family benefits (the amount will depend on each institution).
If one parent starts contributing to social security payments in Luxembourg, they will usually be asked to transfer their children to the CNS system, whilst the other parent will continue to be covered by the EU institution.
Every woman living and working (paying social security contributions) in Luxembourg is entitled to maternity leave, including those on apprenticeship contracts, self-employed or on a student seasonal contract.
Women must provide a medical certificate giving evidence of pregnancy to their employer at least four months before their due date, and the employer will send this to the CNS. Pre-natal examinations can be taken during working hours without loss of pay, and any trial or probationary period must be suspended until 12 weeks after the birth of the child.
You can find out more about maternity leave payments here, including entitlements when adopting a child.
This is not automatically applicable in Luxembourg so check first if you are entitled. Payment is as follows:
- Once before birth, to the mother of the child if she is resident in Luxembourg and affiliated or paying into the social security system (CCSS). It is usually paid upon the fifth medical examination before birth.
- Paid at birth (minimum of 22 weeks of gestation) to the mother residing in Luxembourg.
- After birth until the child is two years old, this allowance is paid if the child has been raised continuously in Luxembourg and undergoes the six medical examinations required before the child reaches two years.
There are different forms of parental leave.
A parent can opt for first parental leave, which is usually taken simultaneously at the end of maternity leave or second parental leave which must be taken before the child is six years old (12 years in the case of adoption). If one parent renounces their right to parental leave, it cannot be transferred to the other parent.
The first parental leave can be taken from the first day of the third week following the birth (or from the date of adoption).
The second parental leave must begin before the child is 6 years old or in the case of adoption, within six years of the date of adoption until the child is 12 years old.
You can find out about maternity and parental leave here.
Welfare allowances for children
Your family allowance will depend on whether your child was born or came to Luxembourg before or after 31 August 2016.
You can check your entitlements using the family allowance calculator available on the Just Arrived website here.
Family allowances are paid until the child is 18 years old provided that the child resides continuously in Luxembourg or that one parent is paying social security contributions and the child resides in an EU country.
This allowance can be extended beyond 18 years if the child remains in secondary education for at least 24 hours per week.
Back to school allowance
This is paid annually to children aged six years plus until the end of their secondary education.
Chéque Service Accueil (CSA)
This financial support is paid monthly for day nursery or out of school care for children up to the age of 12 years or the start of secondary school. It can be used to pay for childminders and after-school activities too.
Since the announcement that children aged 4-12 years will receive free childcare from September 2022 around school hours during term time from 7.00 to 19.00, this payment will be different for some parents, who can use it to pay for childcare during holiday periods or hours that extend beyond those stated.
For those with younger children, CSA allows for three hours of free care per week and a reduced rate of childcare, and is paid directly to the CSA provider who will deduct it from a parent’s monthly invoice. The amount calculated will depend on the number of children in a family, the income of the parents, and the number of hours of non-formal education each month.
You can apply for the "myCard fir Kanner" on this website, and the card will be valid until your child finishes primary education, although you must renew your subscription to the CSA annually.
If you wish to use your CSA allowance for after school sport, art or music activities, you should look for Prestataire CSA courses that will be covered by payment from the CSA.
You can find out how to apply for the CSA allowance here.
Disability child allowance
Monthly financial support that will vary according to your child's disability. You can find out how more here.
If you are resident or non-resident, and do not live with your child but pay maintenance, you can claim an income tax allowance for extraordinary charges – known as the CE allowance. Your maintenance payments must be the main support for your child or children, up to the age of 21 years, unless the child begins work before that age. Your CE allowance cannot exceed €4,020 per year per child.
There are scholarships and loans available to Luxembourg residents and citizens in higher education. These include:
- A student grant of €1,142 per semester (two payments per academic year)
- An additional grant based on income criteria of up to €2,210
- A mobility grant for those studying abroad of approximately €1,420
- A family grant (in some circumstances) of €274 per school year.
- A basic student loan is €3,250 per semester, at a fixed interest rate of 2%. Repayment must begin no later than two years after finishing studies, and must be completed within 10 years.
You can find more information on family benefits and allowances in Luxembourg on the government website.