Unemployment benefits I

Attention: These laws may not apply to you if you are a non-EU resident or / and if you are a holder of a student visa.

Germany´s social legislation, which encompasses all regulations regarding unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld I or ALG I) are very complex and often change. A detailed description of conditions, procedures and legislation on this website is therefore not feasible.

In case of impending unemployment, you should inform yourself about the rights and duties of the unemployed especially since belated personal notification of your status as unemployed may result in the reduction of benefits. To notify the unemployment agency of your current status, you can call the hotline (number below) or you can visit the website (address below). The website is also available in English and will give you more in depth information on your options as non-German resident.

Students are generally not entitled to claim unemployment benefits since they have not contributed to the social security system yet.

Whether you are entitled to claim benefits is best clarified in a personal consultation.

At any rate you should seek a consultation with your local unemployment agency.

More Information

Hotline Employment Agency
Phone: 0800-45 55 500 (employees)*

Internet: www.arbeitsagentur.de

Employment Agency Trier

Dasbachstraße 9
54292 Trier

Phone.: 01801/55 51 11 (employees)*
Fax: 0651/20 59 10 30 40

Mail: trier(at)arbeitsagentur.de

Employment Agency Birkenfeld

Schneewiesenstraße 26
55765 Birkenfeld

Phone: 01801/55 51 11 (empolyees)*

Mail: Birkenfeld(at)arbeitsagentur.de

Employment Agency Bad Kreuznach

Office Idar-Oberstein
Mainzer Str. 210
55743 Idar-Oberstein

Phone: 01801/55 51 11 (employees)*
Mail: idar-oberstein(at)arbeitsagentur.de

* This call exempts from charges

Fact sheets for download: www.arbeitsagentur.de/


Unemployment benefits II

Attention: These laws may not apply to you if you are a non-EU resident or / and if you are a holder of a student visa.

Please mind that this is an extremely shortened and simplified account of the regulations of unemployment benefits II. For more in depth information please contact your local unemployment agency. The complete text on unemployment benefits II may be found in the family brochure “Ganz nah am Leben” which can be obtained at the family service or downloaded on this website. However, at this point the brochure is only available in German language.

Who is eligible?

Eligible to receive unemployment benefit II are all employable and needy persons aged 15 to 65, if their usual country of residence is Germany. All non-Germans can receive benefits if they have a work permit or if the issue of such was possible. For the first three month of their residency, they will however not receive any unemployment benefits II.

Non-employable persons who share a household with other needy but employable persons, receive “Sozialgeld” (other form of benefit) to secure their needs.

Who is needy?

You are classified as needs if you cannot cover your own livelihood, cannot be integrated into the job market and cannot fully or partially cover the cost of living for people sharing a household with you.

What benefits are available?

  1. Standard benefit
  2. Increased benefits for:
  • Pregnant women from 13.th week on
  • Single parents of under-aged children
  • Disabled persons, who claim certain benefits in accordance with SGB IX and / or SGB XII (German social legislation)

as well as covering of costs of adequate accommodation and heating.


Students are not eligible to claim unemployment benefits II and are in consequence not eligible to receive contributions to their health insurance. Increased demands and additional benefits for family members are exempted from this exclusion of benefits. Where necessary, cost of accommodation and heating may be subsidized.

There is no right to benefits to secure your livelihood – with the exception of benefits for increased demands (e.g. in the case of pregnancy) or benefits for family members of the student – as long as the person in need is studying and therefore eligible to receive a public grant according to BAföG, the German public grants scheme, or eligible to receive support according to §§60-62 SGB III German social legislation. Whether e.g. the parental income is too high to actually receive a grant is not relevant.

If a student halts his studies for reasons of illness or pregnancy for a period up to three months, they will still continue to receive their government grant in accordance with §15 Sec. 2a BAföG, German public grants scheme. An exclusion of benefits as described above is therefore also valid in accordance with §7 Sec. 5 SGB II, German social legislation.

If the duration of the interruption in studies lasts longer than three months, the student loses their right to claim benefits in accordance with the public grants scheme. Benefits to support livelihood can be claimed without §7 Sec. 5 SGB II German Social legislation coming into effect.

More Informations:

Employment Agency:

Phone: 0800 4 5555 00 (employees)*
Phone Department for Child and Family Services (Familienkasse):

0800 4 5555 30 *

* Calls exempt from charges

Jobcenter Trier

Gneisenaustr. 38
54294 Trier

Phone: 0651 - 205-7000 (Benefits)
Phone: 0651 - 205-7100 (Agency of Employment)

Jobcenter Birkenfeld

Schneewiesenstraße 26
55765 Birkenfeld

Phone: 06782 - 99 30 56 (Market & Integration)
Phone: 06782 - 99 30 57 (Benefits)

Jobcenter Idar-Oberstein

Hauptstr. 86
55743 Idar-Oberstein

Phone: 06781 - 56 85 316 (Market & Integration)
Phone: 06781 - 5685-431, 432, 433, 434 (Benefits)

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