As a rule, students are not entitled to the Unemployment Benefit (Arbeitslosengeld – ALG I) through the employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit), as they have not previously paid into the unemployment insurance. Only employees, who have been subject to social insurance contributions up to now can, under certain circumstances, assert a claim as ALG I if they can prove that they are currently available on the labour market for at least 15 hours a week.
The relevant regulations can be found in the Technical Instructions (Fachliche Weisungen) on § 139 SGB III at (see p. 6, point 139.2; only available in German).
You can obtain advice in this regard from your employment agency.
Full-time students are generally not entitled to the Unemployment Benefit II (Arbeitslosengeld II – ALG I), i.e. benefits under the Second Social Security Code ("Hartz IV"). However, in certain constellations, e.g. leave of absence (Beurlaubung), part-time studies, ALG II can be claimed. In addition, full-time students may be eligible for additional requirements (Mehrbedarfe), e.g. for pregnancy, single parenthood, cost-intensive diet, as a subsidy and ALG II as a hardship loan (Härtefalldarlehen).
The regulations in this regard can be found in the Technical Instructions (Fachliche Weisungen) on § 7 SGB II at (see p. 59, point 5.5.2; only available in German) and on § 27 SGB II here (only available in German).
You can obtain advice from your responsible Jobcenter.
The Housing Benefit (Wohngeld) as a subsidy for rent is only possible in certain constellations (see here; only available in German). When checking the entitlement to the Housing Benefit, the type of housing and the amount of rent are just as important as the type and amount of income and assets as well as the question of why, in the case of a BAföG rejection, this is not granted. Thus, the loss of employment income/income from self-employment does not automatically lead to a housing benefit claim.
You can find your Housing Benefit office in charge here.
Students with a refugee background whose asylum procedure has not yet been completed and who have received benefits according to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) before taking up employment or in addition to their income from employment, should report the loss of their job to the responsible office in order to receive the benefits again or to a higher extent.
Students with children should urgently check their entitlement to the Children’s Allowance (Kinderzuschlag), the application for which has currently been made easier due to the effects of the Corona Virus.
In addition, due to the changed income situation in the family, supplementary social benefits according to ALG II and/or the Housing Benefit may be possible.
First of all, you have to differentiate whether it is a release (Freistellung) or whether you are entitled to continued remuneration (Entgeltfortzahlung). Detailed information on the different scenarios can be found at https://jugend.dgb.de/meldungen/studium/++co++40e68ec6-6a8c-11ea-bae6-525400d8729f#sozialversicherung-werkstudierendenstatus-kurzfristige-beschaeftigung (only available in German).
Irrespective of the provisions of labour and social security law, even if you are not currently working in your first job, you are still registered in tax class (Steuerklasse)1 for the time being. If you take up a second job, it will have to be registered in tax class 6. If you have any questions in this regard, you can contact the counsellor for student tax issues of the student council (AStA) of the University of Hamburg or the tax office (Finanzamt) responsible for your place of residence.
No. To be entitled to short-time work compensation, you must have previously paid into the unemployment insurance. This is not the case with mini-jobs, short-term employment (kurzfristige Beschäftigungen) and student jobs.
Detailed information on short-time work compensation can be found at https://jugend.dgb.de/meldungen/studium/++co++40e68ec6-6a8c-11ea-bae6-525400d8729f#kurzarbeit (only available in German).
The 20 hour rule applies during the lecture period (Vorlesungszeit). As long as this has not officially started again, you are in the lecture-free period (vorlseungsfreie Zeit) and can therefore work more than 20 hours per week.
The corresponding legal basis can be found here (see p. 16; only available in German).
On the one hand, you can check the usual online job portals, e.g:
In addition, there are currently areas that have increased the demand for staff. Try to actively apply there:
- Food and beverage delivery services
- Supermarkets, grocery stores
- Cleaning companies
- Petrol stations
- Harvest worker (https://www.daslandhilft.de)
Do I have any claims for compensation according to the Infection Protection Act?
A claim for compensation according to the German Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG) can exist, if concrete official prohibitions of activity are issued, or the authorities order quarantine measures against a person, who, in individual cases, assumes a risk of infection. Please note: Voluntary quarantine does not give rise to a claim for compensation.
Detailed information on the compensation in accordance with § 56 IfSG can be found on the FAQ page of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg here (only available in German).
As far as health insurance is concerned, you also have the option of applying for a deferral of your contributions. Further information can be found on the website of the Künstlersozialkasse (only available in German). If you are voluntarily insured, please contact your public health insurance company immediately.
Applications for a deferral of payment must be submitted in writing, either by post (registered mail - Einschreiben), by fax (with confirmation of dispatch), or by e-mail (with confirmation of reading - Lesebestätigung) to the respective creditor. It is advisable to retain the deferral request and the proof of dispatch/receipt as well as all relevant correspondence with your creditor.
What do I have to consider and am I then entitled to the Unemployment Benefit II (ALG II)?
As a rule, a leave of absence is only granted for certain reasons, which are laid down in the matriculation regulations (Immatrikulationsordnung) of the respective university, e.g. pregnancy and birth, child care, care of relatives, health impairments. If necessary, an activity in the medical field also constitutes a reason for leave of absence. Whether or not the current economic situation can also trigger a leave of absence must be clarified directly with your university.
If so, please note that from the time of the leave of absence, the BAföG entitlement ceases to apply and the BAföG already received for the semester that has already begun, will be reclaimed, since the leave of absence applies retroactively from the beginning of the semester. Study loans and scholarships are also suspended during a leave of absence. If your parents receive the Child Benefit (Kindergeld) for you or you receive this benefit for yourself, this will also be cancelled in a leave of absence due to a pandemic. A leave of absence is, by the way, irreversible.
In a leave of absence, the social security status as a student is also cancelled. This means that if you are able to return to work before the end of the semester, in which you are on leave, you can no longer be employed as a student (Werkstudent*in) as before. The employer would then have to employ you instead as a social security employee or within a Minijob, which could be disadvantageous for you.
For students with children, a leave of absence may, under certain circumstances, affect the amount of the day-care voucher (Kita-Gutschein), if the children return to the day care before the end of the semester.
A de-registration has the same consequences for the social security and the financing instruments mentioned under leave of absence. However, the BAföG received for the semester so far does not have to be paid back immediately.
Furthermore, a de-registration leads to the loss of the student's health insurance tariff. Depending on the life situation, other types of insurance are possible (e.g. family insurance, voluntary insurance, compulsory insurance through a job).
An essential difference regarding the study and examination regulations between the de-registration and the leave of absence is that a de-registration does not always mean that a claim to a place at university remains. Exceptions can be health impairments as well as taking up employment in the medical field due to the current high demand for such personnel. The loss of a place of study may mean that students, who apply for a higher semester, may have to continue their studies in accordance with new examination regulations. Especially if you are already quite advanced in your studies, this is not recommendable. Please consult your faculty/department beforehand.
International students are strongly advised against de-registration, as this would jeopardize their residence permit.
For students with children, the same applies with regard to the day-care voucher as for the leave of absence.
Both a leave of absence and a de-registration can in principle lead to a claim to ALG II. However, this entitlement is linked to further requirements, e.g. who you live with and how much income/assets you and the people living with you have. You should therefore seek advice on your entitlement and the application procedure from your local Jobcenter
What can happen to me and what can I do?
Health insurance coverage is a requirement for enrolment/registration. If students in the compulsory student insurance do not pay their contributions, the health insurance company can suspend the health insurance coverage and must inform the university about it. In such cases, de-registration (Exmatrikulation) may be the consequence. In addition, in times of a pandemic, the suspension of the insurance coverage has fatal consequences for all insured persons, regardless of the tariff, as only emergency treatment is covered.
If you are currently unable to pay your contributions due to the effects of the pandemic, please contact your health insurance company immediately and request a deferral (Stundung) of your contribution payments; this is currently also possible by e-mail. The health insurance company may require you to provide proof of this. If your request for deferral is rejected, try to arrange payment by instalments as an alternative.
If you already had payment difficulties before the COVID 19 pandemic and you have, for example, agreed to pay in instalments, you must clarify your further options with your health insurance company. Under certain circumstances, it may be helpful to pay off the older debts at least proportionally, so that the current contribution payments can be deferred or paid in instalments.
Bridging Aid for Students in Financial Emergency Situations from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
The BMBF's bridging aid was already available to students from June - September 2020. As of 20 November 2020, students who can prove that they are in a pandemic emergency can apply for the BMBF's bridging assistance again. The maximum amount of the grant is 500 euros.
Further information on the BMBF's bridging grant can be found here.
Hamburg Corona Emergency Loan for Students
The Hamburg Corona Emergency Loan for Students was discontinued when the Federal Ministry of Education and Research resumed its bridging aid for students in need.
If you are still in acute need or have questions regarding the financing of your studies, please contact our Counselling Centre for Study Financing - BeSt (contact see https://www.studierendenwerk-hamburg.de/studierendenwerk/de/kontakt_info/Finanzen).
In justified exceptional cases, students can submit a written application for deferral of the repayment amount. The responsible office in the Studierendenwerk decides on the deferral amount (see Guidelines for the Corona Emergency Loan). The decision is made in analogous application of § 62 of the State Budget Code of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (LHO), which also allows the options of a waiver or waiver of the claims in cases of particular hardship. These are decisions in individual cases, in accordance with the respective individual circumstances.
If you have a visa/residence permit for study purposes (§ 16), please contact the Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs – BeSI. Please have a look at the FAQs on this page first, as they might already answer your question.
If you are a student with a residence permit/nationality of the above mentioned groups, please contact the Counseling Centre for Study Financing – BeSt. Please have a look at the FAQs on this page first, as they might already answer your question.
You can apply for the Hamburg Corona Emergency Loan for the months of October, November and December 2020 with 400 euros each via the Studierendenwerk Hamburg website. The emergency loan is to be repaid at the earliest 12 months after the approval month in monthly instalments of 50.00 euros.
You can activate your KfW student loan until 15.11.2020. The KfW has extended the submission deadline for the certificate of enrollment by one month. Simply send the following documents by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org :
- Copy of the identity card (front and back)
- Current certificate of study for the winter semester 2020/2021
- Proof protocol, which was previously created in the borrower portal
The payout rate can now be changed monthly. This is done via the borrower portal.
The KfW has extended the deadline for submission from 30.09.2020 to 31.03.2021.
Yes, all international students and students with a refugee background can apply for a KfW Student Loan from 1.7.2020. This loan is interest-free until 31.3.2021, after which the interest due according to the loan agreement must be paid. If the application is submitted by 15.2.2021 at the latest and payment is made on 1.3.2021, foreign students can still receive the KfW student loan from 1.4.2021, but then interest must be paid! For details see here.
No, that's only partially true. Borrowers of the KfW Student Loan pay temporarily, i.e. from 1.5.2020 to 31.12.2021 no interest. From 1.1.2022, however, interest must be paid again. For details see here.
Basically we recommend:
In any case, you should consult the Beratungszentrum Studienfinanzierung - BeSt to find out whether the KfW student loan is a short-term financing option for you or whether there are even cheaper alternatives that are effective in the longer term
The Foreign Office of the German Federal Government provides regular information on current travel and security information. (only available in German).
You can also obtain information from the embassy/consulate of your home country in Germany (also only available in German).
Please note: Before a possible journey home, you should contact your German university. If you live in a student residence, please also contact the dormitory administration.
You can turn to the psychological counselling service at your university. Students of HfMT and HfbK, whose universities do not have their own counselling service, are also advised by the University of Hamburg.
There are also a number of pastoral care services that can be reached directly by telephone or chat.
You will find the relevant contacts here .