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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for subsistence assistance (social assistance)


As a rule, you will receive subsistence assistance as a social assistance benefit if you are in need of assistance and:

  • neither basic security for jobseekers,
  • nor receive basic security in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity.

Children under the age of 15 receive social assistance if they:

  • live together with people who receive subsistence assistance (usually with their parents), and
  • are unable to secure their livelihood despite maintenance claims.

The benefits of subsistence assistance include:

  • the lump-sum standard rate to secure a livelihood, for example for food, clothing or personal hygiene. A separate set of rules is set for each family member.
  • Education and participation services for children and adolescents, for example for:
    • School trips,
    • personal school supplies,
    • school tickets,
    • supplementary learning support,
    • Lunch in schools or
    • Club fees, music lessons and the like.
  • Needs for accommodation and heating.
  • In exceptional cases, assumption of debts for:
    • prevention of homelessness,
    • Securing your accommodation, or
    • to remedy a comparable emergency, for example debts to the energy supplier.
  • Needs for contributions from your health and long-term care insurance and, under certain conditions, for your retirement provision.

In addition to your standard rate, you can receive benefits for additional living expenses. You can apply for these additional requirements if you:

  • meet the requirements for a severely disabled person's pass with the mark "G" and are not able to work under pension law,
  • are expectant mothers from the 13th week of pregnancy,
  • are single parents,
  • have reached the age of 15, are disabled and receive assistance for appropriate schooling or training within the framework of integration assistance,
  • are dependent on a special diet due to a medical illness, which leads to higher costs than a "normal" diet,
  • the hot water is not produced by a central heating system, but decentrally (e.g. boiler) or
  • You are a pupil and have expenses for the purchase or loan of textbooks or equivalent workbooks due to the respective school law regulations or school requirements.  

If you do not live alone, the social welfare office will include the entire family income to determine your need for help. For this purpose, the income of all family members living together in an apartment is taken into account, for example:

  • earned income,
  • maintenance payments and
  • Pension income.

Child benefit paid for minors, as well as any maintenance payments for a child, are attributed to that child in order to meet his or her needs.

Certain assets are considered not to be taken into account, for example:

  • smaller amounts of cash (financial assets per adult: EUR 10,000) or
  • an appropriate house plot.

With a few exceptions, you will not receive any benefits for past periods.

  • You are in need of help and:
    • for a limited period of time and fully reduced earning capacity, or
    • are receiving an old-age pension, but have not yet reached the age limit for the standard old-age pension.
  • You are in need of help if you cannot fully cover your livelihood from your own resources and strength.

    You are fully disabled for a limited period of time if you are not able to work regularly for at least 3 hours a day under the usual conditions of the general labour market for the foreseeable future (more than 6 months).

  • You will not receive:
    • Basic income support for jobseekers,
    • Basic security in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity or
    • Basic services for asylum seekers.
  • valid identity card or passport, confirmation of registration if applicable
  • Proof of a temporary full reduction in earning capacity in the form of a pension notice or medical certificates
  • Proof of income, e.g. pension, sickness benefit, child benefit, alimony payments or maintenance advance
  • Proof of assets, e.g. savings
  • Lease agreement and subsequent amendments, in particular with regard to the amount of rent
  • Proof of expenses, in addition to rent and rent payment, especially advance payments and bills for ancillary costs and heating costs, documents on insurance premiums
  • Proof of health and long-term care insurance, i.e. information on health insurance and insurance status or contract for private health and long-term care insurance

Note: The scope of the required documents, especially for proof of income and assets, depends on the individual case. Your local social welfare office will request further documents from you, such as current bank statements, divorce decrees or alimony titles.

The deadlines set by the Social Welfare Office for the submission of documents must be met. If this is not possible for you for understandable reasons, you must apply for an extension of the deadline. Otherwise, the social welfare office may refuse you the benefit due to non-compliance with your statutory obligations to cooperate.

This also applies to the objection periods, i.e. if you do not agree with the decision - not only with the rejection notice, but also with the approval notice (amount of the resulting benefit claim).

Depending on the individual case.

Forms: available from your social welfare office

Written form required: No

Informal application possible: Yes

Personal appearance required: No

Online services available: No

Livelihood assistance is provided from the date on which the social welfare office is informed of the entitlement to benefits. Usually, this information is provided in the form of an application.

  • Arrange a consultation with your local social welfare office. Take all the necessary documents with you to this interview.
  • As part of the consultation, fill out the application for subsistence assistance.
  • The social welfare office will decide on your application and inform you of the result. This is done by means of a notification, which is usually sent to you by letter.
  • If your application has been approved, you will receive a notice of approval, if it is rejected, a rejection notice.
  • In both cases, the decision must contain the reasons for the decision, as well as information on the possibility of appealing against it. For this purpose, an indication of the deadline within which you can file an objection must be included.
  • The notice of approval must include the amount of the benefit to be paid as well as the start of payment. From the date mentioned, the social welfare office will transfer the money to your account at the beginning of the month.
  • Please note: You are obliged to notify your local social welfare office immediately of any changes in your income and financial circumstances.

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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