Additional income for unemployment benefit i


Anyone who receives unemployment benefit I is allowed to engage in a secondary occupation and receive income. Up to the tax-free amount, the income is not counted towards unemployment benefit I. Unemployed persons must note, however, that the weekly working time must not exceed 15 hours under any circumstances – otherwise the entitlement to unemployment benefits will lapse.

As a general rule:

  • In the unemployment benefit I reference may be worked on the side and income is obtained
  • A maximum of 15 hours per week is permitted
  • Anyone who works 15 hours per week or more is no longer considered unemployed under SGB II and is not entitled to unemployment benefit I (§ 138 para. 3 SGB II)

The actual job search may not be neglected by the exercise of the secondary employment under any circumstances!

Obligation to notify the employment agency

Unemployed persons must report any type of secondary employment to the Employment Agency immediately – and without being asked to do so.

If the side job is an employment, the employer of the employee has to fill in the "Bescheinigung uber Nebeneinkommen nach § 313 SGB III". The certificate can be submitted either by the unemployed person or directly by the employer to the responsible employment agency.

If the sideline job is not reported and the employment agency subsequently finds out about it, the employee must in any case pay back the excess unemployment benefit received. In the worst case, there is the threat of a fine.

Allowance for side job / mini-job / 450 Euro job

Secondary employment of any kind – for example, the classic 450 euro job or a mini-job – is counted as income toward unemployment benefit I. However, not to the full amount, because an allowance of 165 euros per month applies (§ 155 para. 1 SGB III). Income from a second job that exceeds 165 euros is counted in full towards unemployment benefit I.

Important: If you work more than 15 hours per week, you are not entitled to unemployment benefit I – Even if your income is less than 165 euros.

Secondary employment already carried out before unemployment – tax-free amount

If the secondary job was already held for at least 12 months in the 18 months prior to the start of unemployment, the income from the secondary job is not subject to deductions. The average income of the last 12 months before the start of unemployment applies (§ 155 para. 2 SGB III).

Info: If the average income is less than the tax-free amount, 165 euros are automatically used as the tax-free amount.

What applies if the secondary employment is interrupted in the meantime and there has been a change of employer??

According to BSG (01.07.2010, B 11 AL 31/09 R), the increased tax-free allowance also applies if various secondary jobs were held prior to unemployment. It is only important that 18 months before the unemployment for at least 12 months was worked. This must not necessarily have been with the same employer. In addition, the BSG ruled that there may have been quiet breaks in the relevant period of 18 months.

Income-related expenses for secondary employment / mini-job / 450 Euro job

Even with a side job, the employee incurs income-related expenses – for example, travel expenses from home to the workplace. If these costs are not covered by the employer, the income-related expenses increase the tax-free amount:


  • Allowance: 165 euros
  • Monthly ticket German railroad: 50 Euro
  • Tax-free allowance with income-related expenses: 215 Euro

Allowance for part-time self-employed persons who were already part-time self-employed before becoming unemployed

The allowance is available to all unemployed persons with a sideline job. It is irrelevant whether the side job is a part-time self-employment or a side job in employment.

The tax-free amount for part-time self-employed persons can, however, be increased considerably if the self-employed person was already part-time self-employed for at least 12 months 18 months before the start of unemployment. If the sideline self-employment is continued during unemployment – and no more than 15 hours per week are worked – the profits from this activity are not counted towards unemployment benefit 1 (§ 155 para.2 SGB III). Important: The earnings or. Profit at the time of unemployment must not be higher than at the time of part-time self-employment as an employee.

The monthly profit is calculated from the income minus operating expenses, social insurance and taxes! In order to prove the profit, a receipt must be presented for each expenditure. If you do not want to do this, you can pay a lump sum tax on business expenses and taxes:

  • Flat-rate operating expenses: 30
  • Taxes at a flat rate: 10


  • Total profit of the last 12 months: 6000 Euro
  • Allowance 6000 Euro / 12 months: 500 Euro

Allowance for unemployed persons who are self-employed on a part-time basis

The situation is different for unemployment benefit I recipients who have not already been part-time self-employed for at least 12 months 18 months before becoming unemployed.

The allowance in this case is 165 euros per month, the weekly working time must also not exceed 15 hours of work per week.

If the unemployed person wants to take on larger jobs that require more time and bring in more money, it is advisable to (temporarily) deregister from unemployment benefit I for this period. This has the advantage that the profit is not counted towards unemployment benefit I. However, in this case the social insurances have to be taken over by yourself.

Marginal employment / mini-job – offset against unemployment benefit I

  • Unemployed person has a side job, he works 10 hours a week
  • Hourly wage (minimum wage 2018): 8.84 euros
  • Monthly gross salary: 353,60 Euro
  • Monthly net salary: 346,53 Euro

In the case of marginal employment, the employer pays flat-rate social security contributions i. H. v. 28 % (15 % pension insurance, 13 % health insurance). The marginally employed person only has to pay a flat-rate wage tax of 2%.


Net wage 346,53 Euro
minus tax allowance ALG I 165,00 Euro
minus income-related expenses 50,00 Euro
Credit amount 131,53 Euro

This 131,53 Euro will be deducted in full from the unemployment benefit I.
For example, if unemployment benefit I is 600 euros per month, the unemployment benefit recipient will receive unemployment benefit of 468.47 euros due to his part-time job.

Offset against unemployment benefit I in the case of secondary employment / self-employment

  • Unemployed person has a sideline self-employment, he works 10 hours a week
  • After deducting all costs, the monthly profit is 500 Euro
  • Already 18 months before the beginning of unemployment, he has worked 12 months in the sideline self-employment and made a monthly profit of 500 euros


Monthly wage "profit 500,00 Euro
less tax-free amount 500,00 Euro
Credit amount 0,00 Euro

In this case, the profit of the part-time self-employment will not be deducted from unemployment benefit I. If the unemployment benefit I amounts to e.g. 600 Euro per month, the monthly profit from the sideline self-employment may be taken in addition free of charge.

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