Claiming unemployment benefits in Munich

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Unemployment benefits in Munich, Germany

 

There are two types of unemployment benefits in Germany. Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are paid only for a limited period. The potential length of UI receipt depends positively on the work-history in insured employment in the seven years prior to a benefit claim. It also increases with the age of an unemployed person. Workers who are younger than 42 years can receive UI benefits for no longer than 12 months. When people run out of UI benefit, they may receive unemployment assistance (UA) benefits, provided that they pass a means-test. There is no time-limit for UA benefit receipt and the formal replacement rates of UA are somewhat lower than those of UI benefit.

 

To be eligible for UI benefits people need to have worked at least 12 months in contributory employment in the previous three years prior to the benefit claim.

 

The claimant must not have reached the retirement age of 65 years and has to be available for a suitable job or a training course offered by the local labour offices. He/she also has to be available on short notice to the labour office. Of course, the claimant has to register as unemployed at the local labour office.

 

In the first four months of unemployment the labour offices regarded as a suitable job only those jobs with the same occupational qualification as in the previous job. Thereafter a job with a lower qualification could be regarded as suitable.

 

Not accepting a suitable job offer once may lead to a temporary loss of the UI entitlement for 12 weeks. A complete loss of the UI receipt is possible if the recipient refuses suitable job offers repeatedly.

 

In the first three months of unemployment a job was defined as suitable if it paid at least 80% of the previous wage of the UI benefit recipient. This percentage declines to 70% in the forth month unemployment. After the sixth month of UI benefit receipt any job with a wage that exceeds the UI benefit is regarded as suitable. A suitable job is also defined by the time needed to travel to work.

 

A job with a travel to work time of three or less hours a day is classified as suitable.

 

The level of the UI benefits is defined relative to the net earnings in the previous job.

 

The formal replacement rates are 67% for parents and 60% for childless people. There is an upper cap to the benefit level, which depends on the upper threshold for gross earnings up to which contributions to the social insurance system have to be paid.

 

Time in employment (months) - duration of entitlement (months):

 

12-15 - 6

16-19 - 8

20-23 - 10

24-27 - 12

28-31 - 14 age >= 45 years

32-35 - 16 age >= 45

36-39 - 18 age >= 45

40-43 - 20 age >= 47

44-47 - 22 age >= 47

48-53 - 24 age >= 52

54-55 - 26 age >= 52

56-59 - 28 age >= 57

60-63 - 30 age >= 57

>=64 - 32 age >= 57

 

UA benefits:

 

Unemployed people may receive UA benefits if they either run out of their UI entitlement or are not eligible for UI benefits as their work-history in base period 1 is too short. The formal replacement rates are 57% for parents and 53% for childless people. However, to receive UA benefits people have to pass a means-test that takes into account income of all the members of the unemployed person’s household. Due to the means-test, the UA benefit can be lower than the formal replacement rates suggest. Additionally, since the benefit reform of April 1997, the past wage, from which the UA benefit level results, is reduced by 3 % after each year of UA benefit receipt. Though after an initial UA claim, its receipt is first limited to one year, UA may be prolonged without any time limit. Only if the claimant reaches the retirement age, UA cannot be received any longer.

 

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The Munich Employment office

 

Arbeitsamt München

Kapuzinerstr. 26

80337 München

U3/6 to Goetheplatz

 

Arbeitsamt Munich: website

 

post-16-1100179311.jpg

 

General contacts:

Tel. 089 5154 0

muenchen@arbeitsamt.de

 

Information about unemployment benefits:

Tel. 089 5154 6981

Muenchen.Rechtsauskunft@arbeitsamt.de

 

Opening times:

Monday 07.30 - 15.30 hrs

Thursday 7.30 - 18.00 hrs

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 7.30 - 12.00 hrs

 

post-16-1100179328.jpg

 

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Registering as unemployed

 

When going to register as unemployed you have to find the correct person to speak to in the department for "Arbeitsvermittlung und Arbeitsberatung". The correct person is the one who is responsible for the occupation in which you were previously employed.

 

The different teams use a vistor system whereby you take a ticket from the ticket machine and wait for your number to come up. You then go to the door which is signaled with a red light. You can get general information at the info-counter in the entrance area.

 

For an overview of the different departments see this PDF document.

 

Registration for unemployment can happen up to 2 months before the end of an employment contract. To register for unemployment benefits you need to take with you a personal identity document, a copy of your "Lohnsteuerkarte" and a "Abeitsbescheinigung". This last document is a certificate from your previous employers stating how long you were employed with them.

 

The form for registering as unemployed can be found here.

 

Might be handy to print that form out and fill it in before you arrive.

 

A useful German word: "Das Arbeitslosengeld" - "Unemployment benefit".

 

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Register as unemployed as soon as possible!

 

A law was introduced on 1.Jul.2003 which governs mandatory registration with the employment office.

 

If you're fired or your employment is otherwise terminated you must register yourself as unemployed within one week. If you register later than a week you will have your entitlement to benefits automatically shortened. If an employee is able to believably convince the employment office that a personal registration was not possible within the legal time period, then exceptions will be made on an individual basis.

 

The reason for this new law is that the sooner the search for a new job begins the greater a chance of finding a job and the reduction in the need for unemployment benefit payments.

 

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Job search facilites at the employment office

 

At the Munich employment office on the Kapuzinerstrasse there are 167 computers available for job seekers. These are equipped with internet access although that access is restricted to job seeker websites.

 

There are 54 computers in the "Self information zone" near the main entrance. There are another 28 in the "Internet Center" on the 1st floor. Other computers are available in various departments throughout the building.

 

For more info (in German) see here.

 

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Quitting a job versus being fired

 

Apparently, if you quit your job rather than being fired then you are not entitled to benefits for 3 months. During this time you have to pay the full whack on your health insurance. We don't know yet if the money you get after 3 months is the higher rate Unemployment Insurance (UI) or the lower Unemployment Assistance (UA).

 

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Foreigners in Munich

 

All of the above is valid for all citizens of any EU country. There are different rules for non-EU citizens.

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Open questions:

 

Health insurance - what happens to this whilst unemployed?

 

What other allowances do you get, if any?

For example: public transport, telephone bills, internet bills.

 

What happens if you work on the side doing window cleaning or some such for just a couple of Euros a week, do you still have to pay tax, does it affect your benefits?

 

Any other experiences with claiming benefits?

 

Is being unemployed in Germany a good way of making a living?

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I'm unfortunately in the situation where I haven't registered my unemployment within the 1 week time period because a) I hate red tape/wasn't aware of the law b: was kind of hoping to find a new job soon but this may not happen so I will have to go there and make my excuses or something and see what happens.

 

Regarding health insurance I'll be finding out about that soon as well so will post my findings, good or bad, in a few days.

 

I've been told you can earn around 400 Euros a month without it affecting your benefits

 

Cheers,

Pat

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Hi,

 

first off, if you were in a union, contact them because they can help a lot with the paperwork or, of course. verbraucherzentrale-bayern.de

 

Health insurance gets covered by them - if you were previously with a "Gesetzliche" this is relatively pain-free, the Arbeitsamt will give you the info and you won't have to pay extra and your coverage will continue. If you were privately insured then it gets a little more complicated and you will need to contact your insurer directly regarding continuation of the policy. You must inform your insurer of your unemployment and normally this will either end or suspend the contract (as you are now able to join a "gesetzliche" - I recommend my old Kasse, Villingen-Schwenningen btw but you will be allocated to your last Kasse or one will be chosen for you). Membership of the Kasse will be backdated to the start of your unemployment claim, should you need medical assistance in the meantime, contact your Arbeitsamt for help. You are also covered for one month following the end of your unemployment.

 

Bills stay the same if you are on normal unemployment benefit, it is only benefits like disability allowance which will get you any discounts, think about getting an off-peak MVV card though. GEZ does do means-testing but you may well be over the limit (full BAFöG people are which shows how low the limit is).

 

Side Jobs: you can work for up to 15hrs a month and earn up to 20% of your monthly benefit (or 165€, whichever is higher). See: http://www.arbeitsamt.de/hst/services/faq/alg_nek.html

 

Please also note that Saturday counts as a working day and you are obliged to be available for post on Saturday as well, so if you go away you must inform the Arbeitsamt. AND even if you have all the documentation, be prepared for a long wait - it can take up to 12 weeks to process! If this puts you in significant monetary dire straits contact the Sozialreferat from Munich City Council (look under http://www.muenchen.de for infos).

 

Hope this helps

Katrina

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on UA you need to be aware that the means test is not just based on income, also on assets. you are allowed to have net assets equal to € 200 per "vollendetes lebensjahr" (e.g. a 30-year old can have net assets of €6000)

 

assets exclude property you live in (provided it has less than 130sqm), car for personal use, furniture, PC etc but includes life insurance policies and assets held overseas (e.g. your house in england unless you manage to get a 100% remortgage on it and spend the withdrawn equity on a new car)

 

which also means that if you get an "abfindung" in excess of €6000 then make sure you buy a new car or some antique furniture or a few new PCs before applying for UA or you will get f*ck-all

 

J

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any one know if anything can be claimed if your an australian, im studying via correspondence here living with my girlfriend ( german) what if i enrolled in a german uni what do i have to do to get funds if i can, anyhelp would be greatly appreciated.

 

cheers.

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Just starting to hear through the grape-vine that our department may be closed!

 

So while I am not too keen to have to collect UI figure I better at least get the low down on how it works here.

 

I am three years in Germany (Canadian), festgestellt.

 

1. Can I collect anything?

2. How much (I heard 84% of your wage)?

3. Do I have to be sitting in Germany to collect it (I am guessing yes)?

4. Anything else I should know?

 

Thanks

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Just starting to hear through the grape-vine that our department may be closed!

You'll need an actual termination letter to take to the Arbeitsamt, so that you can register as unemployed.

 

 

1. Can I collect anything?
Yes - for up to 12 months (unless you're over 40-something). You "earn" 1 month of unemployment benefit for every 2 months you work.

 

 

2. How much (I heard 84% of your wage)?

It's more like about 60%, but there is also a ceiling on it, so it depends how much you earn.

 

 

3. Do I have to be sitting in Germany to collect it (I am guessing yes)?
They pay regardless of whether you're sitting, standing - or even lying down (I spent a lot of time lying in bed while unemployed, because I'm lazy).

 

When I signed on it was around xmas, and I had to inform them that I'd be in England for 2.5 weeks - there was no problem with that, as long as they knew where I was.

 

 

4. Anything else I should know?

The Arbeitsamt is German bureaucracy at it's worst. Expect lots of paperwork. If your German isn't up to scratch (and even if it is) you might want to consider getting someone to give you a hand.

 

And don't leave it to the last minute, because you can lose out on money. I believe you need to register within 10 days of being officially informed that you're going to lose your job.

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Ol' WateryDessert's German was just fine for the task though, and the lady we talked to there spoke English too. But moral support is never a bad thing! ;)

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I'm an EU national and my german is some what limited. I have been employed until i came to germany but since arriving i have not yet worked. The Arbeitsamt say that to get any benefits I would either have to have been claiming unemployment benefit in Britain or I need to work in germany for ONLY ONE FULL DAY with insurance to then claim with them.

 

Is this correct? if so aarrgh!!!

 

Obviously if I got work I wouldnt expect to lose it in one day!

 

was also told before I came that I could get money from the social benefits side and they would pay for a f/t course in german.(and i could get a job that paid upto 400euro) seemed quite generous and i was slightly doubtful and it certainly doesnt seem to be the case any longer. :rolleyes:

 

does anyone know from their experience what I am entitled to? it looks like i will get nothing and the german course only had spaces for people who are entitled to money (get them off the books sooner i guess)

any advice appreciated

 

Thread merged by admin.

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was also told before I came that I could get money from the social benefits side and they would pay for a f/t course in german.(and i could get a job that paid up to 400euro)

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

who told you that? The people who trafficed you over here? What you say in the first paragraph sounds about right if I recall correctly

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of course you 'can' get a job that pays 400 euros or, in fact, however many euros you want - but you have to apply and get given such a job in the first place.

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Of course!! :lol:

 

I am sure u realise that I was talking about the 400euro jobs that many places offer now and still claim benefits. Yes i am also aware that many jobs pay more than that and certainly will be applying for those.

 

I was interested, as to learn german as fast as possible is my target. If this means blagging as many benefits as i can initially so that i can get cheaper f/t course which may then let me work in my normal field of expertise then i am happy to do so.

 

in the first post u said that it sounds right. they said that i would have been given money if i had been signing on back in Britain but as i was working i get nothing. is there anything thhat the social side might be due me/that i can scam? thanks again

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And last I heard, the minium time you must work before you claim is 6 months.

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Hi,

 

I hope that I don't sound rude or nosey, but if you have no job (and weren't moving here for work) and don't have German language skills, why did you come here?

 

Now if you were registered unemployed in your home EU country, you could come here for up to 3 months to seek employment and claim benefit (using your home EU country contributions), or if you are legally employed here and become unemployed here you can claim here (providing you have paid full contributions for 1 year in total out of the last 3 years - non-German EU/some non-EU, e.g. Swiss, contribution schemes do count) *but* you can't just bin your job elsewhere, move to Germany and expect German contibution payers to subsidise your lifestyle choice. It doesn't work that way.

 

Katrina

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they said that i would have been given money if i had been signing on back in Britain but as i was working i get nothing.

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

yeah thats what I heard too. Sounds a bit silly really but I suppose its to stop people just rolling up and getting benefits. Annoying though. Sounds a bit strange that you only have to work for one day but maybe thats true. Have they let you have a resident's permit - is it restricted to a few months if you don't have any income?

 

 

is there anything thhat the social side might be due me/that i can scam?

 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

 

no idea to be honest. When I first came I just stuck it out without much cash for 10 weeks. So i don't know what it is possible to get benefits wise

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hiya...I thought there was an agreement between Germany and the UK for social security contributions so that anything you paid there would be accounted for here.

 

think there's something called Overseas Jobseeker's Allowance too...would you be applicable for that I wonder?

 

not sure of the exact ins and outs but why not call the (eek!) DSS Overseas Dept. and find out. the no. is 0044 191 213 5000

 

Good luck.

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Hiya. Let me see if I got this straight. You're looking for:

 

1. either a well paying job that requires no German skills that you'll quit as soon as possible in order to get social benefits?

 

-OR-

 

2. some sort of "scam" that will get you German social welfare straight away.

 

In either case your goal is to get social benefits and learn German on a F/T basis so you can work in your chosen field.

 

Is that correct or am I reading wrong? In either case, exactly how long have you been in Germany and what brought you here in the first place and what exactly is your field?

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