The Jobcenter can provide you support if you live in Germany and do not have enough money to care for yourself and your family. Under certain conditions, the Jobcenter helps people who have never worked in Germany, those who have been unemployed for more than a year and individuals who earn little despite working. If you are in one of these groups, you can seek financial support for yourself and your family from the Jobcenter. Such support is called "Unemployment Benefits II" or "Arbeitslosengeld II" (also "ALG II") and is often referred to as "Hartz IV"("Hartz 4"). The Jobcenter staff will also help you look for a job. Jobcenter can also take over the costs for German courses or further training programmes if it can help you find a job.

What do I need to know?

What is Unemployment Benefits II (Arbeitslosengeld II)?

Can I apply for Unemployment Benefits II?

Does my family's income or assets also count? What is "Bedarfsgemeinschaft"?

Do I have to use up my savings or assets?

What financial support can I receive from the Jobcenter?

Can I receive Unemployment Benefits II despite having a job or being self-employed?

Which Jobcenter is responsible for me?

Where and how do I apply for Unemployment Benefits II?

I was previously registered with the Social Welfare Office. Do I have to re-register at the Jobcenter to receive unemployment benefit II?

What documents do I need to submit when applying to the Jobcenter for the first time?

When and how do I receive the money from the Jobcenter?

Does my apartment need to have a specific size and rent?

How does the Jobcenter help me find a job?

What rights and obligations do I have vis-a-vis the Jobcenter?

What are my obligations vis-a-vis the Jobcenter?

What is "Eingliederungsvereinbarung" or "Integration Agreement"?

What life changes do I have to report to the Jobcenter?

Can I move?

The Jobcenter keeps sending me appointment notifications. Do I have to attend?

Can I travel despite receiving Unemployment Benefits II?

What happens if I violate the rules and obligations?

I do not agree with the decision of the Jobcenter. What can I do?

The Jobcenter wants me to pay back the money I've received. What can I do?

What do I do if Jobcenter staff subject me to discrimination or racist behaviour?

Where can I seek advice & support?