Citizen's Income

Students only receive Bürgergeld (formerly Arbeitslosengeld II) as an exception, and only in special circumstances.

As a rule, students are not entitled to a citizen's allowance, as they can receive BAföG as a priority.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, students who live with their parents can receive a supplement to BAföG under certain conditions according to § 7 paragraph 6 No. 2 Social Security Code - Second Book (SGB II).

Get individual advice at the social counseling centers of the Studierendenwerke!


Further exceptions


  • Exceptional hardship cases In cases of particular hardship, students can also receive benefits for living expenses according to SGB II - but only on a loan basis (§ 27 paragraph 4 SGB II). Examples: A special case of hardship may exist if a delay in BAföG payments at the beginning of a course of study jeopardizes the student's entire education. Students can make claims for uncovered maintenance costs if they are unable to work while studying due to illness or because they are raising children. In this case, supplementary benefits can also be approved for BAföG recipients. The individual case is always decisive.
  • Additional needs Students who are expecting or raising a child and students with disabilities and chronic illnesses often have additional needs that are not covered by BAföG. They can apply for allowances for these "non-educational" additional needs (§ 27 paragraph 2 SGB II). Examples: Expectant mothers receive an additional needs supplement from the 13th week of pregnancy and one-time benefits for clothing and initial equipment. Disabled and chronically ill students can apply for costs for "unavoidable, ongoing, not just one-time special needs" (hygiene items or therapies that are not covered by health insurance) and costly food (§ 21 paragraph 2, 3, 5, 6 SGB II).
  • Interruption of studies Those who are on leave from their studies due to illness, pregnancy or child rearing and therefore do not receive BAföG during this time can apply for Bürgergeld. The studies may not be pursued during this time. A claim to Bürgergeld may also arise without a leave of absence if students are ill for more than three months and therefore lose their BAföG entitlement.
  • Students with a child According to the regulations of the Maternity Protection Act and the Federal Parental Allowance and Parental Leave Act, students with a child may take a leave of absence from their studies. If, according to the respective examination law, they are exceptionally allowed to take part in examinations during such a leave of absence, e.g. in order to be able to complete a study module, they can still receive Bürgergeld during the time of the leave of absence.
  • Part-time studies Since students in regular part-time study programs are excluded from BAföG, they can receive Bürgergeld if all other requirements are met.
  • Between Bachelor's and Master 's Students who have to wait longer than one month after completing their Bachelor's degree to start their Master's degree can register as jobseekers. However, those who then receive Bürgergeld must also be available to the labor market.

Children of students

Although student parents are not usually eligible for Bürgergeld, their minor children under the age of 15 may be eligible for Bürgergeld.

Instead of citizen's income: "Assistance for subsistence

If students are not "fit for work" due to long illness or disability according to SGB II, they may in exceptional cases claim "Hilfe zum Lebensunterhalt" according to SGB XII (Sozialgesetzbuch - Zwölftes Buch).

Related topics

SGB II benefits for students on part-time and doctoral degree programs

Citizen's Income (formerly: Unemployment Benefit II/"Hartz4") for Impaired Students

Instead of Bürgergeld according to SGB II: maintenance-securing benefits of social assistance?

Find your social counseling center at your university location here

Offers for students with children