Questions about student finance

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

The following information is intended for students with financial or employment law issues.

They are provided by the DGB Jugend Further information can be found on the website of the DGB-Youth or on the website of ver.di.

To prevent students from getting into an even more precarious situation, we ask you to support the following petition:

1. What is the impact of the postponed start of the semester for my BAföG?

BAföG will be repaid as normal for the time being. In the event of short-term closures of training establishments and extensions of the lecture-free period, further funding is ordered by the BMBF. Once there are corresponding online courses, you must use them to retain the right to promotion. This also applies if you start to study in the first place during the summer semester.

2. Will I continue to receive child benefit?

As long as you remain enrolled and have not yet exceeded the age limit, your child benefit will continue to be paid. Even if the university has to, but there is no corresponding online teaching offer yet. The family funds are already closed,but benefits such as child benefit and child allowance are still being paid out.

3. With me, money is running out now, what can I do?

If you are currently affected or threatened by job and/or job loss(s), be sure to check the information for students who are working. If none of the regulations presented there (e.B. on continued payment of remuneration, protection against dismissal or compensation under the Infection Protection Act) or if they are not sufficient, an application for social benefits such as ALG II or housing benefit may help or even a bridging loan. If there is no other way to maintain the financing of the course, a KfW loan can be an option. Note, however, that this is an interest-bearing loan and there is a risk of over-indebtedness. The best way to do this is to consult the Studentenwerk.

4. Where can I get a bridging loan?

Most student unions have loan funds. Students in need can receive interest-free bridging loans or student assistance. The amount of the loan depends on individual needs. However, there is no legal entitlement to a loan and a guarantee is required. You can apply for a bridging loan with your local student union.

5. Can I apply for financial support from the Jobcentre?

In der Regel haben Studierende keinen Anspruch auf Leistungen aus dem SGB II. Es gibt aber Ausnahmen, z.B. wenn du bei deinen Eltern wohnst und dem Grunde nach BAföG-berechtigt bist oder wenn du während des Semesters mehr als 12 Wochen krank bist. In den Fällen können ganz reguläre Leistungen – gegebenenfalls ergänzend – gewährt werden.
Unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen können aber auch andere Studierende und Mitglieder ihrer Bedarfsgemeinschaft reguläre Leistungen zum Lebensunterhalt nach SGB II beziehen. Dies ist insbesondere in einem Teilzeitstudium möglich oder im Urlaubssemester, wenn die sonst grundsätzlich BAföG-förderungsfähige Ausbildung ruht.

The prerequisite is that you are in need of assistance within the meaning of SGB II, i.e. that you do not have sufficient income and/or assets and are in principle able to work. On our homepage you will find more detailed information about claim and application.

Especially now, when it is not clear to many how and to what extent they can study or take exams in the coming semester, a holiday semester could be an advantage. Since various factors can play a role here, please do not take any advice. Inquire on site at social counselling centres, e.B. the local student union – many consultations have already switched to telephone or online counselling.

Supplementary benefits already granted for trainees in accordance with Section 27 will continue to be paid out. This also applies to benefits for children of students(social benefit). Anyone who is affected by loss of income (e.B.g. due to short-time work or the termination of the part-time job) should inform the responsible job centre as soon as possible, in individual cases this may result in higher payout amounts.

6. Can I get a hardship loan from the Jobcentre?

Section 27 paragraph 3 SGB II(Benefits for trainees)provides that benefits “for standard requirements, […] Needs for accommodation and heating, […] and necessary contributions to health and long-term care insurance can be provided as loans” if the basic exclusion of students from benefits is a particular hardship. It is not yet clear whether the effects of the current measures on students will be recognised as a particular hardship and, if so, under what circumstances (e.B. if the pandemic threatens to terminate studies). As soon as there is more detail, we will inform you at this point. Until then, an application cannot be harmed!

The job centres are closed until further notice and can only be reached by telephone and by post. The necessary forms can be found online. The payment of benefits should be guaranteed and sanctions for failure to meet will be suspended. You do not currently have to cancel appointments due to the overloaded telephone lines.

7. What can I do if I can no longer pay my rent?

Wenn deine Einkünfte nicht komplett wegfallen, aber geringer ausfallen, kann Wohngeld in der jetzigen Situation eine Lösung sein.

Du hast allerdings grundsätzlich nur dann Anspruch auf Wohngeld, wenn du keinen Anspruch (mehr) auf BAföG hast oder BAföG nur als Volldarlehen beziehst. Außerdem muss ein bestimmtes Mindesteinkommen nachgewiesen werden, das sich aber ggf. auch durch Darlehen, Erspartem und/oder plausibler Erklärung, wie du auch von etwas weniger über die Runden kommst, belegen lässt.

Wenn du aktuell noch einen formalen Anspruch auf BAföG hast, dieses aber zu niedrig ist oder gar Null beträgt (z.B. weil deine Eltern zu viel verdienen), kannst du ggf. über ein Urlaubssemester in den grundsätzlichen Anspruch auf Wohngeld rutschen.

In addition, Politiker_innen and interest groups are already calling for different forms of aid for Mieter_innen. It is not yet clear whether and if so which ones will actually come. Until then: Before all the ropes break, consider the possibility of purchasing Alg II in the holiday semester.

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)