Hartz IV recipients and those in need of assistance are in principle able to receive initial equipment due to their special life situation. The initial equipment is granted a subsidy from Hartz IV who are entitled to benefits in addition to the regular benefits.

A single grant is provided by the Jobcenter for the initial provision pursuant to Section 24 (3) SGB II, provided that this is necessary for a household or life management. These include in particular:

  • First-time equipment for apartment and furnishing
  • First-time delivery during pregnancy
  • First-time clothing

Entitlement to initial equipment

In principle, benefit recipients have a legal right of initial equipment aid, provided that this is necessary because of their need for assistance. This requires an examination and the associated administrative act of the competent authority. A refusal of the jobcenter on the grounds that the service provider can obtain the initial equipment from his own resources is unlawful, provided that he or she is able to prove the need for assistance. Acceptable income from acquisitions is also not to be taken into account for the approval of the initial equipment pursuant to § 24 (3) SGB II.

The notification of the approval of the initial equipment is accompanied by a statement of the right of appeal which informs the applicant of the behaviour in the case of a contradiction and the time limits to be observed.

Claim without Hartz IV

The basic equipment for home, clothing or birth of a child is not only granted to the Hartz IV recipients, but can also be provided for those in need of assistance who can not cover the one-off needs from their own financial resources. This applies, for example, to people whose income is sufficient for securing livelihood but is not sufficient to cover for a new life situation requiring a one-time additional purchases such as furniture and required aid (§ 24 para. 3 sentence 3 SGB II).

In this case, however, the person in need of assistance can be expected to dispense with the cost of the acquisitions by means of savings within a period of six months from his own resources.

First-time Home Equipment (furniture, furnishing)

Initial Refurbishment of the Apartment

In principle, Hartz IV beneficiaries may apply for first aid for the dwelling when moving out of their parental home (first occupancy of the dwelling), provided the relocation to their own household has been approved by the responsible job center.

In the event of the imprisonment being carried out for more than six months, and no own budget can be provided, the beneficiary will also receive the benefits for the initial allowance.

The decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (AZ: B 14 AS 45/08 R) also ruled that there is no application period for the initial furnishing of the apartment if there is need. Therefore, the original equipment does not have to be applied for immediately when the new apartment is purchased

Amount of the Initial Equipment for the Apartment

There is no federal or legal regulation for the amount of the initial equipment. The amount of the services is determined by the respective municipality. A reasonable amount for the initial equipment is usually given by the job center up to an amount of 1,000 euro for a one-person household. In principle, it can not be assumed that a total of € 1,000 can be financed as a whole housing allowance, which is why the amount of the subsidy is not directly linked to new-value items.

What is the Initial Equipment for the Apartment?

The initial equipment includes the necessary housing equipment; for example, furniture or household items, e.g. washing machine, table, chair, bed and bed linen, towels, lighting, crockery, cutlery, iron, vacuum cleaner, etc. As a rule, the housing equipment includes everything necessary to build your own household.

TV and Computer: No Initial Provision

The initial equipment does not normally include multi-media devices such as televisions or computers, since these are not necessary for the household and alternative applications, such as libraries with PC’s, can be used for possible applications. Furthermore, multi-mediators are part of everyday cultural life and are covered by regular services. (Judgments of the BSG AZ: B 14 AS 75/10 R, B 8 SO 3/10 R and AZ: L 6 AS 297/10 B). However, it is possible to request a loan for the purchase of a TV or computer at the job center.

Compensation for Existing Housing

The replacement of furniture and household items is possible within the scope of the original equipment if these were lost or destroyed due to forceful events, such as theft or fire. In this case, however, initial provision is only granted if insurance does not cover it.

Replacement of Existing Housing Equipment

Not to be confused is the initial equipment with replacement procurement. The latter is then the case, for example, when furniture is needed, which, however, already exist, have become useless only through wear and tear. Electronic appliances that are to be exchanged for better energy efficiency are not taken into account for the services of the initial equipment. These costs are not covered by the original equipment, which is why they have to be paid by the service provider by means of the remuneration of the standard service itself.

Basic Equipment for Family Growth

In principle, benefits of the initial provision are made possible by a changed life situation during pregnancy and the birth of a child. This also applies if the child is permanently removed from one of the parents and relocated to the other parent. In addition, an initial provision for clothing is possible.

When a child is born, a baby carriage, a high chair, changing table and baby beds are generally required and are granted as part of the initial equipment as these are deemed necessary. The necessity is, as in the case of housing provision, not bound by any time limits, which is why the initial provision for a child is always granted when these become necessary. For example, the highchair for the toddler is only needed later, which is why the services are provided later.

In the case of several children, the legislator provides that previously applied benefits of the initial allowance can also be used for the second child. Exceptions apply only if the births are too close together and both children need clothing for the initial equipment.

Baby Beds

The Bundessozialgericht ruled with the judgment of 25.03.2013 (Az. B 4 AS 79/12 R) that the purchase of a youth bed is also considered as initial equipment and not as replacement procurement.

Additional Needs for (Becoming) Parents

The SGB II also provides further benefits for family growth. From the 13th week of pregnancy the supplementary supplement for pregnant women, which accounts for 17% of the relevant standard requirement, can be applied for. For single-parent families, there is also the right to the additional needs for single-parent families, depending on the age and number of children, between 12 and 60 percent of the relevant regulation rate.

First-time Clothing

It is also possible to use clothing for the first time. This applies in particular to women who are entitled to maternity wear due to pregnancy. However, this initial equipment is only granted if no maternity wear, such as from previous births, is available.

For a new-born baby, infant clothing is granted. The additional clothing needed for the child through the growth has to be paid by the regular service, as it is no longer the original equipment. If the complete clothing is lost, for example, by fire or theft, this is refunded by the grant as part of the initial supply if insurance can not be claimed.

First need after separation or divorce

The Bundessozialgericht (BSG), in its decision Az.B 14 AS 64/07 R of 18 September 2009, has ruled that the original equipment does not always cover a whole budgetary equipment for persons who lose the necessary housing items of the household because of a separation. As a result, the cost of purchasing the new house council is the primary requirement and must be granted by the job center as a subsidy rather than as a loan. (Example washing machine, stove, bed, etc.)

Payment of the Provision for Initial Equipment

The basic equipment for home or clothing or for pregnancy and childbirth is fundamentally only on request. The original equipment may be granted in cash or in goods. The provisions are not regulated by law and may vary from municipality to municipality. Therefore, all further information, as well as, the application should be discussed on the spot.