apply for citizenship

Citizens’ income serves as basic security, i.e. to secure your livelihood. The basic security for jobseekers supports you Benefits designed to help you get a job Assistance in finding an apprenticeship and Benefits to secure your livelihood. The basic...

Citizens’ income serves as basic security, i.e. to secure your livelihood. The basic security for jobseekers supports you

  • Benefits designed to help you get a job
  • Assistance in finding an apprenticeship and
  • Benefits to secure your livelihood.
The basic security benefits are transferred to your account in advance every month.
The job center will check at regular intervals whether you need help. The job center therefore usually approves the benefits for 12 months. Sometimes the job center only grants citizen benefit for 6 months, for example if your income varies from month to month or as part of the regulations for simplified access to the basic security systems.

Lump sum amount
You will receive a lump sum to secure your livelihood. It covers your needs, such as nutrition, clothing and personal hygiene, and is updated annually. The following amounts apply to standard requirements for 2022:
  • Single people, single parents, adults with minor partners: EUR 449.00
  • Adult partners: EUR 404.00
  • Other adults aged 18 to 24 and people under the age of 25 who move out of their parents' household without a guarantee from the municipal authority (18 to 24 years): EUR 360.00
  • Children from 14 to 17 years: EUR 376.00
  • Children from 6 to 13 years: EUR 311.00
  • Children from 0 to 5 years: EUR 285.00
Immediate surcharge
Since July 2022, children, adolescents and young adults who are entitled to basic income or social benefits based on a standard requirement according to the standard requirement levels 3, 4, 5 or 6 have also been entitled to a monthly immediate surcharge of 20 euros. These are regularly people who, as children, are members of a benefit community.

additional requirements
If you need more money because of certain circumstances, you can get benefits for that too under certain circumstances. For example, expectant mothers from the 13th week of pregnancy, single parents, people with disabilities or people who need more expensive food for medical reasons receive benefits for so-called additional needs.
In addition, you can receive the following benefits:
  • Benefits for your accommodation and heating, insofar as these costs are reasonable. What costs are reasonable depends on where you live. Note: Within the framework of the regulations for simplified access to the basic security systems, the actual accommodation and heating costs for approval periods that begin up to December 31, 2022 are regularly taken into account.
  • Special case: If you are under 25 years old and not married and want to move out with your parents or one of your parents, you can only receive these benefits if you have a so-called assurance from the job center. You must apply for the assurance at your job center. In your application, state the reasons for your move. You get the assurance if
  • there are serious social reasons for moving from your parents' home and you can prove them,
  • moving to the new apartment is important in order to start a new job, or
  • there is another important reason.
  • If you move without the Jobcenter's assurance, the costs for the apartment and heating will not be covered by the Jobcenter. Money for the initial furnishing of your apartment will not be paid either.
  • If you move to a new apartment (after the confirmation has been given) or take on a new job and have to move, the job center will pay you the necessary moving costs and, if necessary, grant the rental deposit as a loan.
  • In emergencies where your livelihood is at risk, you can apply for a loan in cash or in kind. This can be the case, for example, if something has been stolen from you or something has broken. However, the standard requirement already includes an amount to save. That means you usually have to pay for purchases from the money saved from the standard rate.
  • You can also receive one-off support in certain situations upon separate application. Examples of this are initial equipment for the home or initial equipment for pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Contributions to your health and nursing care insurance.
  • Services for education and participation in social and cultural life for children, adolescents and young adults, such as for
  • school trips,
  • community lunch or
  • Equipped with school supplies.
  • You must apply for benefits for extracurricular learning support (tutoring) separately.

This text is not complete. You can get more information from the job center.

Important notes


You are employable. That means you

  • be able to work at least 3 hours a day and
  • are at least 15 years old and have not yet reached the age limit for statutory pension insurance. If you were born after 1963, this is 67 years. If you were born before 1964, you can look up the age limit that applies to you in the table in § 7a SGB II.
  • You are in need of help. This means that you cannot cover your livelihood and the maintenance of your benefit community entirely from your own resources and resources of the benefit community.
  • You have no priority claims against other service providers or other persons, such as a divorced spouse or the father or mother of your child.
  • You live in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Documents required

  • application forms
  • Valid identification document:
  • identity card or
  • valid passport with current registration certificate
  • residence permit
  • Proof of income, for example a wage statement or current account statements (e.g. for pensions, sick pay, child benefit, maintenance, maintenance advance)
  • Evidence of existing assets (e.g. savings, shares, securities, building loan contracts)
  • Evidence of expenses, e.g. by presenting bank statements (or e.g. rental agreement, rental receipts, heating costs, documents on insurance contributions)
  • Evidence of earlier receipt of benefits, also from another job center (approval notice, proof of performance)
  • If you submit the application following an employment relationship:
  • Working papers (also letter of termination or declaration of work assignment)
  • Employment certificate (to be completed by the employer)

Please note

Basic security means that your subsistence level is secured, i.e. securing the necessities of life. If you are not able to work, you can still be entitled to benefits if you live in a community of need with someone entitled to benefits who is able to work. Then you can get social benefits. Since August 1st, 2019, it is no longer necessary to apply separately for benefits for education and participation in social life for children, adolescents and young adults. From January 1, 2024, this does not apply to extracurricular learning support (see note under Services).


There is no deadline. However, the benefits will only be granted from the month in which you submitted the application. If you are still receiving unemployment benefit, it is advisable to apply early before these benefits expire, so that you do not get into financial difficulties.

Objection period: 1 month

Procedure & Fees


In order to receive citizen benefit, you must submit an application. To do this, register at your job center. This is also possible online. Apply for citizenship benefit in writing:

  • Visit your local job center. It is in the county or city where you usually reside or are registered.
  • Your personal situation will be discussed at the job center and you will be given all the application forms and documents that you need to fill out.
  • The application forms can be sent to you if you wish, for example in a telephone call or by e-mail. You can also find the application forms online.
  • Fill out the application documents for citizen benefit. You can get help with this at the job center or use the instructions for completing the form, which are available in German.
  • Submit your complete application documents at your job center. That also includes:
  • Proof of rent, heating and ancillary costs and
  • Proof of Income and Assets.
  • The job center decides on your application. You will be informed of the decision on your application in writing by post.
Apply for citizenship online:
  • You can submit the application for citizen benefit easily and conveniently online. To do this, go to the website of the Federal Employment Agency.
  • Navigate to the application for citizen's allowance. Follow the instructions and instructions on how to fill out the form and fill out the application directly on the computer.
  • If you already have proof of your application, please upload it as well. If you cannot or do not want to submit any proof, you can do so later or if your job center asks you to do so.
  • The job center decides on your application. You will be informed of the decision on your application in writing by post.

Processing time

For initial applications in the benefit area, an average processing time of a maximum of 14 working days is aimed for. For this, the documents must be complete.

Processing time: 0 - 14 working days


There is no cost to you if you have an account. If you do not have an account, you will receive a payment instruction for offsetting a cash payment (ZzV-Bar). This is a check. However, this will incur costs that will be deducted directly from the service to which you are entitled. Since the amount of the costs for the payment order can vary, please contact your local job center for more information. You can have the check paid out in cash. Payment is made exclusively via the Postbank branches. The ZzV-Bar is a means of payment from Postbank AG, the use of which was agreed separately between the Federal Employment Agency and Postbank.

Legal notes

Legal remedies

  • contradiction

  • summary proceedings before the social court

  • Complaint before the social court

Legal basis

Second Book of the Social Code (SGB II)

Public Service Disclaimer

Please note: This service on uses machine translations powered by Google. Some content may not be translated accurately or reliably. The translations are constantly being improved. If you have any issues with Google Translate, please visit