Home > Courses >

Social welfare

Basic security benefits for registered job-seekers

According to § 7 Sect. 5 Social Security Code, Book II (SGB II), students who are essentially eligible for BAföG are in principle not entitled to receive subsistence money, whether or not BAföG is actually paid. Under the following circumstances, it may be possible for students to receive basic security benefits.

Leave of absence

During leave of absence due to maternity leave or pregnancy, students are not considered students according to § 7 Sect. 5 SGB II. Therefore, they are eligible for unemployment pay II or social welfare, if they are in a financial emergency, unable to support themselves (e.g. by working) and cannot receive the necessary support from someone else. Proof of leave of absence needs to be produced together with the application. It is not necessary to de-register as a student.

Important:  If you want to claim benefits according to SGB II, please note that they can only be granted from the moment of application and cannot be backdated to the beginning of the leave of absence.

Cases of hardship

Students may be accorded unemployment pay II in special cases of hardship (§7 Sect.5 SGB II). According to the legislative authorities, “general hardship” is not sufficient to claim subsidy. Extraordinary, severe, atypical circumstances that are preferably not brought on by one's own fault need to be the reason that prevented the swift progression of your education or caused the emergency. All other hardship provisions (according to BAföG or other, overriding laws) must be exhausted first. A special hardship may occur at the end of the studies, if working alongside one's studies is no longer possible without jeopardising the completion of the course of study. Unemployment pay II in cases of hardship can only be granted as a loan.

Pregnant women and students with children

Needs unrelated to studies (e.g. increased demand connected to pregnancy from the thirteenth week of pregnancy, or to single parenthood and to the needs of members of the household who are not studying) are not effected by the exclusion. If the demand cannot be covered with income and/or assets and benefits from other social security providers, you may be eligible to claim increased demand for the person who studies as well as on-going payments according to SGB II, e.g. for children or partners who are not students. Students who are otherwise excluded from entitlement to benefits according to SGB II may also claim basic equipment for pregnancy and childbirth. Upon application, you may claim a layette (lump-sum) and furniture/equipment (as required, e.g. changing unit, pram etc.) for the baby. Basic equipment for the baby is usually granted two to three months before the due date.

Unemployment pay II for foreign students

Non-EU-citizens with a residence permit for study purposes are normally not entitled to benefits according to SGB II. Receipt of unemployment pay II could result in the residence permit for study purposes being revoked or not being renewed, since according to §5 of the Residence Act (AufenthG), the ability to assure one's livelihood is a pre-condition to obtain a residence permit.

EU-citizens in principle enjoy the right of free movement within the EU. This, however, does not automatically lead to entitlement to benefits according to SGB II. If you are entitled to study or seek employment, benefits according to SGB II (including one-off benefits) cannot be claimed. If the right of free movement is given on other grounds (employee status, family reunification, right of permanent residence), benefits according to SGB II may be granted.

General remarks on applying for unemployment pay II / social welfare

Before you can apply for unemployment pay II, you are expected to use up or sell your realisable assets, excluding a personal exemption.

Important: When you apply for unemployment pay II, the authorities will check the maintenance obligation of the child’s father (or mother) towards the single parent, but not those of the parents of the student. According to §33 Sect. 2 Nb.3 SGB II, maintenance obligations of the student's parents are not taken into account, if a student is pregnant or taking care of a child under the age of six.


Jobcenter Heidelberg
Speyerer Str. 6
69115 Heidelberg
Phone: 9159-222

Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit)
Phone: 01801/555111

Administrative District Office (Landratsamt Rhein-Neckar-Kreis)
Phone: 06221/5220

Benefits for children according to the Social Security Code, Book II (SGB II)

Students with a low income may apply for benefits for their child according to SGB II (social welfare), even if they receive BAföG themselves. However, the child’s income (alimony, child allowance etc.) may not exceed basic maintenance expenses (standard benefit plus part of the rent including heating).


Editor: Email
Latest Revision: 2018-07-12
zum Seitenanfang/up