According to the requirements of § 3 section 44 of the income tax (EStG) law, the scholarship is tax-free. In cases of doubt, a binding decision lies with the tax office of the scholarship holder.
The status of scholarship holder doesn't grant you health insurance. Law demands, however, that your health insurance is sufficiently covered. This means that scholarship holders are obliged to take out independent private or state insurance. If the scholarship holder is classified as a student (paragraph 5 section 9 SGB v) then she or he can be insured by the student health insurance. Doctoral candidates, however, do not belong to this group in the legal sense of the social security code. This means that they cannot insure themselves at the cheaper insurance health insurance tarif allowed for students. The University recommends therefore that the doctoral candidates should compare different health insurance providers, as their rates can vary significantly. In addition, the University recommends taking out an accident, indemnity and life insurance plan.
Scholarships are not classed as pay in accordance with § 14 of the social security code IV (SGB IV). This means that you do not pay social security contributions. Costs above the awarded funds (e.g. health insurance, sickness benefits, child benefit etc.) cannot be covered.
Child benefit is not included in the scholarship. An application should be made to the local employment office, at the Familienkasse (Family Office). If family members employed in the German civil service are on leave, then you can apply to the particular Office for Salaries and Benefits.
19. October 2017
The NachwuchsNewsletter 05/2017 is out and available for download here.