Unemployment benefits for EU foreigners in Germany

214 posts in this topic

Posted

I was wondering whether I have the right to claim unemployment benefit the same as a german person,me being irish.

If so where would I go about doing it?

Moneys running low while im still looking for work...

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Posted

Here is a link to the English translation of the official German brochure Social security at a glance. I don't know whether you can claim any unemployment benefits if you haven't already worked in Germany. Perhaps you'd still be eligible for some kind of social assistance. Don't quote me, I really don't know, so look through the brochure until someone else can give you some proper advice. Good luck!

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Posted

Moving out of Niedersachsen would definitely improve your chances of getting a job - have you thought about relocating?

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Posted

If you were unemployed in Ireland before you came here then you should have brought the so called E303 form with you, which would entitle you to your Irish dole money here. I'm not sure if it's possible but maybe someone at home might be able to get it for you and send it over.

If you were on the dole back home then they should have told you that when you signed off.

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Posted

The "Bundesagentur für Arbeit" would be the right place to go and ask if you're entitled to unemployment benefit.

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Posted

There are 5 different types of E303 forms. To see what one suits your circumstance you can visit http://www.easyexpat.com/en/faq/work/q36.htm ,where you can receive ONGOING unemployment benefits from the E.U and EEA country, you arrived from. Also you have the right to register yourself as unemployed in Germany going to the Bundesagentagentur for Arbeit and take all your paper work with you, and tell them your situation clearly and directly, be explicit!!! Best of luck to you.

Elizabeth from Hamburg.

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Posted

As far as I understand, German unemployment benefits are operated as an insurance scheme in the sense that you can only become eligible for payouts if you have first paid into the system (i.e. held a job in Germany that involved sozialversicherungs-contributions and then involuntarily lost that job, i.e. were laid off). I think there is a minimum period of being insured before you can make any claims, but I'm not sure how long it is.

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Posted

Heeps of Information IN ENGLISH you will find at

http://pdf.bmas.bund.de/bmas/temp/lance2dt...0R0cnVlLnBkZg==

The Self Employment was startling to me, which is great to know that working less than 15 hours a week, one can register yourself at the BAgentur für Arbeit and then more options will be available to you for finding more

work. Loads of information at this site, covers many trails.

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Posted

Hi everyone.

There are lots of threads and useful info already but I wonder if anyone has any answers for my particular situation. I'm an EU citizen (British) my wife's an EU citizen (German) but we've neither of us worked in Germany ever. We both work in Switzerland, and have for the last three years. My contract ends on 30th Sep and we're moving to Germany (Heidelberg) then so that I can take up a job on 1st Nov. So there's a month of unemployment there for me and an-as-yet unknown period of unemployment for my wife.

So my questions are:

1) Am I entitled to unemploment benifit and is she? Should be OK based on EU-Switzerland agreements I think.

2) I told the Arbeitsamt in Heidelberg the stituation a week or so ago and they said just turn up when you arrive, but what about this three months notice buisness?

3) What papers do I need? I know about the E301 form to prove my contributions for the last three years, but is there anything else I should get while I'm here?

4) Will they be soft on me since it's only a month and not make me apply for jobs, or will they be even harder on me for the same reason?

5) Am I mad to be moving to Germany in the first place?

Thanks for your help!

Owen.

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Posted

hey,

i wonder if anyone can help to clear up the rather muddy issue of EU citizens' legal status in germany? i moved to berlin in spring 2005 as i had a job offer to work here. the company went bankrupt not long after i arrived here. i managed to spin out what money i had until spring 2006 when i finally swallowed my pride and registered at the arbeitsamt for arbeitslosengeld II which i have been claiming ever since. i recently submitted my new application as my current claim expires at the end of this month and i was sent a later saying that my application cannot be processed without a freizügigkeitsbescheinigung (freedom to move declaration) and a written declaration of my reasons for entering the bundesrepublik deutschland. now before i go crazy and pull out my hair at yet more legendary german bureaucracy, can anyone out there tell me if, after 2 years of being registered with my job center, can they now suddenly demand these documents? surely, being registered there for so long and being through this application process several times, the job center have accepted my status as an EU citizen and my right to claim unemployment benefit. but still, i am not sure what my status is...do i have the right to stay here and claim arbeitslosengeld until my employment situation changes or do i have to sign off and go back to england? maybe i was naive in thinking that as an EU citizen i could choose to live where i liked within the EU and have exactly the same rights as i would expect in the UK. i am totally confused and not knowing my rights makes it harder for me to argue my case with the job center.

i would certainly appreciate any advice someone may be able to offer!

thanks in advance, g.

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Posted

The Freizügigkeitsbescheinigung is a matter of minutes ... nothing to worry about..

hahaha

mine took two hours waiting to get one.

Rez, good luck, but don't hold your breth.

The Agentur situation is shite. If your German isn't great, they'll shout at you as fast as they can, and assume you'll understand cause they said it louder. I'm beginning to hate being here.

And before anyone tells me to go home, just don't OK.

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Posted

This to Mr. Business,

My partner and I came to Germany in June this year, we had a failed business in the UK and our daughter here in Germany asked us to come and live with her and her family in Germany. So here we are, in a simliar situation watching the savings go down. My partner has found a 700 euro job as a cook and I am still trying to find work as a freelance programmer / analyst (mainframe, so it's tough). I got arbeitslosengeld 1 which was paid from the UK until September. As we have no other money coming in, I have been trying to claim Arbeitslosengeld II. We have filled in all the complex German forms only to be told by the agentur for arbeit that we need this freizügigkeitsbescheinigung.

So, we trot down to the Kreus Verwaltung and ask for one. I produce my AOK medical card (still paid for from the UK) and my bescheid for the arbeitslosengeld I (which has now expired). They said - "you have no income" I said yes, thats why I want to claim benefits. They said without a proof of income you cant have the freizügigkeitsbescheinigung!! So, apparently you need income to get benefits.

In fact the guy was quite rude and suggested we go back to England. I said we only came to Germany because our family offered us a home. Now like everyone else, I have paid a lot of tax in the UK to our friend MR Brown, and I thought we were all EU citizens here.

I am also confused, because I thought that all EU citizens had the same rights. Doesn't the UK pay enough to the EU to entitle us to these benefits?

Anyone out there who knows more than we do? Would it be worth contacting the British High Commission or something?

I am presently doing my online German course, but after todays events, feel a bit like it's not worth it.

Please help!

regards Leigh

fantastic forum by the way...

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Posted

uitsmijter/Leigh: I did a little bit of research in German language websites and here are a couple of legal statements in order to make the situation you are in more transparent:

WE have to differentiate between your right as an EU-citizen to come to Germany (or any other EU memberstate) and to life and work here on one hand and a potential claim for social benefits according to national right if and when you live in another EU memberstate and if and when you can not earn your livelihood through either employment or selfemployed work within an age-range of 15-65 years.

You do have a right to live in Germany according to the "Freizügigkeitsgesetz/EU" according to § 2, subsection 2 if you are

- an EU citizen looking for employment

- an EU citizen who is allowed to earn his livelihood as a selfemployed person (for which you obviously need the FReizügigkeitsbescheinigung)

Furthermore you do have the right to live in Germany according to §4 of that law if and when you are not "Erwerbstätig", i.e. gainfully employed if you can show proof of sufficient health insurance and funds to support your existence while living in Germany.

AS you can see, the freedom of movement for EU citizens does only regulate your right to live in another EU memberstate, no less and not more.

Now the questions is if you as an EU-citizen can have a claim to receive public support through ALG II when you arrive here in Germany with no employment and/or other income. The answer is: no

This is regulated by law § 7 of the second "Sozialgesetzbuch" where it enumerates who according to this law is a legal claimee of support from ALG II.

There is says you have to be

- between 15 and 65 years of age

- capable for gainfull employment

- needy and

- with your residence in GErmany

Up to this point one would assume that, yes, you are eligible for ALG II support. But further down in this section of the law it says:

Excempt from this are:

- foreigners who are neither employees nor self-employed in Germany during the first three month

- foreigners who are mainly resident in German in order to find employment

This excemption - and from your description it reads as if you fall under it - is based on an EU regulation Section 24 Subsection 2 in connection with Section 14 subsection 4b of regulation 2004/38/EG in which European commission and parliament both confirm and encourage the national right of each memberstate to limit social benefits/support to EU citizens ariving newly in a memberstate without employment. it actually says there that according to the European Union "Personen, die ihr Aufenthaltsrecht ausüben, während ihres Aufenthalts die Sozialleistungen des Aufnahmemitgliedstaats nicht unangemessen in ANspruch nehmen sollen", i.e. person moving to another memberstate should by using their freedom to move not incommensurately try to make use of national social benefits/support (if somebody can translate this part better, feel free to edit.

The German parliament has made it clear through all different parties in the meeting of the committee for social affairs (BT DS 16/688 page 13) that EU citizens shall be excempt form ALG II and other benefits if their main reason for residence is to find employment. This is aimed at new-comers and does not necessarily apply to EU citizens who have live for a number of years in Germany and are now unemployed and looking for work. This regulation/law shall undermine or prevent migration for social benefit reasons only.

So, I am not saying here that you have come to Germany only to (ab)use the social benefit system, from what you write it sounds that living without costs together with family after some personal economic catatstrophy was the prevailant goal, one which everybody can understand from a personal point of view. But it would appear that you would really have to stress personal reasons along this line in order to have any chance at all to get social support/benefits. the argument that you and your spouse are actively looking for employment/income from selfemployment is quite contraproductive because it uts you in the drawer "only herer to seek employment, therefore no social benefits". In my opinion you could only get any social benefits if you can find other pressing personal issues/arguments to be here and with your family (for instance giving support to ill family members or such thing). If you still have a chance to reverse the whole process convincingly is another thing I seriously doubt. From all I could read in the internet of different law blogs and quotations from court decisions you could only stand a chance with the help of a very specialized lawyer or law organisation on your side - and even then I am bit doubtfull to be quite frank with you.

I would like to end this on a personal note: I can understand your frustration and that your personal situation gives you ample reason to be angry with the world. But I found your statement with the tax-paying in the UK etc. definetly just another unwarranted German-bashing. First: while the UK belongs to the "net-payers" among the memberstates too, GErmany pays about 2.5 times more net into the European Union than the U.K. or 25 EUR per head more than the UK. Thus I see no reason to attack German legislation on this ground. The other thing I am wondering about is: how is the rule/law in the UK for people from other memberstates moving in without employment or other sources of income: would they get social benefits right from the beginning? If yes, than my sincerest appologies that the German governement does not act the same, but I did not find anything in the internet supporting such an assumption.

Cheerio

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Posted

@Starshollow: Im glad, you made the effort to write this. When I read jitsmijters post yesterday, I felt an explanation like this was needed. I just couldnt get off my lazy ass to gather the information and translate it. Besides, I probably wouldnt have been able to create such a coherent text anyway. ;)

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Posted

Hi there Starshollow,

Thank you very much for taking the time and trouble to research this topic.

I am not going to pursue this further. I have worked all my life and have never ever claimed any benefit,

and I don't really want to now.

However, you are correct that our "personal catastrophe" has pushed us into doing this.

From the legal situation you have described, I obviously misunderstood the spirit

of the EU. My daughter (who is a Dutch national) lives in England and claims benefits, but she has lived

there for a few years and has worked.

Yes, you are right, I am upset about my situation, but we are taking legal action in the UK, and have

to hope for the best. However, it does not give me the right to upset German people. It was not my intention at all.

It was just one official in Bitburg, who upset my wife with his rudeness and he could have, perhaps, handled the

situation with a little more diplomacy. I imagine this could have happened anywhere in the world.

The German people who live in our little village here (Sankt Thomas) have been very warm, welcoming and

friendly to us. We like it here, and it is refreshing not to have to lock your door, or worry about personal security.

So, thank you for your helpful advice, and my apologies if I have offended you in any way.

kind regards

Leigh

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Posted

Leigh: no prob and no offence taken! Wish you best of luck with getting back on your feet again and remember: always look at the bright side of life (if only I could whistle now...)

Besides; yep, German officials can be very unfriendly and annoying and they are only beaten by US immigration officers at the airport if there was an international competition for being rude to foreigners. Sorry you have had such a bad experience.

Cheerio

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Posted

I will leave my position with a German company in 2 months.

I can apply for unemployment, but I don't even know where to start.

Anybody got a clue on what steps to take?

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Posted

First of all, if you want to collect unemployment, you should take steps right away. My husband had to do this, but we waited until his contract ended, which is what you'd have to do in the US. That was a big mistake, as it can take a loooooong time for the Arbeitsamt to process you and for you to start getting money.

That being said, you'll need some kind of documentation from your place of employment that your employment is coming to an end. You should probably also take a copy of your contract. If your German isn't very good, you'll definitely need to find someone to go with you. I can't remember offhand what other documents my husband needed, but they'll tell you there. It takes several appointments go complete all the paperwork, and they take it seriously if you don't show up to an appointment!

Good luck!

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Posted

I'm relatively sure that you're supposed to apply for unemployment benefits 3 months before your employment ends. If you apply late, your benefits start later.

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Posted

You should get yourself down to the Arbeitsamt as soon as possible. Unemployment benefit is very generous on the whole in Germany, but you have to 'play the game'. Call the office closest to you, and make an appointment to register. In Berlin, you're going to need a German speaker with you if your German isn't up to scratch - the Beamter I dealt with there speak next to no English. Bring your job contract when you go and see them. It's important that they simply 'know' about you at this stage, and that you are in the system.

A payout from the A-amt depends on many things, such as your nationality, and how long you have been working on Germany.

It's really important that you go and see them before you finish your current employment, otherwise they will penalise you. Depending on the circumstances of you leaving your current job, you might loose 3 months benefits anyway (i.e. if you simply decide you've had enough, as opposed to the company going bust etc).

I went through all this a few years ago in Berlin - its tough with all the forms you have to fill in and appointments you have to keep - but on the whole, financially it's well worth it.

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Posted

Thanks for the tip.

I found out today that my contract has come to an end (2 months notice). I will go to apply for this thing at once.

I am a citizen of the EU. My pay at my employment was really good and I will have worked for a year and a month before my unemplyment starts.

Any clue on how much is the maximun of the benefit?

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Posted

About two thirds of your take home money, and you get it for about a year.

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Posted

If you are married and have children then it will be a little more than two thirds

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