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Apply for assistance with living expenses (social assistance)
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
As a rule, you receive assistance for living as a social assistance benefit if you are in need of assistance and:
- neither receive basic benefits for jobseekers
- nor receive basic benefits for old age and reduced earning capacity.
Children under 15 receive social assistance if they:
- live together with persons who receive assistance for living (usually with their parents) and
- cannot ensure their livelihood despite being entitled to maintenance.
The subsistence assistance benefits include:
- the flat-rate standard rate to ensure subsistence, for example, for food, clothing or personal hygiene. A separate standard rate is set for each family member.
- Education and participation benefits for children and young people, for example for:
- School trips,
- personal school supplies,
- school tickets,
- supplementary learning support,
- school lunches or
- club fees, music lessons and the like.
- Needs for accommodation and heating.
- In exceptional cases, assumption of debts for:
- Avoiding homelessness,
- securing your accommodation or
- to remedy a comparable emergency situation, for example debts to the energy supplier.
- Needs for contributions to your health and long-term care insurance and, under certain conditions, for your old-age provision.
In addition to your standard rate, you can receive benefits for additional living needs. You can apply for these additional needs if you:
- meet the requirements for a severely disabled person's ID card with the mark "G" and are unable to work according to pension law,
- are an expectant mother from the 13th week of pregnancy,
- are a single parent,
- 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 condition, which leads to higher costs than a "normal" diet,
- do not produce hot water through a central heating system, but decentralized (for example boiler) or
- you are a pupil and have expenses for the purchase or loan of textbooks or equivalent workbooks due to the respective school 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 assistance. For this purpose, the income of all family members living together in one home is taken into account, for example:
- Earned income,
- alimony and
- pension income.
Child benefit paid for minors and any child support payments for a child are attributed to that child to cover the child's needs.
Certain assets are considered as exempt assets not to be taken into account, for example:
- small amounts of cash (financial assets per adult: EUR 10,000) or
- an appropriate piece of real estate.
Except in a few exceptional cases, you will not receive benefits for past periods.
Assistance for subsistence is provided from the moment when the Social Welfare Office is informed about the eligibility for 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 meeting.
- During the counseling interview, fill out the application for assistance with living expenses.
- The social welfare office will decide on your application and inform you of the result. This is done by means of a decision, which is usually sent to you by letter.
- If your application is approved, you will receive a notice of approval; if it is rejected, you will receive a notice of rejection.
- In both cases, the notice must contain the reasons for the decision, as well as information about the possibility of appealing against it. It must also contain information about the period within which you can lodge an appeal.
- The decision must state the amount of the benefit to be paid, as well as the start date of the payment. From the date stated, the social welfare office will transfer the money to your account at the beginning of the month.
- Attention: You are obliged to inform your social welfare office immediately of any changes in your income and financial circumstances.
Who should I contact?
Your local social welfare office
Your local social welfare office
Note: If the application is submitted to a social welfare office that is not responsible, this office must forward the application to the responsible social welfare office. In this case, you will be informed about the forwarding of the application.
- They are in need of help and:
- temporarily fully incapacitated for work or
- receive an old-age pension, but have not yet reached the age limit for the standard old-age pension.
You are in need of assistance if you are unable to fully cover your living expenses from your own resources and efforts.
You are temporarily fully incapacitated if you are unable to work regularly for at least 3 hours a day under the usual conditions of the general labor market for the foreseeable future (more than 6 months).
- You will not receive any:
- Basic benefits for jobseekers,
- basic benefits for old age and reduced earning capacity, or
- basic benefits for asylum seekers.
Which documents are required?
- Valid identity card or passport, if applicable confirmation of registration
- Proof of a temporary full reduction in earning capacity in the form of pension notice or medical certificates
- Proof of income, e.g. pension, sick pay, child benefit, alimony payments or advance alimony payments
- Proof of assets, for example savings
- Rental agreement and subsequent changes, in particular with regard to the amount of rent
- Evidence of expenses, in addition to the amount of rent and rent payments, in particular advance payments and statements for ancillary costs and heating costs, documents on insurance contributions
- Evidence 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 maintenance titles.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
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 to pay you benefits because you have failed to comply with your statutory duty to cooperate.
This also applies to the time limits for appeals, i.e. if you do not agree with the decision - not only with regard to the rejection decision, but also with regard to the approval decision (amount of the resulting benefit claim).
Depending on the individual case.
Applications / forms
Forms: can be obtained from your social welfare office
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: No
Online services available: No
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)
Professionally released on