Child benefit is regulated on a cantonal basis in Switzerland. The cantons determine who receives allowances for children and in what amounts. Depending on the canton, these allowances are currently at least Fr. 200.00 per child. Here, the canton you work in is decisive. Entitlement to child benefit exists if at least one parent is in gainful employment or drawing daily benefits from the unemployment insurance fund. The benefits are paid by the employer or the unemployment insurance fund in the case of unemployed individuals. If you work on a part-time basis, you may only receive partial benefit or possibly no benefit at all, depending on the canton. Self-employed persons can receive allowances for children in the cantons of Bern, Lucerne, Schwyz, Nidwalden, Glarus, Basel-City, Basel-Land, Schaffhausen, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, St. Gallen, Waadt, Wallis, and Geneva. Persons who are not gainfully employed have a claim if their annual income does not exceed Fr. 41’760.00. Some cantons have drawn up more generous regulations.
To be able to pay out child benefit, the Family Compensation Fund requires the family register and the child's birth certificate.
The following homepage provides answers to questions about child benefit www.bsv.admin.ch Cantonal regulations on child benefit can be found on www.kinderzulage.ch
If you are a citizen of an EU or EFTA country, the bilateral agreements mean that you will receive full child benefit in the country you work in. However, if the other parent in the country the children live in is also in gainful employment, priority is given to the provisions of this country. The other country pays the benefit if the provisions there are greater than those of the country the children live in.
Depending on the canton, there are special regulations for citizens of countries outside the EU and EFTA. Thus, some cantons make payment of child benefit dependent on whether your country has entered into a social insurance agreement with Switzerland. Some cantons also have a graduated benefit system adapted to the spending power of the foreign country.
The following applies all over Switzerland: benefits for children living abroad are only paid to asylum seekers when they have obtained a fixed residence status in Switzerland. At this point, outstanding benefits are also paid retroactively.