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Apply for one-time benefits

If you have no or only a small income or assets at your disposal, you can apply for Bürgergeld for one-time benefits in special situations. It does not matter whether or not you have been receiving money from the Jobcenter up to now. Situations in which you may be entitled to one-time benefits are, for example, if:

  • You are expecting a child and therefore need new equipment and clothing.
  • You need furniture or household appliances for the first time or have to buy new ones after a divorce.
  • You need orthopedic shoes or have them repaired.
  • You need to have therapeutic devices or equipment repaired.

In these and other cases, you can apply for either a cash benefit or a benefit in kind (vouchers) from the Jobcenter.

Contact your regional Jobcenter before submitting an application. In many cases, the Jobcenter uses its own application form; sometimes an informal application with a statement of reasons is sufficient. The amount of one-time benefits may vary from region to region.

Process flow

For one-time benefits, contact your local job center by phone, e-mail or in person. There you will receive further information and an application form, if you need one. Alternatively, you can apply for benefits online using the digital application for citizen's benefits.

  • Fill out the application form or write a reasoned informal application, depending on the specifications of your responsible job center.
  • Send the application to the job center. In it, you must prove your need. Include the necessary documents requested by the Jobcenter that prove the need and are required for review.
  • The Jobcenter will review your application. In the process, evidence from third parties (for example, your landlord) may be required to verify whether you need one-time benefits. Ultimately, the authority will make a decision on a case-by-case basis. You will then receive a decision from the job center. There are three possible decisions:
    • the application is approved,
    • the application is partially approved,
    • the application is rejected.
  • The job center pays you the approved amount or sends you the benefit in kind (voucher).


If you are fit for work and are unlikely to be able to cover your living expenses at the moment and also in the next 6 months, you can apply for Bürgergeld for one-off benefits as a cash benefit or benefit in kind (voucher). The one-time benefit must also be necessary. The benefit must then be used exclusively for what is requested, i.e. for

  • the initial furnishing of the apartment,
  • the initial equipment for clothing and initial equipment for pregnancy and birth,
  • the purchase and repairs of orthopedic shoes,
  • the repairs of therapeutic appliances and equipment, and the rental of therapeutic appliances.

Which documents are required?

  • Identity card or passport
  • Proof of income
  • if applicable:
    • Proof of assets
    • Rental contract, proof of rent payment or house encumbrances
    • Maternity passport or medical certificate of the date of delivery
    • Prescription
    • Cost estimates

Please ask the job center responsible for you which documents you need to submit for your case.

What are the fees?

You do not have to pay any costs if you have an account. If you do not have an account, you will receive a payment order to clear for a cash payment (ZzV-Bar). This is a check. However, this will incur a cost that will be deducted directly from the benefit to which you are entitled. Since the cost of the money order may vary, please contact your local Job Center for more information. You can have the check paid out in cash. The payment is made exclusively through Postbank branches. The ZzV-Bar is a means of payment of Postbank AG, the use of which has been agreed separately between the Federal Employment Agency and Postbank.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Apply before you make the purchases, as one-time benefits are only provided if the need has not yet been met.

Processing duration

It may take several weeks to process your application.

Applications / forms

Forms available: Depending on job center
Written form required: No
Informal application possible: Yes
Personal appearance required: No
Online services available: Yes


  • Objection
  • Urgent proceedings before the social court
  • Action before the social court

What else should I know?

The one-off benefits are provided under the responsibility of the municipal providers (independent cities and districts). The level of benefits may therefore vary from region to region.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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