Basic income support for jobseekers under the Second Book of the Social Code (SGB II) is intended to enable people who are capable of working to lead their lives with dignity. To do so, it secures their livelihood and places them in employment.
If unable to secure their livelihood and the livelihood of their household, or unable to secure it sufficiently from their own resources and means, those capable of earning a living receive state support. However, the benefits of basic income support for jobseekers are only paid if the need for assistance cannot be solved any other way, for example by using income or assets that are not exempted or if they can receive assistance from providers of other social benefits.
Benefits under Book II of the Social Code are also intended to support those capable of working eligible for benefits and their dependents in taking up gainful employment that will enable them to earn a living. The job centres provide basic income support for jobseekers.
Persons eligible for benefits
Persons capable of working who, despite intense effort, cannot find work or whose work does not generate enough income to cover their needs are eligible for benefits, i.e. those in need of assistance who have their habitual place of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany. Persons are considered capable of working if they have reached the age of 15 and have not yet reached the age for the standard old-age pension.
Those capable of working who live in a household with persons eligible for benefits also receive benefits. Normally, only cash benefits can be considered for them. Services and benefits in kind are only provided to them if it ends or reduces the need for assistance of the members of the household or if it removes or reduces obstacles to the labour market integration of the benefit claimants capable of working.
Types of benefits
SGB II provides for different types of benefits:
- Benefits in the form of services
Services are provided at job centres in the form of information and counselling as well as placement in vocational training or work.
- Benefits in the form cash
In addition to the amount of what is relevant to the so-called standard needs rate, the cash benefit (unemployment benefit II) also includes adequate amounts for accommodation and heating, if these are not covered by income or assets, while taking into account deductions and exempt assets. Other needs are recognized for special situations such as single parenthood, pregnancy and expensive dietary regimes that are medically necessary. The amount for standard needs to ensure livelihoods includes in particular the amounts needed for food, clothing, personal hygiene, household goods, household energy (excluding what is for heating and hot water). It also includes amounts needed for participation in social and cultural life in the community (the so-called subsistence minimum in terms of society and culture). The amount for standard needs is taken into account as a monthly lump sum.
- Benefits in kind
Benefits in kind are also provided, e.g. for education and participation.
Counselling and job placement
The main goal of basic income support for jobseekers is to help those who are capable of working to earn a living and to live their lives without state support in the future.
The SGB II therefore provides for various supporting integration services, e.g. debt counselling, addiction counselling, but also counselling and support services for the self-employed.