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Applying for voluntary continued unemployment insurance


Under certain conditions, you can apply for compulsory unemployment insurance so that you can receive unemployment benefit if you become unemployed at a later date. You are entitled to insurance if you:

  • are self-employed for at least 15 hours per week, or
  • are employed abroad outside the EU, EEA or outside Switzerland for at least 15 hours per week, or
  • raise a child over 3 years of age on parental leave, or
  • continue their professional training and thereby
    • be able to advance in their careers, or
    • obtain a vocational qualification, or
    • be able to carry out another professional activity.

The monthly contribution in 2023 is

  • EUR 88.27 (West) and EUR 85.54 (East) for the self-employed
    • In the first year of your self-employment and in the following calendar year, you pay only half of the contribution.
  • EUR 88.27 for foreign employees
  • EUR 44.14 (West) and EUR 42.77 (East) for persons on parental leave and for persons undergoing continuing vocational training.

You pay the monthly insurance contribution alone and directly to the Federal Employment Agency.

If you are employed abroad, there must be no posting. This means that you are not allowed to work temporarily in a foreign company on behalf of your German employer. Otherwise, you would continue to be subject to German social security regulations, and voluntary continued unemployment insurance would not be possible.

If, in addition to your work, you are employed in another European country, the social security law of that country applies. In this case, it is not possible to apply for compulsory insurance under German law.

Note: If you end your self-employment or employment abroad and make use of the compulsory application insurance, you must demonstrably make an effort to find work again as soon as possible.

Process flow

You can apply for compulsory unemployment insurance on application in writing to the Employment Agency:

  • Download the form online from the website of the Employment Agency and print it out or have the form handed over to you on site at the Employment Agency.
  • Fill out the form and attach the necessary supporting documents.
  • Submit the application documents to the Employment Agency. If possible, hand in the completed application documents in person.
  • You will be notified of the decision on your application in writing by post. Your compulsory insurance relationship upon application begins on the day on which the requirements are met for the first time, if necessary also retroactively.

Alternatively, you can apply online.

  • Go to the website of the Federal Employment Agency. Then go to the eServices menu, click on "Show all services" and then on "Voluntary compulsory application insurance".
  • Accessible and digitally fillable documents as well as the upload for the application and other supporting documents are available here.
  • Download the application form that suits your job and fill it out electronically.
  • Prepare the necessary evidence. Make sure that the necessary evidence is available in digital form. For example, you can take a picture of the documents with your smartphone or a digital camera and upload them as an image file.
  • Log in with your user account.
    • If you don't have an account, you'll need to register first, or if you can't remember your credentials, follow the steps on the Forgot your username or Forgot your password page.
    • Alternatively, you can receive an access code for the online portal by post.
  • From your user account, you can upload the application for compulsory unemployment insurance as well as all supporting documents and send them to the Employment Agency.
  • Missing documents and changes can also be submitted or communicated online.
  • You will be notified of the decision on your application. You can find this notification in your profile in the "Notification filing" section – provided that you have consented to online delivery.
  • Your compulsory insurance relationship upon application for unemployment insurance begins on the day on which the requirements are met for the first time, if necessary also retroactively.

Who should I contact?

You can find the office of the Federal Employment Agency responsible for you via the service finder.

Competent authority

The competent office is the office of the Federal Employment Agency in whose district you have your domicile or habitual residence. If you do not live in Germany or do not have a habitual place of residence at the time of application, you must submit the application to the office of the Employment Agency that was responsible for your last residence in Germany or the one responsible for your last employment.

You can find the office of the Federal Employment Agency responsible for you via the service finder.

Requirements

  • You have been compulsorily insured in the social security system for at least 12 months within the last 30 months prior to the start of employment/employment abroad or the start of parental leave/professional training, for example as an employee or as a trainee or
  • Immediately before the start of employment/employment abroad or the start of parental leave/further vocational training, they were entitled to a compensation benefit in accordance with the Third Social Code (SGB III), for example unemployment benefit, but not citizens' allowance and
  • You are neither subject to compulsory insurance nor exempt from unemployment insurance.
  • The compulsory insurance relationship is excluded if you were already subject to compulsory insurance as a self-employed person, interrupted your self-employment twice and asserted a claim to unemployment benefit during the interruption periods.

Which documents are required?

General:

  • Identity card or passport with confirmation of registration or replacement document or copies of the documents
  • Certificate that you have been compulsorily insured in the social security system for at least 12 months within the last 30 months prior to the start of employment/employment abroad or the start of parental leave/professional training (e.g. employment certificate from your employer)

Special:

  • If you are self-employed:
    • Business registration or
    • unambiguous, credible explanation of your freelance work, including suitable evidence
  • In the case of employment abroad: employment contract
  • In the case of parental leave: "Additional sheet for child-rearing periods" and notification of parental allowance or childcare allowance
  • In the case of continuing vocational training: Proof of the continuing education institution

What are the fees?

There are no costs.

Applications / forms

Forms available: Yes
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: No
Online services available: Yes

Appeal

  • Contradiction
  • social court action

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

Professionally released on

23.05.2023

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)