Calculating unemployment benefits yourself – this is how it works

Unemployment benefit is a benefit of the German unemployment insurance, which is paid upon the occurrence of unemployment and depending on further conditions. It is usually paid for up to one year, for older unemployed also up to two years.

Unemployment benefit I and unemployment benefit II

Unemployment benefit must be distinguished from unemployment benefit II. For this reason, unemployment benefit is also colloquially referred to as unemployment benefit I (Alg1) to distinguish it from unemployment benefit II. The amount of Alg1 depends on income, tax class and family circumstances. Alg1 is not a social benefit, but an insurance benefit.

The situation is different for unemployment benefit II, which is also known as Hartz 4. Unemployment benefit II or. Hartz 4 is an open-ended benefit that serves to provide basic security for jobseekers and those in work, insofar as they are unable to cover their living expenses, or are unable to cover them completely, through income. In this article we talk about Alg1 or in short: unemployment benefit, so not Hartz 4 resp. Unemployment benefit II.

Eligibility requirements

Anyone who is unemployed is entitled to Alg1 if he or she has been in an employment relationship subject to compulsory insurance for at least twelve months in the two years before becoming unemployed, has registered as unemployed with the Employment Agency and has fulfilled the qualifying period.

Alg1 is paid to anyone who has paid into the unemployment insurance scheme for at least 12 months in the last 2 years. You must therefore have taken up employment that is subject to social insurance contributions. Entitlement to Alg1 depends on age and previous length of employment. However, Alg1 is granted for a maximum of two years.

Where to apply for Alg1?

It is best to submit the application for approval in person at your local job center, as any open questions can be answered quickly on the spot. For the receipt of Alg1 a personal unemployment registration is an indispensable prerequisite.

How Alg1 is calculated?

The assessment period is one year, in special cases two years. The gross wage and the tax class are the most important factors. Roughly speaking, you receive 60% of your previous net earnings in Alg1. If you have received child benefit for at least one child, it is even 67% of the net earnings! However, this net income is not identical to the last net wage earned.

The lump sum for severely disabled persons, alimony payments and other allowances and lump sums are generally not taken into account when calculating unemployment benefits. In addition, the last tax class filed is not necessarily taken into account. The calculation of the unemployment benefit is usually based on the income tax class that was registered at the beginning of the calendar year in which the Alg1 occurred.

By the way, anyone who is not yet 50 years old or who has been employed for less than 30 months with social insurance will receive Alg1 for a maximum of one year.

Alg1 Calculator

The rules for calculating unemployment benefits are anything but simple. Please note that the displayed result can only be an orientation value for you. The calculated and issued result is therefore not legally binding.

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