Jobcenter Siegen-Wittgenstein

Glossary of terms



Aktivierungs- und Vermittlungsgutschein (Absence from Home)

It is vital that anyone receiving Unemployment Benefit II (ALGII) can be contacted daily by post so that the need for assistance can be overcome as quickly as possible.

If you go on a trip or on holiday you must therefore apply for “Absence from home” at your Jobcenter. The caseworker nominated will then check whether your holiday will prevent you from starting a job or participating in a scheme. If during your planned absence from home it is unlikely that there will be any vocational integration or scheme participation, the absence from home can generally be approved. Per year, on approval you may take a maximum of 21 days leave. On your return it is required that you report to the Jobcenter in person.

WARNING: Whoever goes away without permission risks losing benefits and services provided under UB II (ALGII) as well as sickness and accident insurance for the period of their absence!

Arbeitsgelegenheit (Activation and Placement Voucher)

Using an activation and placement voucher the Jobcenter can issue you with a voucher for participation in an employment scheme, either a measure with an employer or for a private job placement agency. The contents for this type of voucher will be determined as part of a discussion with your contact partner at the Jobcenter. You can then redeem the voucher before its expiry and in accordance with the content agreed. For the provider/employer/private job placement agency the voucher represents a guarantee that costs will be assumed – provided they can meet all the conditions attached to the voucher (such as measure content and location etc.) and that the voucher is still valid.

Antrag (Claim)                                                                                

You must submit a claim for social security benefits to secure your livelihood. These benefits are not generally paid for periods prior to the submission of the claim. You should therefore make your claim as quickly as possible at your Jobcenter. You can submit your claim formlessly either in writing, by telephone or in person. However, the requisite documents will have to be submitted subsequently. Your claim essentially also includes a claim for benefits on behalf of any additional persons living with you as one dependent household constituting a “community of need” (Bedarfsgemeinschaft). If members of your dependent household themselves become or form a dependent household - for example on reaching the age of 25 - these persons must then submit their own claim. If you are not able to make a claim because of the weekend or public holidays this will have no negative effect on your claim provided your claim is made on the next day that the Jobcenter is open.

Arbeitsunfähigkeit (Incapacity to Work)    

In case of incapacity to work you will still be protected as part of the social security scheme and will receive benefits to the same amount as paid before under Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II). If subsequent to making a claim or whilst receiving basic social security benefits you become unable to work through illness, you must inform us immediately of your incapacity to work and submit medical certification regarding the condition and its foreseeable duration. Should your incapacity to work last longer than initially certified by the doctor you must submit a further medical certificate. If you become able to work again, please also notify us immediately.

Auszahlung (Payment)                                                                          

Social security benefits to ensure means of subsistence are paid in advance for each month that help is needed. Each full month is calculated as having 30 calendar days. If benefits are not due for a full month, each day will be paid at a rate of 1/30th of the monthly benefit rate in the case of part months at the start and end of benefit entitlement.

In addition, the Jobcenter ensures that you will be able to access the payment on the first working day of the respective month in progress. The Jobcenter has no influence over possible delays such as late crediting to your account or delayed delivery of the payment order for clearance. When you can expect to receive the first transfer also depends on when you submit the claim documents. The claim will be processed as quickly as possible but it does take a certain amount of time. So please submit your complete claim and supporting documents as early as possible. Only then can we start processing your claim.



Barcheckverfahren (Cash payment)                                                                     

If you do not have a bank account with a bank in Germany, your benefit payment can be made using a “cashable payment order”. You or your authorised representative can have the amount paid to you in cash at any German Post Office or German Post Bank payment point. However, a flat-rate charge of €2.85 will be deducted from your benefit for this service. If you are able to furnish proof that you are unable to open a bank account, the charge will not be deducted. However, the following charges for cash payments will be deducted by the payment provider over which the responsible benefit agency has no influence: €3.50 fee for a cash payment up to 50 Euros, €4.00 for between 50 and 250 Euros, for 250 to 500 Euros the fee is €5.00, for between 500 and 1,000.00 Euros you will pay €6.00 and for 1,000.00 to 1,500.00 Euros the charge is €7.50.

Bedarfsgemeinschaft (Dependent household)         

Generally speaking, the dependent household (Bedarfsgemeinschaft – literally “community of need”) is identical to your family. This will comprise of:

  1. The benefit applicant, who is able to work or “employable”,
  2. Any parent/parents of an unmarried “child” still under the age of 25 and any partner of said parent living in the household,
  3. The spouse of the employable benefit applicant cohabiting as a partner and not permanently separated; any person living with the employable benefit applicant in a consensual union (e.g. civil partnership) or a life partner not living in permanent separation,
  4. Any unmarried children under the age of 25 of the persons listed in points 1-3 above that belong to the household.

Children under the age of 25 are not considered part of their parents’ dependent household if they can meet their own needs through income of their own or if they have a child themselves. In these cases, they form their own dependent household (separate community of need) together with their offspring. If the parents are not able to work they nevertheless constitute a dependent household together with their children under the age of 25 if at least one of these children is able to work, i.e. at least 15 years of age.

Bescheide und Rechtsbehelfe (Decisions and Appeals (Legal Remedies))                                      

Your Jobcenter will inform you in writing of their decision regarding your claim for benefit, as well as with regard to every subsequent change. You will also receive a written decision if your claim is rejected or can only be granted in part, if the benefit is reduced or has to be stopped completely or if you have wrongly received the benefits and have to repay them.



Chancengleichheit (Equal Opportunity)

The theme of “Equal Opportunities in the Labour Market” has been taken up at all political levels. The long-term objective is to have the same pay and the same chances when applying for jobs for all people regardless of gender, age, origin or religion.



Eingliederungsvereinbarung (Integration Agreement)                   

You and your contact at the Jobcenter will make an agreement on how to achieve your integration in the labour market. This so called “Integration Agreement” stipulates how you will contribute to this. The integration agreement, which is a legal requirement, is intended to last for six months but can currently be concluded for up to twelve months and can be amended if required. The agreement may also be extended upon expiry of the agreed time.

Einkommen (Income)                                                                     

Unemployment Benefit II (Arbeitslosengeld II) and the new Social Assistance Allowance (Sozialgeld) will only be paid to an individual who cannot sufficiently provide by their own means for their own basic subsistence needs and those of any relatives living with them as part of a dependent household. Therefore, first and foremost, the income and assets of all members of the dependent household are taken into account, subject to certain conditions. This is why in the claim form as well as in the income declaration and statement of earnings information on the income situation of other persons living in the household is required. You can find details as to who constitutes your dependent household in the section ‘Dependent Household [Bedarfsgemeinschaft]’.

Income includes, for example, any earnings from employment or self-employment, benefits in lieu of earned income - such as unemployment or sickness benefit/sick pay, income from capital or interest earnings, income from renting or leasing, maintenance allowance, child benefit, pension income and income from shares.

Einstiegsgeld (Integration Bonus)                                                   

If you start gainful employment that is subject to social security contributions or become self-employed, the Jobcenter may pay you a bonus for a limited period of time to help overcome any need you may experience initially – this is called an Integration Bonus. Your contact at the Jobcenter will decide whether the integration bonus is needed to help smooth your integration into the labour market - there is no legal entitlement to this bonus. The bonus is mostly granted for 6 months but may also be awarded for shorter or longer period, but can only be paid for a maximum of 24 months in addition to Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II). The amount of the bonus and the duration for which it is paid depends on the prior period of unemployment and the size of any dependent household you may have.

Erwerbsfähig (Employable)                                                                         

Anyone who is at least 15 years old and has not yet reached 65 and who can perform work under normal labour market conditions for at least three hours per day and who is not prevented from doing so because of illness or disability for the foreseeable future is deemed to be employable. You are also deemed to be “employable” if you temporarily cannot be expected to engage in gainful employment, for example if you are bringing up a child under the age of three or if you are still attending school.



Freibeträge für Vermögen (Exempted Amounts regarding Assets)

You and your partner are allowed a basic exemption amount of 150 Euros per person for each completed year of age up to a maximum of 9,750 Euros respectively, but in any case a minimum of 3,100 Euros each. If you were born before 1st January 1948, then a higher ex- emption amount of 520 Euros for each completed year of age applies up to a maximum of 33,800 Euros each. The minimum exemption amount of 3,100 Euros also applies for each eligible underage child.

Savings ensuing from so-called Riester Retirement Plans including any accrued profits are not taken into account as assets. The condition being that the recipient may not use the asset before it matures. Other assets for the purposes of pension savings are also exempt up to a maximum of 250 Euros for each completed year of age for the employable benefit recipient and his partner. The maximum exemption amount is 16,250 Euros respectively. The condition being that the access to these pension funds prior to retirement has be contractually and irrevocably excluded. In addition there is an extra exemption of 750 Euros per person living in the dependent household for one-off purchases.

Other items that will not be taken into account as assets include, for example; reasonable household effects - this includes any objects that are needed or considered to be normal for running a household and everyday life; an appropriate motor vehicle for each employable benefit recipient; or in the case of exemption from statutory pension contributions, certain objects and rights intended to provide for old age/retirement.

If you or your partner are exempted from the state pension scheme, any assets that can be proven as provision for old age will not be taken into account. However, it must be unequivocally clear that any such assets are intended as provision for your retirement. Proof of this would for example be an endowment life assurance policy maturing no earlier than your 60th birthday.

Also not included would be an appropriate self-owned apartment or premises that you live in yourself. This also extends to assets for the purpose of purchasing or maintaining an appropriate premises for disabled persons or persons requiring care or assets earmarked for the purchase or maintenance of any such premises. The condition with regard to the latter being that the premises are, or are intended for residential use by disabled individuals or persons requiring care and that the use or realisation of these assets jeopardises this.

Also exempt are objects and rights, the liquidation of which would obviously be uneconomic. It is not a question here of the extent to which future profits or yields would be forfeited through liquidation. The overriding factor is the current intrinsic or breakdown value. If the liquidation of said asset were to realise a value more than ten percent below the intrinsic value, liquidation is obviously uneconomical.



Geldauszahlung (Payment of Money)                                                 

Generally any basic social security benefits are transferred free of charge onto your account at any bank in the Federal Republic of Germany. On the recommendation of the Central Credit Committee (ZKA), all banks that normally manage giro accounts for all sections of the population, should provide any citizen with a giro account (credit account) on request, unless special reasons pertaining to the individual exist which make this unreasonable. In order to have your money transferred you must either be the account holder, or – in the case of a joint account – one of the joint account holders. Individual amounts under ten Euros shall not be paid but accumulated until the amount is exceeded. If no payment has been made for more than six months, any accumulated amount will be paid even if less than 10 Euros.



Hilfebedürftig (In Need of Help)                                                                              

You are considered to be in need of help, if you are unable or unable to provide sufficiently to ensure your livelihood and integration into the workplace and for the livelihood of any persons living with you as part of a dependent household through your own efforts and means. This is conditional upon you utilising your ability to work, take up suitable employment, use your own income and assets and that of your partner and assert your priority entitlements to social security benefits and entitlements to maintenance benefits/payments.



Kinderzuschlag (Supplementary Children’s Allowance)                              

Low-income parents who are able to finance their own basic requirements with their Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) and Social Assistance Allowance (Sozialgeld) benefits, but not the minimum requirements of their underage children, or only part thereof. Supplementary children’s allowance is up to 185 Euros per month per child. It is paid for a maximum of 36 months. No entitlement to Supplementary Children’s Allowance can exist prior to January 2005. Parents with an entitlement to Unemployment Benefit II and Social Assistance Allowance can receive Supplementary Children’s Allowance. It must, however be applied for separately.

The beneficiary is the parent who lives with the underage children in the same household and who receives Child Benefit for these children. The parents must have at least sufficient income and assets that they are able to cover their own minimum requirements (lower threshold). At the same time their income and assets may not exceed the total sum of their own minimum requirement together with the full amount of the Supplementary Children’s Allowance for all underage children (upper threshold).

If a child has its own income and assets this lessens the Supplementary Children’s Allowance. If after deducting this child’s income and assets there is a residual amount of Supplementary Children’s Allowance this is offset against any income and assets of the parents that exceed the lower threshold. In doing so only 70 percent of any income from gainful employment is deducted with other income and assets of the parents being deducted in full.

Only if the beneficiaries have an entitlement to Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) and the supplement after being in receipt of ALG I (as per Section 24 SGB II), is there an option to claim either Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) plus the supplement or the Supplementary Children’s Allowance. The two benefits cannot be granted in parallel – one excludes the other.

Krankenkassenwahl (Choosing a Health Insurance Fund)                        

If prior to receiving Unemployment Benefit II you were not insured with a statutory health insurance fund because, for example, you were in receipt of Social Assistance Allowance, please register with a statutory health insurance provider and then submit your membership certificate to us. You may choose one of the following insurance funds: either the AOK (General Health Insurance Scheme) where you live; an alternative health insurance provider or Ersatzkasse that covers your area, or alternatively a company/craft guild health insurance scheme (Betriebs-/Innungskrankenkasse) if you had previously been employed in a company or craft guild and thus have access to such a scheme or if the statutes of the company/craft guild health insurance scheme in question allow membership of an individual not working for the company or craft guild. If you do not choose a health insurance provider, the Jobcenter will allocate you to a selectable health insurance provider.

Kranken- und Pflegeversicherung (Health and Nursing Care Insurance)

As a beneficiary of Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) you are compulsorily insured with a statutory provider in respect of health and long-term care insurance unless it is possible for you to be insured as part of a family policy (i.e. through a partner). The flat-rate payments for your health and long-term care insurance will be paid by the Jobcenter at the rates stipulated by law. The exception here is that if you are in receipt of Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) in the form of a loan or are only receiving benefits for the initial furnishing of accommodation or for clothing, including pregnancy or birth or you have multi-day school trips. Generally speaking, the Jobcenter will register you with the same statutory health and care insurance fund that you were insured with before receiving benefits.

Krankenversicherungsbeginn (Commencement of Health Insurance)

Your Jobcenter will not insure you until your claim has been approved. Basically your insurance cover will begin retrospectively as of the first day you receive benefits. You should take note of this particularly if there is a delay in submitting your claim or if it takes longer than usual to process your claim. If you need to call on your health insurance provider’s services during this period you should, as a precautionary measure conclude an agreement for provisional insurance cover with your insurer for you and your family for this period. If you unlawfully claim benefits you will have to take into account that you will not only have to repay overpaid benefits but also reimburse the health and care insurance contributions as well.

Kündigung und Wechsel der Krankenkasse (Giving Notice and Changing Health Insurance Provider)

You are free to choose another health insurance provider if you have given proper notice to your previous provider. You are bound remain with the chosen health insurance fund for a minimum period of 18 months. After this period, you are free to give notice to terminate your membership during any month and this will become effective at the end of the month following the subsequent month, i.e. two months later.

Should your health insurer increase your contribution rate you automatically have an exceptional right to terminate membership. The health insurance fund is solely responsible for deciding whether your choice of health insurance provider is effective, not your Jobcenter. As a member of an agricultural health insurance provider you cannot elect to change to a different type of provider. Should you change your health insurance provider please provide your agency with a membership certificate for the new provider with your benefits claim – or if you change at a later point in time, immediately thereafter. You will be able to see from your claim decision and amendment letters with which health insurance provider you are insured. Your health insurance provider will be notified by the Jobcenter of start and end dates and any interruptions regarding your receipt of benefit.



Leistungen (Benefits/Services)                                             

Basic social security benefits for jobseekers include non-cash benefits and services such as information, advice and support from a contact at the Jobcenter, as well as financial benefits which are intended to help integrate the employable benefit recipient into work and ensure his subsistence and that of any persons living in his dependent household.

The most important job search benefits services are placement and advice, continuous individual case support (case management), reimbursement of  application costs and travelling expenses for interviews, participation in training measures, help with mobility, support for vocational further training and the participation of disabled individuals in working life, integration grants to employers, job creation schemes, job opportunities, employment creating infrastructure measures and placement vouchers. 

There are however benefit services that are aimed at helping when starting out in work – such as support for underage or disabled children or home care for relatives, debt and addiction counselling, psycho-social support, job start funding when starting work or becoming self-employed and benefits in line with the Phased Retirement Act (Altersteilzeitgesetz). There is no legal entitlement to the latter examples mentioned.

Leistungsanspruch (Entitlement to Benefit)                        

All employable persons deemed to be eligible for benefits between the ages of 15 and 65 years have an entitlement to Unemployment Benefit II if they reside in the Federal Republic of Germany. Foreign citizens must also have permission to take up employment in Germany or it must be permissible for them to do so. Exceptions here however are foreign citizens whose right to stay arises solely from the purpose of looking for employment; their family members; as well as those entitled to benefits in accordance with the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz). Persons living with an employable beneficiary in a so-called dependent household (Bedarfsgemeinschaft) may also be entitled to benefits. Persons receiving a pension due to their age or who are in hospital for a period of more than six months are not entitled to the benefit. According to SGB II, detainees lose any entitlement they may have as of the first day of their imprisonment, the exception being that they are employed under the normal conditions of the general labour market for at least 15 hours per week on day release. Generally speaking, apprentices, school pupils and students have no benefit entitlement either.

Leistungsdauer (Benefit Duration)                                                                            

Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II) is payable for an unlimited period of time if the prerequisites for entitlement such as eligibility through the need for assistance exist in the long term. In order to be able to assess need, benefits will only be granted for periods of six months at a time. If it is clear upon the submission of a claim that the need for help is only temporary, the time for which benefit is paid will be shortened accordingly. An extension may also be possible in exceptional cases.

Leistungsmissbrauch (Benefit Abuse/Fraud)                                                 

Amongst other things, we are using modern data processing methods and are working comprehensively with other authorities and agencies to uncover benefit abuse and fraud and will severely punish and pursue this in order to protect the tax-paying community.



Maßnahmen bei einem Arbeitgeber / betriebliche Trainingsmaßnahme (Employer-based Measure / In-company Training Measures)

An employer-based measure or scheme may qualify for funding or support from the Jocenter if the employer is interested in offering you employment within the scope of national insurance but is uncertain whether your vocational proficiency meets the requirements of the job (for example due to a lack of vocational training).

On an individual case basis, your Jobcenter placement officer can determine whether you need to improve your vocational skills. To this end an in-company training measure may also be implemented at the employer’s business.

In both cases the placement officer is required to examine the situation and agree to the measures.

Since assignment through the Jobcenter makes this a funded measure, you may, amongst other things, be able to apply for Jobcenter reimbursement of your travelling expenses to the job during the period of the measure.

WARNING: Without prior registration and clarification with the Jobcenter any work undertaken with an employer without a contract of employment is deemed to be illicit work and will be prosecuted as such! Also refer to Work Trial.

Mehrbedarfe (Additional Needs)               

The term additional needs is used for additional costs not covered by the standard benefit allowance. These additional costs may be assumed in the form of flat-rate payments under certain circumstances, for example for: expectant mothers from the 13th week of pregnancy; single parents depending on the age and number of children; disabled persons; or for special diets if a more expensive diet is confirmed as necessary for medical reasons. The total amount required for additional needs may not exceed the standard benefit allowance.

Meldepflicht (Reporting Obligation)                                            

During the period you are claiming basic social security benefits for jobseekers, you have an obligation to report in person to your agency or other agency office, and - if required to do so - to attend a medical or psychological examination. Any such request may also serve the purpose of preparing for decisions as part of benefit proceedings or checking that benefit eligibility requirements are met, i.e. need for assistance. In case of illness, the Jobcenter can also determine that your obligation to report in person shall apply as of the first day that you are fit to work. You are then obligated to report in person on this day. The obligation to report in person also applies during complaints or appeals proceedings if you are claiming benefits at this time. If you are unable to report please contact your agency immediately and state the reason to avoid the imposition of sanctions.

Mietschulden (Rent Arrears)                                                                           

Rent arrears may be assumed in the form of a loan if the following conditions are met:

  1. The assumption of the rent debt is the only way to avoid losing your accommodation
  2. The debt will only be assumed if the accommodation is worth keeping
  3. The accommodation has to be appropriate with regard to cost and size
  4. Every self-help possibility has been exhausted.

If you live in your own house or apartment the following charges also count towards accommodation costs – these include: appropriate levels of mortgage interest, local rates, homeowner’s insurance, ground rent and the same incidental costs as apply to rented accommodation. Capital repayments are not recognised as a cost since they are related to asset accumulation, which is incompatible with the purpose of a welfare benefit such as Unemployment Benefit II. 

Mitwirkungs- und Mitteilungspflichten (Obligations to Cooperate and Notify)

Your cooperation is required for us to be able to check your claim and reach a decision. You must supply all the facts relevant with regard to the benefit claimed and requested in the claim form. If third parties are required to provide information you have to consent to those persons providing the requisite information. If proof or verification is required such as certificates, you must specify these or present them yourself. In addition and without being requested to do so, you have an obligation to inform the Jobcenter immediately of any changes to the details you have provided that occur subsequently. Only in this way is it possible to pay the correct amount of benefit and avoid overpayments. This also applies to changes in your circumstances that may have a retrospective effect on the amount of benefit you receive, such as a backdated pension award.

You must tell us immediately if you start work even in a self-employed capacity or as a helping family member. Do not rely on the promises of others to declare that you have started work on your behalf. The responsibility for this rests with you alone. Please inform us immediately even if: you as an employable recipient of benefits become unfit for work due to illness and when you are fit to work again; if you claiming or are awarded maternity benefits or other, similar benefits; if you claim or receive any type of pension, especially a pension due to reduced earning capacity; or if you change address.

You must also notify us if you marry or enter into consensual union or life-partnership or if you separate from your partner; if there is any change in your income or assets or those of your partner and/or relatives in your dependent household; if you or your spouse / life partner receive any yields from assets (such as interest or dividends), or if you receive a tax rebate. Please also bear in mind that should you conclude a contract with regard to new accommodation it is necessary to obtain prior consent from the responsible agency regarding the amount of the expense for the new accommodation.

Please inform us immediately of any changes and ensure that information you provide is complete and correct. It is especially in your interest to observe this obligation to cooperate. If you make incomplete or false statements, or fail to notify us of changes immediately or completely, you will not only have to repay any benefits wrongly received you may also have committed an offence or crime. The same obligations apply with regard to the members of the dependent household or the person representing the same. The obligation on the part of the dependent household to notify changes can also be met by the dependent household’s representative.



Notfälle (Emergency Situations)                                                               

In some particular circumstances non-cash or cash benefits may be granted in the form of a loan to help avoid emergency situations. The loan will then be repaid through monthly deductions from your regular monthly benefit payments.



Ortsabwesenheit (Absence from Home)         

It is vital that anyone receiving Unemployment Benefit II (ALGII) can be contacted daily by post so that the need for assistance can be overcome as quickly as possible.

If you go on a trip or on holiday you must therefore apply for “Absence from home” at your Jobcenter. The caseworker nominated will then check whether your holiday will prevent you from starting a job or participating in a scheme. If during your planned absence from home it is unlikely that there will be any vocational integration or scheme participation, the absence from home can generally be approved. Per year, on approval you may take a maximum of 21 days leave. On your return it is required that you report to the Jobcenter in person.

WARNING: Whoever goes away without permission risks losing benefits and services provided under UB II (ALGII) as well as sickness and accident insurance for the period of their absence!



Probezeit (Work Trial)                      

Often a “Work Trial” is agreed with an employer. Any work trial which has not been registered and approved by the Jobcenter/Employment Agency is generally deemed to be illicit work and can have legal repercussions for you. In addition to this, there is often no accident insurance in place for this work, which can also have unforeseen consequences for you in the case of an accident at work.

If a “Work Trial” is suggested to you, contact your placement officer immediately. The officer can then check whether an Employer-based measure  / in-company training measure could be worth considering instead. In this way, any costs incurred in relation to this could be reimbursed on application and the written contact to the employer via the Jobcenter ensures that you will not suffer any negative consequences.

In the case of 1-2 day “Work Trials” to assess aptitude for a job, you can register a so-called “extended job interview” at the Jobcenter – no additional documents are required for this.

Pfändung (Arrestment)                                                       

Social security benefits to ensure means of subsistence are normally unseizeable and may therefore not be transferred or subject to arrestment. If the benefit to which you are entitled are transferred onto an account at your bank, the payment amount can only be subject to arrestment or offset against a demand from your bank seven days after being credited. Within this period your bank has to pay out the benefit to you if requested.



Regelleistung (Standard Benefit)                   

In addition to requirements for food, personal care, household goods and the needs of everyday life, standard benefit also includes an amount for participation in social and cultural life. It is an all-inclusive payment to cover the recurring and one-off costs of daily life. The full standard benefit allowance is currently 432.00 Euros per month and is payable to single persons, single parents and persons who have a partner that is still a minor.



Sachleistungen (Non-Cash Benefits)   

The standard benefit allowance may be paid wholly or in part as non-cash benefits in the form of vouchers if the cash benefits paid to you are used up too quickly because of your uneconomical behaviour. Such behaviour is evident if you repeatedly use up the benefit too early. This could also be the case if you fail to adjust your lifestyle to the amount of benefit to which you are entitled and you therefore need to apply for an additional loan to bridge the gap.

Sanktionen (Sanctions)   

Existing on an equal footing alongside the principle of providing support is the principle of making demands in return – “carrot and stick”.  Accordingly you are obligated to undertake concrete steps to eliminate your need for assistance. This means you must make every effort to end your unemployment and actively participate in all measures that support this objective. If you fail to meet this obligation without due cause (appropriate justification) this will have far-reaching sanctions in the form of reductions in or even removal of benefits as a consequence. This is also true in cases of other breaches of duty such as breaking off a reasonable job rehabilitation measure or failures regarding a request to report in person.

Sanktionen bei pflichtwidrigen Verhalten (Sanctions in the Case of Breaches of Obligations)       

If, despite having been informed of the legal consequences, you refuse: to conclude an integration agreement; to fulfil obligations arising from an integration agreement; to take up or to continue in “reasonable work”, a “reasonable training opportunity” or a job opportunity (job creation measure); or even refuse reasonable work deemed to be in the public interest, sanctions will come into force. When sanctions kick in, your monthly standard benefit allowance will be reduced by 30% in the first phase. In addition any temporary additional benefits granted in addition to entitlement to unemployment benefit also lapse.

Sanctions will also apply if - upon reaching the age of 18- you: have deliberately reduced your income or assets with the intention of becoming eligible for or effecting an increase in Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II); failed to amend your uneconomic behaviour in spite of having been informed of the legal consequences, for example by having constantly high telephone or electricity bills; do not receive Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II), because your entitlement has been suspended or discontinued or because you fulfil the requirements for the imposition of a disqualification period, which would lead to the suspension or lapsing of your entitlement to unemployment benefit.

Sanktionen bei Abbruch von Eingliederungsmaßnahmen (Sanctions in the Case of Discontinuing an Integration Measure)

A breach of duty exists if you discontinue a reasonable measure for (re-) introduction to the labour market or have given cause for its discontinuation. For example, this would be the case if you culpably compromise the progress of the measure, endanger the success of the measure or if it could not be expected of the measure provider to allow you to continue – for example given repeated unexcused absence or gross disregard for teaching or company rules.

Sanktionen bei Verletzung der Meldepflicht  (Sanctions in the Case of Breach of Reporting Obligations)

If you fail to respond to a request to report in person to your agency or to appear at a medical or psychological examination without due cause (appropriate justification) your Unemployment Benefit II will be subject to a first phase reduction of ten percent of the standard benefit allowance together, where applicable, with the lapse of any temporary additional benefit linked to the entitlement to unemployment benefit.

Sanktionen bei wiederholter Pflichtverletzung (Sanctions in the Case of Repeated Breach of Obligations)

If you repeatedly breach your obligations your Unemployment Benefit II will be further reduced by another 30 percent of your standard benefit allowance. In such cases benefits to meet additional needs, accommodation and heating costs and other requirements may also be affected. Given a reduction in the standard benefit allowance by more than 30 percent, supplementary non-cash benefits may be provided to an appropriate extent. Should there be a repeat breach of the obligation to report in person, Unemployment Benefit II will be further reduced by an additional ten percent.

Sanktionsdauer (Duration of Sanctions)                     

Regardless of whether the breach of obligations has ceased in the meantime, each reduction or lapse of benefits will last for a period of three months. If a further breach of obligations occurs during this period, a new three-month period will begin which could partially overlap with the first.

Sanktionen bei Sozialgeld (Sanctions for Recipients of the new Social Assistance Allowance) 

Sanctions will come into effect for beneficiaries of the new Social Assistance Allowance (Sozialgeld) if there is a failure to comply with a request by the agency to report in person or to appear for a medical or psychological examination – despite having been requested to do so and informed in writing of the legal consequences. Also if upon reaching the age of 18 you have deliberately reduced your income or assets with the intention of becoming eligible for or effecting an increase in the new Social Assistance Allowance, or you have failed to amend your uneconomic behaviour in spite of having been informed of the legal consequences, you will have to expect sanctions.

Sanktionen - wichitger Grund(Sanctions – Due Cause (Appropriate Justification))

Sanctions will not come into force if there is due cause or appropriate justification for your actions or behaviour. Due cause is only deemed to exist if, when considering your individual interests against public interest, yours carry more weight. Given the clear rules and regulations pertaining to ‘reasonableness’, it is only possible to acknowledge due cause for refusing work in exceptional circumstances. For example, due cause with regard to giving up or refusing work would be given, if performing the work would compromise the upbringing of a child under the age of three; if the care of a relative is not compatible with doing the work and there is no other way of ensuring this care; or if you are not capable of performing certain tasks for physical, mental or psychological reasons.

There is no due cause or appropriate justification, for example, if the distance to the new place of work involves more travel time, if employment is offered with less favourable working conditions or if the task does not match your present qualifications.

Sonderregelungen für Sanktionen bei unter 25-Jähringen (Special Rules for Sanctions for Persons under 25)          

If you are between the age of 15 and 25 years, any breaches of obligations - with the exception of failure to report in person - will result in your benefit payments for basic jobseekers allowance being discontinued for the duration of the sanction period. Neither will you have any entitlement to additional subsistence benefits for this period. In such a case only your accommodation and heating costs will be assumed and these will be paid directly to your landlord. However you may receive supplementary non-cash benefits or cash-equivalent benefits.

Sozialgeld (The New Social Assistance Allowance)

Persons eligible for benefits but who are unable to work and who live with an employable beneficiary in a dependent household will receive the new Social Assistance Allowance to ensure their means of subsistence, unless they have a benefit entitlement in accordance with Book XII of the German Social Security Code (SGB XII). Recipients of a temporary pension due to partial or total reduction of earning capacity may also have an entitlement. Members of a dependent household who are recipients of a permanent pension due to a complete reduction of earning capacity or have reached the age of 65 have no entitlement to the new Social Assistance Allowance.

The new Social Assistance Allowance (Sozialgeld) consists of benefits to ensure subsistence, benefits for additional requirements as part of subsistence, benefits to cover accommodation and heating and possible entitlement to a loan given an irrefutable need in individual cases. There is no right here to the payment of a supplement linked to the receipt of unemployment benefit. The amount of the standard benefit allowance and the additional requirements is equivalent to Unemployment Benefit II.



Daily Commute Zone                  

It is stipulated in Book III of the Social Security Statute Book (Section 140 SGBIII) which commute times can be expected of an employee when travelling to their place of work.

In the case of a full-time position with at least 6 hours of work per day, daily total journey times of 2.5 hours (by car or public transport) are deemed reasonable. 

For part-time jobs with a maximum of 6 hours, commute times of up to 2 hours are reasonable.



Umzug (Moving House)                                                         

If you move house the Jobcenter may assume the costs of your move. However, in order for this to happen, you must obtain confirmation from your Jobcenter that they will assume the costs for the new accommodation prior to concluding a contract with the new landlord. This will generally be approved if the move is necessary and the costs for the new accommodation are deemed appropriate. Appropriate payments may also be made directly to your landlord or to another eligible recipient if the intended use of funds cannot be guaranteed in any other way.

A decision regarding payment of a rent deposit has to be made by the Jobcenter at your new place of residence.

Unterkunft und Heizung (Accommodation and Heating)                            

The Jobcenter can assume appropriate accommodation and heating costs in the actual amounts spent. The appropriateness of costs for accommodation depends for example on the number and age of family members, the number of rooms, local rent levels and local housing market opportunities. Moving house will only be considered if the accommodation is inappropriately large and the costs inappropriately high. Moving into smaller or cheaper accommodation will only happen in individual cases – if at all.

Urlaub (Holiday)                                             

If you travel or go on holiday and are in receipt of benefits through Unemployment Benefit II (ALGII) you must file an application for absence (Absence from home).



Vermittlungsbudget (Placement Budget)                             

The Placement Budget is intended to support your vocational integration. After prior discussion with your nominated placement officer items such as application expenses or travelling expenses for job interviews can be paid with this budget. It is however important that the placement officer confirms that your efforts are expedient and meaningful with regard to your vocational integration.

If there is chance of you starting work and the employment contract has been signed, costs such as moving house may also be