Since the 1st of January, 2017 the social benefits for securing livelihood are generally granted for a period of twelve months (§ 41 SGB II).

This does not apply if initially only a preliminary decision is made (eg fluctuating income, self-employed individuals) or the costs for accommodation and heating are not appropriate. Hartz IV recipients who are in need of assistance beyond the period must submit a request for further authorization in order to continue receiving basic benefits. At the same time, the jobcenter checks whether the prerequisites for the continuous receiving of benefits are still existent and whether the level of the control services is appropriate. In principle, this administrative act is designed to prevent and combat abuse of performance.

The deadlines for obtaining the Hartz IV benefits are stated in the license. The approval letter is a written administrative act to be sent to the Hartz IV beneficiary. The notification is, therefore, a legally binding document for beneficiaries which determines the amount and duration of the benefits granted. The decision also contains an instruction on legal remedies, which informs the applicant of the conditions, deadlines and objections to the decision. Should the applicant raise an objection, he or she may object to the license.

Information about the Hartz IV Objection Claim

What is the duration of the authorization period?

In principle, Arbeitslosengeld II can be provided indefinitely as long as the benefit’s recipient fulfills the eligibility requirements. The duration of the authorization period may be changed by the service provider on the basis of a case study. Therefore, there may be circumstances which justify a deviation from the legally prescribed rule of the 12-month permit (§ 41 SGB II). For example, the period of approval can be arbitrarily limited by taking into account the individual case if, at the time of application, it can already be seen that the need for assistance of the recipient of the benefits will not be longer or the housing costs of the accommodation are unreasonably high. On the other hand, the Hartz IV provision can be extended for people who are not expected to work in the foreseeable future (for example, in the case of illnesses, care of relatives or even single-parent).

When does the entitlement to Arbeitslosengeld II end?

The entitlement to Arbeitslosengeld II ends when the legal requirements for the benefits are no longer applicable or are not met upon application.

In principle, ALG II is granted only if the person

  • is 15 years of age
  • is viable
  • is in need
  • has a habitual residence in the Federal Republic of Germany

If one of these conditions is not fulfilled, the application for ALG II will be rejected. Applicant will be given a decision to refuse the appeal. It is then possible to lodge an objection to the refusal. If the opposition is not recognized, then the Social Court may bring an action.

If one of the qualifying conditions during the performance reference is not applicable, a change and revocation notice is issued by the service provider. If the job center denies, for example, the permanent need for assistance of the recipient of the benefits, the entitlement to the Arbeitslosengeld II ends. This decision also gives affected people a written notification with legal remedies against which Hartz IV recipients can lodge a complaint.

When should I apply for social benefits?

If the relevant period of authorization ends with the decision of the beneficiary, a request for further authorization is to be submitted.

Since January 1, 2014, the cost carriers have not sent further applications for further authorization to service providers. Therefore, service providers themselves are obliged to submit the application for further authorization to the responsible job center in order to preserve their rights and to continue to be entitled to basic maintenance for life support.

Entitlements to benefits can only be provided on request in accordance with Section 37 (1) SGB II. Therefore, they are always available from the day of the application. This applies to the initial approval as well as to any further approval of the Hartz IV services. It is therefore necessary that a new application be submitted regularly after the end of a period of authorization. For late applications no retroactive payments are made.

The application processing of the further approval usually takes between 2 and 6 weeks. In order to avoid financial bottlenecks, the follow-up application should be made in time, at the latest shortly before the expiry of the period of approval, the conditions for the continuation of the Hartz IV services should continue.

Application for continued authorization of social benefits

When will the benefits be paid after receipt of the permit?

The processing time for the Hartz IV application depends on the responsible job center, the utilization of the workforce, and the current application rate. In practice, an average processing period of 2-3 weeks, after receipt of all necessary documents at the jobcenter, has been exhibited. Irrespective of the receipt of the decision, the Bundeskasse is instructed, after approval by the administrator, to pay the benefits to the beneficiary. This processing by the Federal Treasury usually takes between 3 and 5 days, so that the first payment is usually received shortly after receipt of the approval certificate.

The monthly payments are then made in advance, to the nationwide Hartz IV disbursement dates.