Hartz 4: how the self-employed can apply for alg 2 now

Self-employed people get unemployment benefit 2 (Hartz 4) more easily in the Corona crisis. How much ALG 2 you are entitled to and what you need to know about the application process.


  • Self-employed workers are eligible for ALG 2
  • Wealth test for Hartz 4 simplified
  • What is "substantial assets"??
  • High rent – do I have to move out for ALG 2?
  • How long do I get ALG2?
  • If the income continues to fall: Additional payment possible
  • Do I have to deregister my business for Hartz 4??
  • How are losses treated for ALG 2?
  • How much is ALG 2 for the self-employed??
  • Do health insurance contributions count as a requirement??
  • How is the chargeable income determined?
  • What is with profit "zero" or losses?
  • Apply for unemployment benefit 2 online

In March 2020, even before the Corona crisis, already 69.000 self-employed people receive unemployment benefit 2, or ALG 2 for short. In most cases, they received so-called "supplementary unemployment benefit 2". They therefore continued to have income from self-employment, which, however, was not sufficient to cover their living expenses. In addition, they received ALG 2.

In the current crisis, ten times as many self-employed people may be entitled to it. The federal government has significantly simplified access to this benefit.

Self-employed persons are entitled to ALG 2

Unemployment benefit 2 is not an insurance benefit. So you do not have to have paid contributions to unemployment insurance , to get this benefit. You also do not have to be unemployed – although the misleading designation "unemployment benefit 2" does suggest it. It is enough that you are not yet of pensionable age, as well as able to work and needy.

Wealth test for Hartz 4 simplified

The asset test has now temporarily lost its horror. Detailed documents are usually no longer necessary. In the Corona crisis a simplified procedure applies.

For new applications for Hartz 4 is retroactively from 1. March until 30. September 2020 * "Assets not taken into account for a period of six months" – unless they are "substantial". The job centers assume that there are no significant assets, if you declare this in the application. In the current simplified ALG-2 application, you will find the question:

"My community of need has considerable assets".

If you tick "No" here, you do not usually have to provide any further information about your assets.

What is "substantial assets"??

Here, too, more generous rules apply. Significant, according to the Federal Employment Agency, is "immediately usable for subsistence assets over 60.000 euros as well as over 30.000 euros for each additional person in the community of need. Examples: Checking accounts, savings accounts, jewelry, stocks, life insurance policies."

With a family of four thus reserves apply up to 150.000 Euro not yet considered "substantial.

Rurup pension: If you have made provisions for old age with the Rurup pension, the credit balance that you have accumulated on this contract is also considered in principle not usable . That would come in the example case to the 150.000 euros in addition.

High rent – do I have to move out for ALG2?

No. This would not have been necessary even before the Corona crisis. You would also have had six months to do this previously. Now applies: Your rent can be fully recognized by the Jobcenter as a necessary expense and thus be taken over, even if it is considered unreasonably high according to local regulations.

For all applications submitted by 30. June 2020, your "actual accommodation costs" are considered to be reasonable. This is regulated by paragraph 67 of the second social security code (SGB II ). Your accommodation costs will therefore not be put to the test .

If your situation has not changed permanently after these six months, you can continue to receive full ALG 2 and have at least six months to look for a cheaper apartment. In this time also your "too high" accommodation costs are further taken over.

How long do I get ALG2?

Unemployment benefit 2 was usually only provisionally granted to self-employed persons, since it is usually not clear how their income will develop in the near future. Spitz settled only later, when the operating results are available. This procedure has now been temporarily suspended.

As a general rule, the self-employed now receive Hartz 4 benefits for six months . There should only be a "simplified plausibility check" of the income. After the end of the six-month period, the job centers waive their right to check your actual income during the grant period – i.e. even if your income has developed better than expected.

This gives them the security of receiving reliable assistance for living expenses for six months. This applies – according to the current status – to all applications for benefits that are submitted by the end of June 2020.

If the income continues to fall: additional payment possible

After the end of the grant period, you can still prove that your financial situation has developed worse than initially predicted. In this case, you can apply for a final decision. If necessary, Hartz 4 can then be paid in arrears.

Do I have to deregister my business for Hartz 4??

No. No self-employed person has to deregister their business to receive unemployment benefit 2. You may continue to work while receiving benefits – without any restrictions. However, the income from self-employment will be credited to ALG 2.

How are losses treated in ALG 2?

Losses are not compensated. Operating expenses not covered by income, which self-employed you generate in the crisis period, are not covered by the job centers. For example, self-employed persons must continue to pay the rent for business premises that are temporarily not in use, even during the period in which they receive ALG 2.

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