Why am I unemployed?

I am unemployed

When am I considered unemployed?

You are considered unemployed if you have not found a new job after termination of your employment relationship.

How do I get unemployment benefits?

In order to receive unemployment benefit, you have to submit an application to the Public Employment Service (AMS). The best way to do this is via the e-AMS account. If you don't have an e-AMS account, register as unemployed by email or telephone. The AMS in your residential district or in the district in which you permanently reside is responsible.

What requirements do I have to meet in order to receive unemployment benefit?

In principle, you must have worked 52 weeks in the past 2 years and subject to unemployment insurance. If you are applying for unemployment benefits for the second time or more often, 28 weeks of work subject to unemployment insurance in the last year is sufficient. If you are under 25 years old, 26 weeks of unemployment insurance work in the last year is enough.

When will I start receiving unemployment benefits?

If all the requirements are met, you will receive unemployment benefit from the day you apply for assistance from the AMS. The earliest point in time is the day after the end of your employment relationship.

How long do I get unemployment benefits?

How long you can get unemployment benefit depends on various factors, such as the length of employment and your age. Basically, you will receive unemployment benefits for 20 weeks.

However, the duration increases if you

  • Worked for 30 weeks subject to unemployment insurance for three years.
  • have reached the age of 40 and have worked for six years within the last ten years with unemployment insurance for 39 weeks.
  • have reached the age of 50 and have worked nine years within the last 15 years with unemployment insurance for 52 weeks.

How much unemployment benefits do I get?

Unemployment benefit is usually 55% of daily net income. Since July 1, 2020, the basic amount has been calculated based on the monthly contribution basis. The contribution basis for those with compulsory insurance is basically what you have earned during the contribution period.

Under certain conditions, you will receive a supplementary amount, namely if the basic amount is lower than € 966.65 (the so-called compensation supplement reference rate or "minimum pension").

Children are included in the unemployment benefit at € 0.97 per day.

Can I earn in addition to unemployment benefits?

Yes, that is possible. In addition, you can earn up to the "marginal earnings limit" without reducing unemployment benefits or emergency assistance. In 2020, the marginal earnings limit is EUR 460.66 gross per month.

Please report any gainful activity while you are unemployed to the AMS. Otherwise there is a risk of losing unemployment benefits.

Do I have health insurance when I am unemployed?

As an unemployed person, you have health insurance, but you do not have to pay health insurance contributions. Health insurance coverage also applies to your relatives if they do not have their own health insurance.

If you become unable to work while you are receiving unemployment benefit or emergency assistance, you will receive sickness benefit from the fourth day of your sick leave in the amount of the previously received unemployment benefit or emergency assistance. The AMS continues to pay unemployment benefits during the first three days of sick leave. The same applies to hospitalization as to sick leave. Please report the beginning and end of the sick leave to the AMS. After the end of your sick leave, you must report to the AMS immediately, at least within 7 days.

What if I no longer receive unemployment benefits?

If you have received unemployment benefit, but the possible period of payment has already been exhausted, you can apply for what is known as "emergency aid".

To do this, you must be able to work, willing to work and unemployed, registered with the AMS and be able to be placed on the labor market. You must be willing to take at least 20 hours a week of work, unless you have to look after a child. In this case, you need to be willing to work at least 16 hours a week.

You only get emergency assistance if there is an emergency. You receive the emergency aid for an unlimited period of time, but it is granted for a maximum of 52 weeks. Then you have to submit a new application.

When is an emergency present?

When checking whether there is an emergency, your own income is taken into account. The income of the parents, children or other relatives is not important, not even in the case of a shared household. Since July 1st, 2018, the income of a spouse or partner is no longer taken into account!

How much emergency aid do I get?

If no income is taken into account, the emergency assistance amounts to 95% of the basic amount of unemployment benefit and 95% of the supplementary amount if the basic amount of unemployment benefit is less than € 966.65 (equalization supplement reference rate or "minimum pension").

The emergency assistance amounts to 92% of the basic amount of the unemployment benefit if the basic amount of the unemployment benefit is over € 966.65 (equalization supplement reference rate or "minimum pension").

In addition, there are family allowances for certain people, for example for children who are entitled to family allowances.

How do I apply for emergency assistance?

The emergency assistance must be applied for personally at the responsible AMS, preferably before the unemployment benefit expires. If you have an eAMS account, you can also apply online.

Like the unemployment benefit, the emergency assistance is also paid out monthly in arrears.

Can I earn additional income for emergency aid?

If you want to earn additional income on unemployment assistance, the same provisions apply as for additional earnings on unemployment benefits.