Financial assistance

    If you are not gainfully employed and do not have your own financial resources, you can apply for assistance.

    Depending on your residence status, you are entitled to various different benefits.

    Here’s an overview of the benefits that you can claim in case of need.

    Persons with a residence permit, who therefore have the right to remain in Germany and have been employed and paid social insurance contributions for at least 12 months in the last two years are – like German nationals – entitled to claim Arbeitslosengeld I (ALG I) [unemployment benefits I] in accordance with SGB III. The amount of the payment depends on the previous income.

    Recipients of the benefits are entitled to further assistance such as the Bielefeld Pass or education and social participation benefits.

    ALG I is only paid out if you are registered as unemployed. You must register in person at the Agentur für Arbeit [Employment Agency] no later than three months before your employment contract expires. A registration period of three days applies with respect to short-term terminations.

    Agentur für Arbeit [Employment Agency] Bielefeld
    Werner-Bock-Str. 8
    33602 Bielefeld

    Unemployment Agency Bielefeld

    European Union nationals: EU nationals who are not currently working or who have not worked in Germany in the past are not entitled to claim social benefits for the first five years. Similarly, anyone coming to Germany to seek employment is not entitled to claim Arbeitslosengeld II (ALG II) [unemployment benefits II]. If you require government support, you must apply for it in your home country.

    Refugees and third-country nationals: Persons who hold a residence permit may work after three months if the Arbeitsagentur [Employment Agency] and the Ausländerbehörde [Foreigner Registration Department] agree to this. Holders of a temporary residence permit [Aufenthaltsgestattung] are generally not entitled to claim any benefits under SGB II.

    Persons with a residence permit [Aufenthaltserlaubnis] are entitled to or have access to the benefits according to SGB II depending on the type of permit. In both cases, the Job Centre will determine you specific entitlement.

    “Standard requirement” (“Regelbedarf”) determines the extent of your entitlement and is calculated for each person in your household.

    The Job Centre is required to cover accommodation and heating costs. In this connection, the accommodation must be “appropriate” (in terms of the size and the amount of rent payable).

    For adults over the age of 25 years:

    Jobcenter Arbeitplus Bielefeld
    Immigrant Team
    Herforder Str. 67
    33602 Bielefeld

    Jobcenter Arbeitplus Bielefeld

    For young adults under the age of 25 years:

    Employment Agency for Young People
    Herforder Str. 71
    33602 Bielefeld

    Employment Agency for Young People

     

    Asylum seekers in Germany receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (AsylbLG) during the ongoing asylum application process and, under certain circumstances, also if their asylum application has been rejected.

    This financial assistance to cover the basic needs of daily life must be applied for with the Amt für Soziale Leistungen -Sozialamt- [Office for Social Services – Social Welfare Office]. It can also provide further information on the scope of the benefits and the requirements for eligibility.

    You can find your contact persons and office hours by clicking on the link below.

    City of Bielefeld
    Office for Social Services – Social Welfare Office
    Niederwall 23
    33602 Bielefeld

    Office for Social Services – Social Welfare Office

    The Bielefeld Pass is a kind of identity card in a credit card format. With the Bielefeld-Pass you can apply for a monthly ticket for discounted travel by bus and train (concession ticket). You can also claim discounts on entry tickets for the Bielefeld swimming pools or free admission to Bielefeld museums. The Bielefeld Pass entitles you to use the services of the Bielefelder Tafel [food bank], the clothing bank, GAB and much more besides.

    You can claim the Bielefeld Pass if you receive social benefits or have a low income.

    House of Solidarity
    Prinzenstr. 1
    33602 Bielefeld
    Phone 0521 3057551

    Bielefeld Pass

    Bielefeld Pass Brochure

    Child benefits

    Child benefits can be obtained for children from their date of birth until their 18th birthday.

    EU nationals are entitled to claim child benefits.

    Asylum seekers are only entitled to claim child benefits if their application for asylum is accepted.

    Employment Agency – Family Benefits Fund
    Werner-Bock-Str. 8
    33602 Bielefeld
    Phone 0800 4555530

    Employment Agency – Family Benefits Fund

     

    Child supplement

    A child supplement can be applied for if the parents’ income is not sufficient for them to maintain the upkeep of children up to the age of 25 who are living in their parents’ household.

    However, it is not available if social assistance or benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act are being paid at the same time.

    Employment Agency – Family Benefits Fund
    Werner-Bock-Str. 8
    33602 Bielefeld

    Employment Agency – Family Benefits Fund

    Education and social participation (BuT)

    You can apply for education and social participation benefits if you are entitled to housing benefits, child allowance, ALG II, benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act or social assistance. The education and social participation benefits cover such items as the costs of school trips or excursions, tutoring and also lunch at school or kindergarten. An application must be submitted in good time for this purpose.

    Employment Agency for Young People
    Herforder Str. 71
    33602 Bielefeld

    Education and social participation

    Parental benefits

    The basic parental allowance supports families in which the mother and the fathers share the work of caring for the child after birth.

    This gives the parents financial compensation to cover up to 67 percent of their lost net income.
    Parents who did not have a job before the child was born receive a parental allowance of € 300.
    As a rule, the parental allowance is paid for a period of 12 months.

    Nationals of EU member states and Switzerland may also claim a parental allowance if they live or work in Germany.
    Foreign nationals can apply for the parental allowance if they hold a residence permit that entitles them to pursue gainful employment and if they live in Germany permanently.
    Asylum seekers or persons with a tolerated stay permit are not entitled to claim a parental allowance.

    City of Bielefeld
    Office for Youth and Family – Youth Welfare Office

    Niederwall 23
    33602 Bielefeld

    Parental benefits

     

     

    Housing allowance]

    The housing allowance is an advance towards rental costs. You can enquire with the Social Welfare Office to determine whether you are entitled to claim a housing allowance.

    If you receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act or ALG II, you are not entitled to any housing allowance as the rental costs are already included in these benefits.

    City of Bielefeld
    Office for Social Services – Social Welfare Office

    Niederwall 23
    33602 Bielefeld

    Housing allowance

    student loan (BAföG)

    BAföG [student loan] is a loan provided by the government to assist young people during their vocational training. University students in particular as well as school students and trainees/apprentices are entitled to claim this benefit under certain circumstances.

    Foreign nationals who are expected to be able to remain permanently in Germany are also entitled to claim BAföG.
    Special conditions apply to refugees and persons with a tolerated stay permit. Details of these can be obtained from the following offices.

    Student Union Bielefeld
    Vocational Training Assistance Office
    Universitätsstr. 25
    33615 Bielefeld
    Phone 0521 106-88800

    Or

    Employment Agency for Young People– Social Welfare Office
    Herforder Str. 71
    33602 Bielefeld

    Employment Agency for Young People

    Student Union