ALG / Help for Freelancers Affected By Corona Virus?

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Does anybody have any info about freelancers being able to get financial help because of lost work due to Corona Virus? I work in a music events space, so everything got cancelled.
 

I found this about ALG II : https://justpaste.it/36x5f

But for ALG II you need to have been a freelancer for 6+ months. I also have slightly more than the maximum €3100 savings you're allowed to have.

I finished a contract job in December, but have been working freelance since then (earning €1500 per month), so I guess that would discount me from ALG I?


I did call my Kranken Kasse (TK) and they allowed me to go down to the lowest fee.

Any help would really be appreciated.

 

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There have been reports that freelancers and small businesses will be able to get grants of €15,000 each quite soon, but I'm not sure it's been passed yet.

 

Apparently, they plan to give out the money and ask questions later: current plans foresee subsequent audits, to see if the money was really needed. If it was, it will remain a grant; if it wasn't, it will be converted to a loan that you'll be expected to repay.

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I'm assuming as a non-EU freelancer who does not yet have permanent residency, I would be ineligible to receive these funds? I've not seen anything either way, but my visa prohibits me from receiving public funds, so I'm guessing this prohibition would apply here, too? 

 

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Not sure about that. I would think it would have more to do with whether you've been paying taxes here or not. In other words, if you've been doing your tax returns/paying into KK/etc.
 

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I do pay taxes + pension, but I do not pay into unemployment insurance. Plus, I am currently ineligible for unemployment insurance, so I'm not sure I would even be eligible for this assistance? It just feels like a very grey area, and I've not been able to find any clarification on who is and isn't eligible, unfortunately.

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Fritsen, I think you're probably right to assume that you're not eligible. I doubt that it has anything to do with whether you pay income tax and health insurance - obviously you have to do that anyway. I hope I'm wrong, because I'm in the same situation, non-EU with a freelance Aufenthaltserlaubnis, and a lot of work has suddenly vanished. It would be nice to have a cushion for that... but it looks unlikely to me. I think I'll be lucky if they even renew my permit, due to the reduced income.

 

According to this:

https://www.berlin.de/rbmskzl/aktuelles/pressemitteilungen/pressemitteilung.909713.php

you have to show that you're also claiming all other forms of assistance possible, like Harz IV, etc., and whatever you receive from those eventually will be deducted from the Soforthilfe II amount. It's meant at least in part to be an unbureacratic emergency cash first aid, until people can work through the usual system, which is going to be overloaded. So it's closely tied in with the other social assistance schemes. Even if you were able to get some money from it, I would assume the next time you go to renew your permit, it would be refused. In my experience that's the main thing they're looking for, that you won't ever go on social assistance.

 

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It never makes sense to assume anything about peoples personal cases.

If you are a freelancer registered with the Finazamt and have a registered address here I don't see any reason why you would not get the grant. I did the application and there was nothing in there about residency / EU membership. In terms of official documents etc, they just ask for your Stuer-ID and identification (passport or personal ausweiss).

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Well, it generally never makes sense to listen to anything that random anonymous people on the Internet say, including you or I.

 

But you can read the relevant laws:

 

§ 5 Abs. 1 AufenhtG -

(1) The granting of a residence title shall generally presuppose

1.  that the foreigner’s subsistence is secure;

 

§ 2 Abs. 3 AufenthG -

(3) A foreigner’s subsistence is secure when he is able to earn a living, including sufficient health insurance coverage, without recourse to public funds. Drawing the following benefits shall not constitute recourse to public funds:

1.  child benefits,

2.  children’s allowances,

3.  child-raising benefits,

4.  parental allowances,

5.  educational and training assistance in accordance with Book Three of the Social Code, the Federal Education Assistance Act or the Upgrading Training Assistance Act,

6.  public funds based on own contributions or granted in order to enable residence in Germany and

7.  payments made in accordance with the Act on Advance Maintenance Payments.

 

It doesn't actually say you can't get public funds, but if you do (other than the exceptions listed), the conditions for your residence permit are not met. It's not obvious to me that the Soforthilfe II funds fit into any of the exceptions, so at this point I'd assume that it would invalidate a foreigner's residence permit (or at least prevent it from being renewed the next time), unless they announce specifically that it doesn't.

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I tried to fill out the form for Hamburg, but it was only accepting German passport numbers.  They said they are working on it.  As documents, I was told a scan of my passport and proof of paying taxes, like the bescheinigung in steurlichen sachen...or what ever it's called.

 

 

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Due to the loss of income because of the corona virus, you can apply to your Health Insurance Company and the Rentenversicherung to have your monthly payments reduced.

 

You can also apply to the local Finanzamt and apply for a Fristverlängerung for the payment of Mwst. There is a contact form on the website of all Finanzamts.

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The ABH have apparently said non-EU nationals will not have their residency permits cancelled by applying for assistance through 17 June. Still up in the air if this will affect permanent residency applications, which I hope to make mine next year. I think I'll just try to reduce all my tax and insurance payments for as long as possible.

Source: Webinar in the link below 

 

https://www.expath.de/germany-freelance-financial-support-webinar/

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Fritsen, thanks for that link. It's nice they did that webinar, but see the advice above about not taking advice. Some of the things she said were mistaken.

 

The part about receiving social assistance is based on the decision from the immigration office (LEA) here:

https://www.berlin.de/einwanderung/_assets/20200324-allgemeinverfuegung_corona_lea_berlin.pdf

 

A rough translation:

Quote

1. In the case of foreigners who, due to the Corona pandemic, receive supplementary benefits in accordance with SGB II or SGB XII or AsylbLG in addition to the short-time working allowance from 18 March 2020 until 17 June 2020, the residence titles (§ 4 Para. 1 AufenthG) do not expire, despite any condition decreed to the contrary, provided that the State Office for Immigration is the locally competent immigration authority for the entire duration of the receipt.

 

If you have in your permit "Erlischt mit dem Bezug von Leistungen nach dem SGB II, XII oder AsylbLG", I think that means that the permit expires immediately if you receive social assistance / welfare (ALG, Harz IV, etc.). Not everyone has that restriction. If you do, and you receive assistance before June 17, it won't immediately expire.

 

It doesn't specifically say anything about the Soforthilfe or Corona Zuschuss funds, or whether the same rules and time frame would apply. I don't know what laws they come under.

 

Whether receiving social assistance now might affect a future permit renewal, I don't know. The determination of whether your subsistence is secure is made by the official at your interview, through a mysterious process. Maybe they'll take the virus into consideration, along with all the other factors. My basic understanding has always been that going on welfare would soon result in an invitation to take a one-way trip back where you came from. But up is down these days.

 

 

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Does anybody know if the Soforthilfe can be combined with a part time job that will end soon? My brother lost his job because of corona and his contract will end in a few weeks. In the meantime he works as a travel blogger on a freelance basis for travel-related posts, but zero travel = zero blog posts, so the corona crisis will definitely cause a lack of earnings in the following months. Can he still apply for the Soforthilfe? Thanks!

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On 03/04/2020, 15:44:36, Jean Genie said:

Does anybody know if the Soforthilfe can be combined with a part time job that will end soon? My brother lost his job because of corona and his contract will end in a few weeks. In the meantime he works as a travel blogger on a freelance basis for travel-related posts, but zero travel = zero blog posts, so the corona crisis will definitely cause a lack of earnings in the following months. Can he still apply for the Soforthilfe? Thanks!


No, but he will be able to apply for arbeitslosengeld I or II.

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The FAQ from the Ausländerbehörde (Landesamt für Einwanderung) has been updated. In addition to the information about those who have "Erlischt mit dem Bezug von Leistungen nach dem SGB II, XII oder AsylbLG" which was already explained in the March 24th decree (see above), they've added the following:

 

 

Quote

Owing to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak I am temporarily having to draw SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) benefits. However, a condition for my right of residency was that I could secure my subsistence without recourse to welfare benefits. Is my right of residency now under threat?

  • No. It is true that your residency permit may be terminated by Berlin Immigration Office if one of the fundamental criteria for obtaining it is no longer met (the so-called curtailing of validity under Section 7(2)2 of the Residency Act). However, Berlin Immigration Office will not apply this provision with effect until 17th June 2020 with regard to the resort to such benefits.
  • Please bear in mind that, when seeking a formal extension of your residency permit after the Coronavirus pandemic has ended, you will once again be required to prove that you can secure your subsistence yourself without recourse to supplementary welfare benefits.
  • If your residency permit is due to expire within the next six weeks, please complete our online form.

 

 

 

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Is that new? The second paragraph has been up for a couple of weeks at least. It’s been a topic for debate among freelancers regarding how open to interpretation it is, and how any given ABH employee could use the fact that you had to apply for ALG as evidence that you cannot support yourself without contradicting the decree.

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Not new, maybe it's been a couple of weeks, but updated since we were discussing it earlier, so I wanted to add it. I'd said that I'd assume that taking social assistance would affect the chance of a permit renewal unless they announce specifically that it doesn't. So now they've announced that.

 

If you can show that you'll be off social assistance after June 17th, and have convincing evidence of sufficient upcoming work (i.e., contracts or letters of agreement, stating the duration and payment), and a record of work before the pandemic, it shouldn't be a problem.

 

It could still have an effect though, depending on someone's situation. The officials have a lot of discretion in making assessments and decisions. If it looks like someone will most likely need to claim welfare payments after the deadline, they will probably not renew. That could be true even if you didn't actually claim them so far. You have to show that you can support yourself from your work, not your savings. In practice though, I think they're more likely to make an exception for someone whose upcoming job offers are a bit up in the air, if it's certain that they won't go on welfare if their income falls short.

 

Where is the debate you've heard, online somewhere?

 

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