Who is the competent body?

The Federal Employment Agency and its local agencies are the bodies to contact.

The competent agency can be identified using the search tool of the Federal Employment Agency.

When and how do I register?

You can register online on the website of the Federal Employment Agency or by calling the freephone number
0800 4 555500 or in writing. But it is important to register in only one way.

Prospective unemployed persons are asked to register as jobseekers no later than 3 months before the end of their employment contract or within 3 days of being notified of the end of their contract, whichever is the sooner.

PLEASE NOTE: registering as a jobseeker does not replace registering for unemployment benefit. This application must be made no later than the 1st day of inactivity. You can also apply online or in person at your local employment office.

What documents do I need to provide?

You will need to present your identity card showing your current address (or a passport or replacement document, accompanied by a valid vehicle registration certificate).

The formalities for the employment authorities to receive form U1 must have been completed in advance
(see Introduction).

What are the conditions for receiving unemployment benefit?

Any insured person who is involuntarily unemployed, able to work and registered with the employment services may claim unemployment insurance benefits.

You must not have reached the age of 65 (67 for the 1947 to 1964 age groups, except for people aged 65 or over with 45 years’ contributions).

You must have been registered for at least 12 months in the 30 months prior to registering as a jobseeker.

Am I entitled to unemployment benefit if I resign?

In the event of resignation without a recognised valid reason, benefits will only be paid after a waiting period of up to 12 weeks.

How long does the benefit last?

The length of time you receive benefit depends on how long you have already been insured and your age:

Age Period worked in the last 5 years Compensation
12 months 6 months
16 months 8 months
20 months 10 months
24 months 12 months
50 years 30 months 15 months
55 years 36 months 18 months
58 years 48 months 24 months

Recipients of unemployment benefit may work for up to 15 hours a week. After a threshold of 165 € their income from work is deducted from the unemployment benefit to which they are entitled.

What is the amount of compensation?

The amount of compensation depends on the average salary received during the year preceding entitlement to benefits (up to the contribution ceiling). Gross pay is reduced by the usual legal deductions (flat-rate net pay).

It amounts to 60 % of salary for beneficiaries without children, and 67 % for beneficiaries with at least 1 dependent child.

A calculator is available on the internet page of the Federal Employment Agency.

Jobseekers who are not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits, or who have exhausted their entitlement under this insurance scheme, may claim the minimum individual benefit granted on a condition of resources. This benefit may also be paid to a worker whose income is not sufficient to live on. This is a differential benefit.