5 Steps How to apply for Unemployment Benefits in Germany

Updated on
September 11, 2022

In Germany, if you find yourself unemployed, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits. In between jobs can be quite a challenging time for expats and the benefits provided are usually quite helpful. Due to some barriers encountered such as language difficulty, some expats might find it hard to apply. In this article, you can find three main possible situations and five simple steps how to apply successfully.

Possible situations that you will be eligible to receive benefits and when to register not to lose money:

  • You get fired or your contract expired, but entitled to notice period. In most cases, the notice period is three months, therefore, you are required to register as soon as possible, but not later than three days before the termination date.
  • You get fired or your contract terminated but none or a notice period of less than three months applies. In this case, you need to urgently register for the benefits, but not later than three days after you have been made aware of the termination.
  • You quit. In this case, you will not be entitled to receive any benefits up to three months after your registration.

How to Apply?

Step 1 - Once you know that you will become unemployed, it is recommended that you register yourself as looking for a job. The easiest way to do this is, online, through the JobBörse website. All you need to do is, create an account and register. If you have difficulty with the language, you are able to call their hotline to get information in English.

Step 2- It is always recommended that before the termination date passes, you register in person as unemployed.  You have to go to the local Arbeitsagentur and take your documents with you. Normally the required documents are your Identification, passport, visa, termination notice, contract, registration certificate and your Krankenkasse card.

Step 3 – The next step is to fill an application document, in which you provide some details and information on the reason you are applying and your living situation. This step is where it is decided if you qualify for the unemployment benefits. You have the option to fill such application online or at the Arbeitsagentur.

Step 4 – If you are eligible for the benefits, within two week you should receive your confirmation by post.

Step 5- The final step is to prepare a good CV and get ready to meet with your counselor that will aid you in finding work.

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