Every employee dreads the sentence "I have to go to the employment office". Mostly this means that he has lost his job. However, going to the Employment Agency, as the Labor Office has been called since 2004, usually ensures that the following months are financially secure and those affected can look for a new job in peace or even argue with their ex-employer because of the dismissal. With our calculator you can estimate the amount of your unemployment benefits.
Financial assistance for job-seekers
What is unemployment benefit 1?
Unemployment benefit 1 is financed by unemployment insurance and usually precedes unemployment benefit 2. Whether and how long someone can draw unemployment benefit 1, depends mostly on whether and how long he was insured in the unemployment insurance.
Unemployment insurance is part of the social security system, such as the statutory pension insurance. Unemployment insurance contributions are generally deducted from employees’ gross wages and salaries. You will find these charges on your monthly salary statement.
Roman or Arabic?
Since not everyone had Latin in school, we use here the spellings, after which also in the Internet usually one searches, thus with Arab numbers: "unemployment pay 1" and "ALG 1" instead of "unemployment pay I" and "ALG I".
When you are entitled to unemployment benefit 1
In order to receive unemployment benefit 1, the following conditions must be met:
- Eligible persons have been employed for at least twelve months in the last five years before they registered as unemployed. Several jobs can be added together (qualifying period).
- You have registered as unemployed with your employment agency.
- You are unemployed, but you are able to work in a job that is subject to compulsory insurance (at least 15 hours per week).
- You are looking for a new job that is subject to compulsory insurance and are working together with the employment agency.
In addition to employment subject to compulsory insurance, other periods can be taken into account for entitlement to unemployment benefit, for example:
- Eligible persons were voluntarily insured against unemployment, for example, during self-employment.
- You have raised a child (up to the age of three).
- You have received sickness benefit.
However, even in these cases, claimants must have been insured for at least twelve months within the last 30 months before becoming unemployed.
Those who have frequently been employed on a temporary basis are entitled to a shorter qualifying period under certain conditions: In this case, at least six months of employment subject to compulsory insurance in the five years prior to registration as unemployed are sufficient. The prerequisites include that most of the employment was limited to up to 14 weeks.
How do I calculate the unemployment benefit (ALG 1)??
To find out the amount of unemployment benefit you are entitled to, you can use our calculator. The basis for calculation is your average gross wage in the last twelve months. The employment agency deducts the usual deductions from this amount and calculates a so-called flat-rate net income. As a rule, unemployment benefits amount to 60 percent of this net remuneration. If you have children, your unemployment benefit will be increased to 67 percent.
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ALG 1 calculator
Optimize tax classes
Since unemployment benefits are also based on net income, your tax bracket affects the amount paid to you. The highest net income for married persons is in tax class 3 (III), the lowest in tax class 5 (V).
Tip: Change to a more favorable tax class in good time if you learn of your impending unemployment at an early stage. The better tax class 3 or 4 (IV) should already apply in January of the year in which unemployment begins. The employment agency will only accept a later change if the new tax classes make sense for the couple.
When and where do I apply for unemployment benefit 1??
In principle, you must register as a job-seeker with the employment agency at least three months before the final termination of your employment relationship. If this is not possible for you, for example because you learn about it less than three months before the end of your employment, you must report to the employment agency within three days. Otherwise, you are threatened with a suspension of one week and thus a reduction of unemployment benefits.
You can register as a jobseeker in person at your local employment agency (you can find it using the search function on the employment agency’s website), by telephone on 0800 4 555500 or online. If you want to register as a job-seeker online, you must first register.
As soon as your employment relationship is terminated, you must register again with the Employment Agency and apply for unemployment benefits. Do this personally at the office responsible for you. You must bring your identity card or passport with confirmation of registration, residence permit and work permit, if applicable, your social security card and letter of termination or, in the case of a temporary job, your employment contract and your curriculum vitae. You can fill in the application form online (you have to be registered, see above) or get it at your local agency.
How long will I receive unemployment benefit 1??
This depends on how old you are and how long you were employed before becoming unemployed.
If you have worked for twelve months within the last two years and are subject to compulsory insurance, you will receive unemployment benefits for six months from the date of your personal notification of unemployment.
If you have worked for 24 months in the last five years and are subject to compulsory insurance, you will receive 12 months unemployment benefit. Only those over 50 can receive unemployment benefits for up to 24 months if they have been employed for more than 24 months in the last five years and are subject to compulsory insurance.
While receiving unemployment benefits, you are covered by health, nursing care, pension and accident insurance. If you become ill, you must inform your agency immediately.
What are blocking periods?
If the employment agency has imposed a blocking period, the unemployed employee will not receive unemployment benefits during this period. Unemployment benefit will not be paid out subsequently. The reasons for blocking periods are listed in § 159 paragraph 1 of the Third Social Code (SGB III).
The best-known reason is dismissal by the employee. If you give up your employment even though you have not yet found a new job, you can expect a blocking period of twelve weeks. If the employee can give an important reason for leaving the job, for example because the employer does not pay the salary or the employee has to care for a relative, the blocking period can be waived.
An unemployed employee can appeal against the imposition of a blocking period within one month of notification by a decision of the Employment Agency – preferably by registered mail. If the blocking period remains despite the objection, it is possible to file a complaint with the social court.
Consequences for the pension
Unemployment reduces the statutory pension entitlement. While receiving unemployment benefit 1, the loss is still comparatively small. The employment agency transfers pension contributions for the unemployed person amounting to 80 percent of the gross income from which the unemployment benefit 1 is calculated. Long periods of unemployment with receipt of unemployment benefit 2 can significantly reduce the statutory pension entitlement, so that those affected may even receive a basic pension at a later date.