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Register unemployed

If you wish to apply for unemployment benefits, you must register as unemployed electronically in the specialist portal of the Federal Employment Agency or in person at the employment agency responsible for your place of residence.

When you register as unemployed, unemployment benefits are generally considered to have been applied for, unless you make a different declaration. Separate documents are required for the application for unemployment benefits.

It is therefore important that, no later than on the 1st day of your unemployment, you

  • register as unemployed electronically in the specialist portal of the Federal Employment Agency or
  • come to the employment agency responsible for you to register as unemployed in person.

You can also register as unemployed earlier. However, this is legally possible at the earliest 3 months before you become unemployed.

Please note: Unemployment benefits are paid at the earliest from the day on which you registered as unemployed.

It is not a problem if the Employment Agency is closed on weekends or holidays, for example, and you therefore cannot register as unemployed on the 1st day after your employment ends. If you register for unemployment on the next day that the Employment Agency is open again, your unemployment registration is valid retroactively.

If your unemployment is interrupted for more than 6 weeks, for example because you have found a job or are doing an internship, then your unemployment registration is no longer valid. If you are unemployed again after that, you must register for unemployment again.

The effect of the unemployment registration expires if you take up gainful employment - regardless of its duration - and have not informed your employment agency of this immediately.

If you are temporarily unable to work and the Employment Agency is not open on the 1st day of your recovery, you should register as unemployed on the last day of your incapacity for work at the latest. Otherwise, you could suffer disadvantages.
If you are receiving sick pay and your health insurance company has informed you that this entitlement will expire and you will not be able to resume your previous employment, it is also possible to register for unemployment if you are still on sick leave.
If you are ill or have other health restrictions and cannot register for unemployment in person, you can also appoint a substitute to do it for you. However, you must then immediately report in person to your employment agency as soon as the reason for your inability to work no longer applies. Alternatively, you can of course also make use of the option of electronic unemployment registration.


You are unemployed or you expect to become unemployed within the next 3 months.

What documents do I need?

  • Electronic unemployment registration:
    • ID document with online ID function, the free ID app2, and a smartphone or card reader.
  • Personal unemployment registration:
    • Identity card with current registration address.
    • Passport/replacement document in conjunction with a current registration certificate.