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When you want to apply for social assistance, many questions often arise. For example: where do you apply? How much money and assets can I have? What can I do if my application is rejected? We have summarized the most important questions and answers in this text.


Where do I submit a social assistance application?

Usually you apply for social assistance at the social welfare office in your city or municipality. There you will also find an application form. You can sometimes download the form from the social welfare office's website.
However, the social welfare office is not responsible for all social assistance benefits. So it can happen that the social welfare office sends you to another office. In any case, you can get advice from the social welfare office.

Do I have to provide information about my own finances?

Yes. The social welfare office checks your financial situation very carefully. You have to submit a lot of documents for a social assistance application: For example bank statements, certificates of sick pay, unemployment benefit, life insurance, rental agreements. Some social welfare offices have also made a checklist of which documents you should bring with you. For example the city of Wiehl: Checklist for social assistance applications.

Does the social welfare office take income and assets into account?

Yes. Because whether you receive social assistance depends on your income and assets. So it is possible that you will not receive any social assistance. For example, if you make too much money or have a fortune. Or you get less welfare.

Does the social welfare office take into account the assets and income of spouses or partners?

That depends on the amount of income and wealth. The social welfare law states that spouses or partners must provide for each other if possible. This also applies to a marriage-like community. A marriage-like community is when two people live together as partners. It is possible that someone receives no or less welfare if the partner earns enough money for both of them. Or if the partner has a high fortune.

What happens to maintenance claims from adult children with disabilities?

Parents sometimes have to pay maintenance for children of legal age after their education. That means: if the adult child has very little money, it can demand maintenance from the parents. Legally, this means: the child has Entitlement to maintenance from parents.

If the adult child now receives social assistance, the social welfare office pays for his livelihood. So the social welfare office gets the Entitlement to maintenance transferred from the parents for the child. The social welfare office can now demand maintenance for the adult child from the parents (12th Social Code, Paragraph 94). If the parents do not earn a lot, they are released from the maintenance obligation.

At adult children with disabilities Parents' income and wealth have no longer played a role since 2020. The adult child with a disability receives basic security regardless of the parents' assets and income. Exception: one parent earns more than 100,000 euros a year. Then this parent has to transfer € 26.49 per month to the social welfare office.

Can I file an objection to a social welfare notice?

Yes. You can object to a social welfare notification or a rejection of social welfare. You must send the objection in writing and within one month to the responsible social welfare office. The contradiction must be well founded. If you need help with this, a social counseling center or an EUTB counseling center near you can help.
If your objection is rejected, you can sue a social court. You can read more information about this in the family guide article “Legal action before the social court”. There you will find out how a lawsuit works and what to look out for.

Learn more: More information on each Social assistance benefits can be found in the family guide article "Sozialhilfe-12. Sozialgesetzbuch".

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