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help towards living

You may be entitled to assistance with living expenses in accordance with the Social Code Book XII,

  • if you are temporarily unable to work as defined by the pension insurance institution and
  • if you do not receive a pension or do not receive a sufficient temporary pension.

Benefits to secure a person's livelihood, known as subsistence benefits, are divided between SGB II and SGB XII. Persons capable of work and their dependants receive benefits under SGB II. A person is capable of earning if they can work at least 3 hours a day under the usual conditions of the general labor market. Persons who are temporarily unable to work receive benefits in accordance with SGB XII. The pension insurance provider determines the ability to work.
If the husband/wife or partner receives benefits under SGB II, there is no entitlement to benefits under SGB XII. An application under SGB II must then be submitted to the Jobcenter.

Assistance with living expenses under SGB XII is granted if the necessary means of subsistence cannot be provided or cannot be provided sufficiently from one's own resources and means, in particular income and assets.

From 1.1.2024, the following standard needs levels apply

Standard needs level 1

Adult person who lives in an apartment and for whom standard needs level 2 does not apply: 563 euros

Standard needs level 2

Adult person living in a home with a spouse or partner or in a partnership similar to a marriage or partnership: 506 euros

Standard needs level 3

Adult person living in an inpatient facility: 451 euros

Standard needs level 4

Adolescents from the age of 15 to the age of 18: 471 euros

Standard needs level 5

Children from the age of 7 to the age of 14: 390 euros

Standard needs level 6

Children up to the age of 6: 357 euros

If necessary, additional needs may be granted, which must be applied for and justified on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, reasonable costs for accommodation and heating are paid if required.


  • No or insufficient temporary pension or other income or assets
  • severely limited earning capacity or temporary full reduction in earning capacity
  • habitual residence in the Federal Republic

What documents do I need?

  • Proof of loading

    All load certificates, such as

    Rental agreement including proof of rental payments,

    Proof of any additional energy costs to be paid (electricity, water, gas)

    Proof of the respective health insurance, gffs. contribution invoice etc.,

  • Statement of assets

    e.g. savings books, life insurance, car, etc.  

  • Bank details
  • valid identity card or passport (original, no copy)
  • Valid residence permit

    In case of foreign citizenship. With additional sheet, if necessary.

  • proof of income and assets of the applicant

    All proof of income and assets, e.g. pension statements, alimony, other social benefits, savings books, life insurance, car