Social Benefit or Housing Benefit/Child Benefit Supplement

As a student, you are actually excluded from social benefits, because – due to your studies - you are entitled to BAföG. Fortunately, there are some exceptions, for example:

  • If you're on leave of absence from university.
  • The fact that you are not entitled to social benefits does not mean that other members of your household are not. This means that you can very well get social benefit or housing benefit and child benefit supplement for your child(ren).
  • If you are in need, (regardless of whether you are on leave or not), you are entitled to the additional benefit for pregnancy and the additional benefit for single parents in SGB 2 (also known as ALG 2 and Hartz 4).
  • You can be entitled to housing benefit if the maximum period of BAföG funding has been reached, or if you are not entitled to BAföG funding due to your parents' income.

To check whether you are eligible for a social benefit, you can use various calculators on the Internet. These can give you at least a rough idea of whether an application is worthwhile (unfortunately, these are available only in German):

  • ALG2/ Hartz 4/ social benefit calculator
  • Housing benefit calculator
  • Child benefit supplement check

    • FAQ

      This depends very much on your income and family constellation and is therefore not easy to answer. There are family constellations, for example, in which different members of the household (must) receive different social benefits. For simplicity, we advise you to apply for ALG 2 when the ALG2 calculator determines a claim. The advantage of this is that you only have to submit one application. Should you nevertheless be referred to so-called "priority benefits", the date of receipt of the first application will also count for these benefits. This means that if you file an application with the wrong authority, you will not lose any "claim periods". It makes sense to start with the housing benefit application if one of the following points applies to you:

      • Your income is too high for ALG 2
      • You are not on leave and you are not entitled to BAföG
      • You do not want to disclose that much data about yourself
      • You have assets that go beyond the Schonvermögen (protected asset line) in ALG 2 (protected assets = 150 euros x age of all persons in your household / community of need)
      • Your youngest child is over 3 years old and you don't want to get involved with the ARGE job agency.
      • If you receive housing benefit, the probability that you will also be entitled to the child benefit supplement is very high, unless you receive benefits according to the law on advance maintenance payments. This means that as a single parent who receives a maintenance advance, you cannot get a child benefit supplement. The same applies if a person in your household receives ALG2, because the receipt of ALG2 and child benefit supplement exclude one another.

      You have to decide this for yourself in the end. However, you should bear in mind that receiving social benefits entitles you to other benefits (for example, the educational package).