Hartz 4: support for persons in need of assistance

In Germany a Well-developed social network for the fact that persons, who cannot provide any longer for their living, can lead further a life, which at least corresponds to the subsistence level.

What is Hartz 4? This is the basic income support for job seekers

What is Hartz 4? This is the basic support for jobseekers.

Unemployment often causes a person to be dependent on financial assistance. In the first period after losing their job, those affected have as a rule, an entitlement to unemployment benefit 1. Its height is measured above all on the basis of the previously earned income.

Short & briefly: Hartz 4

Hartz 4 is the colloquial term for the basic support for job seekers (also called unemployment benefit 2). Information about the history of Hartz 4 can be found here.

People are entitled to Hartz 4 benefits if they are at least 15 years old, capable of working, in need of assistance and live in Germany. You can find out more here.

Yes. If unemployment benefit 2 recipients earn income from an employment relationship, however, this is credited against the benefits.

The However, unemployment benefit 1 is not paid indefinitely. The claim or. If this does not exist from the outset, the person concerned usually receives Hartz 4 benefits. Who gets these, how high they are and whether additional earnings are allowed, learn in the following guide.

What is Hartz 4 at all? A definition

What is important with ALG 2? Our guide reveals it to you

What is important with ALG 2? Our guidebook tells you.

The basic security for job seekers is in the colloquial language rather as unemployment pay 2 and/or. Hartz 4 known. This is a state welfare system, which is financed by taxes. People who meet certain requirements receive these benefits if they themselves are not or cannot adequately provide for their living expenses – for example, because they were unemployed.

Those concerned receive unemployment pay 2 (ALG 2), which serves to secure their livelihood. This money is intended to ensure that the recipients of benefits can continue to lead a dignified life. In addition, the aim of the basic support for jobseekers is to help Hartz 4 recipients to earn a living support to find a new job and thus to reduce their need for assistance resp. to be stopped altogether.

A short review: Since when does Hartz 4 exist?

The history of the Hartz reform: four phases were passed through from 2003 to 2005

The History of the Hartz Reform: Four Phases Went Through from 2003 to 2005.

The history of Hartz IV begins with the so-called employment office scandal, which became known in the year 2002, whose roots however going back to the 1980s. It turned out that within the Federal Employment Office there was Manipulation with regard to placement statistics came. Over years in the statistics substantially more mediated unemployed persons were proven, than in truth on the job market were accommodated.

In response to this scandal, the then Chancellor Gerhard Schroder convened a Commission from 15 experts one, which measures should be worked out, with which the The most important thing is that the state employment service should be reformed and improved. Head of this commission and name giver of the reforms was Peter Hartz.

In the context of the Hartz reforms four phases were passed through. Most decisive for those actually affected was the Hartz 4 reform, which came into force in 2005. The previously separate Benefits of unemployment and social assistance were made by the new Hartz 4 laws merged to the unemployment pay II known today.

Who is entitled to Hartz 4?

You are only entitled to Hartz 4 if certain conditions are met

You are only entitled to Hartz 4 if certain conditions are met.

The basic income support for jobseekers is therefore intended to ensure that people can continue to live a decent life, even though they cannot provide for their own subsistence. But who fulfills the conditions for the Hartz-4-Bezug?

The legal basis around the unemployment benefit 2 can be found in the Second Social Security Code – called SGB II for short. In order for a person to be eligible for Hartz-4, he or she must, according to the § 7 para. 1 SGB II Meet the following requirements:

  1. It must have reached the 15. The age limit must be reached before the beneficiary reaches the age of 65.
  2. They must be fit for work.
  3. There must be a need for assistance.
  4. The habitual residence must be in Germany.

But what does that mean exactly? Persons fulfill among other things for the receipt of Hartz 4 the conditions, if they did not exceed the age limit specified in § 7a SGB II yet. As the following table shows, The limit is 65 to 67 years, depending on the year of birth. After reaching this age limit there is usually a Entitlement to the statutory pension or. on the basic income support in old age.

Year of birthReaching the age limit
1946 or earlier 65 years
1947 65 years and one month
1948 65 years and two months
1949 65 years and three months
1950 65 years and four months
1951 65 years and five months
1952 65 years and six months
1953 65 years and seven months
1954 65 years and eight months
1955 65 years and nine months
1956 65 years and ten months
1957 65 years and eleven months
1958 66 years
1959 66 years and two months
1960 66 years and four months
1961 66 years and six months
1962 66 years and eight months
1963 66 years and ten months
from 1964 67 years

In addition, persons are entitled to ALG 2 only if they are able to work are, This means that they can work at least three hours a day. Beneficiary must also be in need of assistance be. A person is considered to be in need of assistance if he or she does not receive his or her cannot secure your livelihood with your income or assets. If someone has saved a larger sum, there is therefore initially no entitlement to Hartz IV. The assets must first be disposed of.

How to apply for Hartz IV benefits?

Hartz 4 entitlement does not apply if you have major assets

The Hartz 4 entitlement does not apply if you have a larger asset.

You do not automatically receive unemployment benefit II. Instead, you must first submit an application. But how does it work exactly? You must first have register with the job center responsible for you. Your personal situation will be discussed there. At this appointment, you should make sure that your Identity card or. an alternative identity document and your Bring your social security card with you.

At the end of the interview you will receive the Documents you need for the application. Alternatively, you can download the necessary forms from the website of the Federal Employment Agency. You must submit these fill out conscientiously and completely. If you have any questions or are unclear about anything, you can contact the Jobcenter.

After you have filled out the Hartz 4 application, you must submit this hand in at the job center. Additionally still further documents to be submitted. This includes, among other things:

  • Bank statements for the last six months
  • rental contract including proof of heating and ancillary costs
  • Proof of income and assets

Subsequently your application will be examined. Do you meet all the requirements, you will then receive a positive Hartz-4 decision. This will tell you, among other things, how much you are entitled to in benefits.

Note: Hartz 4 recipients receive their benefits not unlimited. As a rule, you have to apply for continued entitlement after twelve months. This is less extensive than the initial application, but is no less important. If you forget to file an application for reapproval, you will no longer receive unemployment benefit 2.

How much is the ALG 2?

When receiving unemployment benefit 2, housing costs are usually also covered

When receiving unemployment benefit 2, housing costs are usually also covered.

When they are about to have to file a Hartz 4 claim, many naturally wonder how much unemployment benefit 2 will be. A However, it is not possible to make a general statement, because when receiving Hartz 4 the amount of benefits depends on various factors.

Important is first the so-called Standard rate. With this money, ALG 2 recipients must be Finance food, electricity, clothing and the like. Since the last Hartz 4 increase, benefit recipients receive the following amounts, depending on the relevant standard needs level:

Applies toRegular rate in euros 2021Regular rate in euros 2022
Single person / single parent 446 449
Couples / communities in need 401 404
young people from 13 to under 18 years 373 376
Children from 6 to under 13 years 309 311
Children from 0 to under 6 years 283 285

However, these are not the only benefits for Hartz IV recipients. In addition, the Jobcenter takes over the Costs for accommodation and heating. However, the rent and ancillary costs must be reasonable, and the apartment must not exceed a certain size, depending on the number of occupants not exceed a certain size. How high an appropriate rent is, can not be answered in a general way, because this depends on the respective place of residence. In large cities, for example, rents are much higher than in rural areas, which is why higher housing costs are covered by the Jobcenter there.

Certain persons are entitled to additional needs

Single Hartz 4 recipients are entitled to additional needs

Single Hartz 4 recipients are entitled to additional needs.

In certain living situations the Hartz 4 standard rate is not sufficient to cover living expenses. For this reason, certain groups of people can apply for so-called additional needs. These are financial benefits that increase unemployment benefit 2. According to § 21 SGB II can be claimed in the following situations Mehrbedarfe:

  • Expectant mothers: After the twelfth week of pregnancy, they receive an additional need of 17 percent of the standard rate.
  • Single parents: An additional need of 36 percent is granted if a single parent with a child under seven years or with two or. more children under 16 years live together. An additional need of 12 percent can also be applied, if this results in a higher percentage. In this case, however, the additional Hartz 4 benefit is limited to 60 percent of the standard rate.
  • Benefit recipients with disabilities: Under certain circumstances, an additional need of 35 percent is recognized.
  • People who require a costly diet: If a special diet is necessary for medical reasons, Hartz 4 recipients receive a supplement in an appropriate amount.
  • Decentralized hot water production: If the water is not heated by a central heating system but, for example, by a boiler or instantaneous water heater in the apartment, an additional need of 0.8 to 2.3 percent – depending on the age of the beneficiary – is granted.

Hartz 4 allowance: Loan from the Jobcenter

Washing machine broken? ALG-2 recipients can apply for a loan

Washing machine broken? ALG-2 recipients can apply for a loan.

The standard rate of 416 euros for a single recipient of benefits is often not enough to cover the costs of everyday life and to put some money aside as a nest egg. Sudden costs, for example, for the replacement of a defective major household appliance, are for Hartz 4-Empfanger therefore often not to be stemmen.

But what can those affected do in such a situation? In certain emergency situations, the Jobcenter can help out with a loan. The legal basis represents § 42a SGB II. According to this, the following applies:

Loans are only provided if a need cannot be covered by assets according to § 12 (2) sentence 1 number 1, 1a and 4 or in any other way. Loans can be granted to individual members of need communities or to several jointly. The repayment obligation falls on the borrowers.

Among other things, such a loan can be granted if a Hartz 4 recipient has accumulated electricity debts and has he is threatened with a power cut. The loan from the job center is interest-free, no further costs are incurred. But of course it must be paid back. In addition the job center retains ten percent of the relevant standard need each month after payment is made – until the loan has been paid off.

Additional income for Hartz 4 recipients: This must be taken into account with regard to income

Unemployment benefit 2 recipients are allowed to have additional income

Unemployment benefit 2 recipients are allowed to have additional income.

Unemployment benefit 2 recipients are obliged to ensure that their need for assistance decreases quickly or that they become unemployed. is omitted. For this reason desirable that benefit recipients have a gainful employment – for example a mini-job – take up. Quite often this can help, to successfully re-enter the labor market and to find an appropriate full or part-time job.

It is therefore not forbidden, but quite desirable, that a Hartz 4 recipient earns his or her own income. In this context, however, there are some important things to consider. First of all, it must be clarified, what actually counts as income. The answer is given by § 11 Abs. 1 SGB II:

Income in money less the amounts to be deducted according to § 11b with the exception of the income mentioned in § 11a are to be considered as income. This also applies to income in cash value that accrues in the context of gainful employment, federal voluntary service or youth voluntary service. Inflows from social benefits granted on a loan basis are also to be taken into account as income, insofar as they are used for subsistence purposes.

This therefore includes income from gainful employment, but also pensions, child support, alimony payments, and income from rent and leases. This income is counted against the Hartz-4 benefits. This means that a person who receives unemployment benefit 2 and works at the same time receives less money from the Jobcenter. However, not every income is taken into account. Among other things no imputation takes place for the following items:

  • Basic pension according to the Federal Pension Act
  • Compensation
  • Benefits of educational support according to the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsforderungsgesetz) as well as comparable benefits of the institutions for the promotion of gifted students (Begabtenforderungswerke)

How does the imputation of income take place?

Income is offset against ALG 2 benefits

The income is counted towards the ALG-2 benefits.

Now the question arises, how the income is counted towards unemployment benefit 2. First of all, both current and non-recurring income must be taken into account income are to be taken into account in the month in which the Hartz 4 recipient receives them.

In principle, it should be noted that the first 100 euros (gross), which are earned, for example, through additional income, are free of charge. If the income is above this limit, certain allowances are applied, which ensure that a Hartz 4 recipient who works has more money left over than an unemployed recipient of benefits. The following applies:

  • The income between 100 and 1.000 Euro is not imputed to 20 percent.
  • Income in excess of this up to 1.200 euros (for persons without children) or. 1.500 Euro (for persons with children) is not counted at 10 percent.
  • The first 100 euros are not taken into account.
  • 20 percent of 900 euros are not counted. That is 180 euros.
  • 10 percent of 100 Euro are not taken into account. That is 10 euros.
  • In Sabine’s case 290 Euro are not counted towards the Hartz-4 benefits.

Aufstocker: If the income is not enough

Self-employed persons can also supplement their income with unemployment benefit 2

Self-employed persons can also supplement their income with unemployment benefit 2.

Not only unemployed persons or mini-jobbers may be entitled to unemployment benefit 2. Benefits are paid even then, if the salary or. the salary from regular employment is insufficient, in order to cover the cost of living. persons who receive such additional Hartz 4 benefits, are called Aufstocker. Even the introduction of the minimum wage has not significantly reduced the number of people receiving top-up payments in recent years.

The purpose of this top-up is to ensure that people who are gainfully employed, have more money at their disposal than unemployed ALG 2 recipients. The amount of the supplement depends on various factors, such as the standard requirements, income and housing costs.

What assets may Hartz 4 recipients own?

Allowances ensure that Hartz 4 recipients do not have to dispose of all their assets

Allowances ensure that Hartz 4 recipients do not have to liquidate all their assets.

As already mentioned, the answer to the question "Do I receive Hartz 4 benefits??" also depends on whether a person is in need of assistance. There is no need for assistance if the person concerned has larger assets at his/her disposal, from which he can live over a certain period.

This of course raises the question, what can be defined as assets at all. Furthermore, many people who are on the verge of having to apply for Hartz 4 have, Fear of losing all of their assets. So how exactly does it behave?

What counts as assets, is § 12 Abs. 1 SGB II to take. It states:

All realizable assets are to be considered as assets.

This includes Cash, credit balances on current or call money accounts, securities, real estate and other tangible assets. However, this does not mean that people have to liquidate all their assets before they are entitled to unemployment benefit 2. According to § 12 Abs. 3 SGB II certain things, which are not to be considered as assets. Among other things, Hartz 4 recipients are allowed to keep these valuables – known as Schonvermogen:

  • appropriate household goods (Items that are needed for living and running the household and correspond to the average standard)
  • Assets to a reasonable extent, if these are intended for old-age provision (however, only if the beneficiary or. his/her partner is exempt from compulsory insurance in the statutory pension insurance)
  • state-subsidized old-age provision (z. B. Riester pension)
  • owner-occupied Condominium or a house property of reasonable size
  • Assets that can be used to obtain or. Maintenance of a house property is to be used, if disabled persons or persons in need of care are to live there then
  • assets, the realization of which uneconomical would be
  • assets, where the realization of a special hardship means

When are inefficiency and special hardship present?

Family heirlooms are generally allowed to be kept when receiving unemployment benefit 2

You are generally allowed to keep family heirlooms when receiving unemployment benefit 2.

On the The last two items on this list are as follows, since its meaning requires a closer explanation. When do we talk about uneconomical utilization of assets and when is there a special hardship??

Inefficiency comes into play if the proceeds from the sale are expected to be too low. Example: You would like to apply for Hartz 4 benefits and own a life insurance policy. You do not have to realize the assets saved with them if the surrender value is up to ten percent less than the sum of the premiums paid in.

A special hardship is present, however, if the affected person would be required to make a greater sacrifice than is normally associated with the realization of the assets. The special hardship can result from the origin of the assets as well as from the living circumstances of the applicant. Examples of assets that do not have to be liquidated include the following

  • Family and inherited items,
  • Asset provisions for a dignified funeral and grave care or
  • an old-age provision which would have to be liquidated shortly before entering retirement age.

Receipt of Hartz 4: allowance for assets

Receiving Hartz 4: You may keep a car worth a maximum of 7,500 euros

Receiving Hartz 4: a car worth a maximum of 7.You may keep 500 euros.

As already mentioned, there are certain assets that do not have to be liquidated. But there is another provision that can be used to make a part of the fortune of a Hartz 4 receiver is protected. This is the case Allowances, which will be taken into account by the Jobcenter. Such an allowance has the effect that people do not lose all usable assets.

But how high is this allowance for Hartz-4-Empfanger with the property? The legal regulations can be found in § 12 Abs. 2 SGB II. In principle, every adult ALG-2 recipient is entitled to a Basic allowance in the amount of 150 euros per completed year of life to. At least this is 3.100 Euro. The basic allowance is capped as follows:

  • For persons who have received prior to 1. January 1958 are born: 9.750 Euro
  • For persons, after 31. December 1957 and before 1. are born on January 1964: 9.900 euros
  • For people, after 31. December 1963 Born: 10.050 Euro

Furthermore there is Allowance of 750 euros for necessary purchases. In addition, monetary claims, which the Old age provision serve, particularly protected. For this Allowance in the amount of 750 euros per completed year of life applied. The maximum amount of assets that can be saved also depends on the age of the Hartz 4 recipient:

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