Beneficiaries of Arbeitslosengeld II (ALG II, Hartz IV) and social allowance are entitled to one or more additional needs in certain life situations. The entitlement is based on the fact that individuals with special needs have a higher demand which can not be met by the services to meet the requirements of the law. The Hartz IV additional requirements are not covered by the benefits and are therefore paid in the form of a fixed percentage of the relevant standard rate. An exception to this rule is the “hardship regulation”, the amount of which corresponds to actual needs. In principle, several additional burdens can be claimed at the same time, provided that the total height does not exceed the level of the relevant standard requirement (exception of the hardship case).

All those in need of assistance who meet the requirements of § 21 SGB II are entitled to the supplementary pension.

These include:

  • Mothers from the 13th Pregnancy Week,
  • Single parents,
  • Disabled people (provided they receive benefits for participation in working life or other support to find a suitable job or integration assistance);
  • People who are dependent on a more cost-intensive diet due to illness
  • People with decentralized water supply.

Important: A legal claim applies to the services of the supplementary pension pursuant to § 21 SGB II. This means that the cost carrier, unlike the Hartz IV rule requirement, is not allowed to decide at his discretion about the need. The demand for the supplementary need arises in principle from the life situation and its factual characteristics. A special case is the hardship regulation for other regular, uncontrollable additional burdens pursuant to § 21 para. 6 SGB II.

The following additional requirements can be claimed:

  • From the 13th week of pregnancy, pregnant women are entitled to an additional requirement of 17% of the standard requirement.
    • In addition to the extra requirements, additional services can be applied for initial equipment for the home or clothing during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Single-parent children, the amount of supplementary allowance is dependent on age and number of children.

Examples of the amount of additional demand, based on the relevant standard requirement:


Children under 7 years36 %
Children above 7 years12 %
2 Children under 16 years36 %
2 Children above 16 years24 %
4 Children48 %
5 or more children60 %
  • For disabled people an additional requirement of 35 per cent of the relevant standard requirement is recognized if benefits for participation in working life are actually granted in the sense of the Ninth Book of the Social Security Book (SGB IX – Rehabilitation and Participation).
  • For those who are entitled to a cost-intensive diet for medical reasons, an additional requirement of an appropriate level is taken into account.
  • Insofar as in the individual case there is an irrefutable, non-recurring, special need – e.g. through costs for the exercise of the right to intercourse with the child – an additional requirement is recognized under certain conditions.
  • As far as hot water is generated by devices (flow heaters) installed in the accommodation, a flat-rate staggered additional requirement is acknowledged – based on the relevant standard requirements.
  • For fully-paid social welfare recipients, a supplementary allowance of 17 percent of the relevant standard requirement will be recognized as of the age of 15 if they are holders of a severely handicapped ID card with the G mark.

Additional social security benefits

In principle, recipients of social security benefits (children up to 14 years of age) are not entitled to receive their benefits according to § 20 SGB II (rule requirement for securing livelihoods), but pursuant to § 23 SGB II.

Additional needs for trainees

Trainees who are not entitled to the regular performance because they were excluded from the services according to Hartz IV pursuant to Section 7 (5) SGB II (this includes BAföG recipients as well as recipients of benefits for the promotion of vocational training in accordance with §§ 60 to 62 SGB III ). Nevertheless have a right to the surplus demand within the meaning of § 21 SGB II, with the exception of Paragraph 4 (additional requirements for the disabled). The reason for this is that there is no need for special needs as defined by SGB II, which is already covered by the BAföG or benefits for the promotion of vocational training. Thus, this additional demand is paid in addition to the benefits (BAföG, §§ 60 to 62 SGB III).

Additional requirements for joint ventures with decentralized water supply

Beneficiaries can apply for additional demand due to a decentralized hot water treatment since the costs for this are not included in the cost of the accommodation as per § 22 SGB II and are covered by the standard services. The application for the additional requirement must be submitted with certain documents at the job center. For this purpose, a certificate from the landlord about the decentralized water treatment, as well as, a cost overview of the consumption value for electricity or gas must be added to the water heater or boiler in order to be able to claim the additional costs due to the water supply. The amount of the lump sum for hot water production is based on the requirements of § 20 SGB II as well as the associated percentages pursuant to § 21 para. 7 SGB II. These take account of the age and housing situation of the person entitled to benefits.

Starting from the Hartz IV rule requirement 2017, the following flat rates for the additional demand result from the hot water costs:

Benefit requirementWho?PercentageFlat rate
409€Adults/Singles/Disabled2,30%9,41 €
368€Full-time partners of the community of needs2,30%8,46 €
327€Adults under 25 years2,30% 7,52 €
311€Children 15 – 18 years1,40%4,35 €
291€Children  7 – 14 years1,20%3,49 €
237€Children 0 – 6 years0,80%1,90 €

Special nutritional needs:

Pursuant to Section 30 (5) SGB XII, an additional requirement of an appropriate amount is recognized for the sick, the disabled, people with disabilities or a person who is at risk of being disabled. This is intended to compensate for the costs of feeding (chronic) diseases. For the claim, it is not enough that the diet is only “costly” because this is any diet that costs money. There is generally no need for supplementary nutrition, if the diet of the sick person corresponds to the general recommendations for a “Vollkost”. The diet of the sick or handicapped must actually be “more costly” than that of the healthy, for which the general recommendations for a healthy diet (“Vollkost”), as published in particular by the German Society of Nutrition.

A claim to the need is therefore only necessary if the necessary more costly diet for the illness (threatening illness) is medically necessary. This proof must be attested by a medical certificate. The certificate shall state the exact details of the disease, the course and the quantities of the food necessary for this purpose. It is also possible that the multi-user wall for cost-intensive nutrition is granted retroactively.

Type of diseaseHealth costin % of the RLin € per month 
Renal insufficiency (renal failure)Protein-defined diet1041€
Renal insufficiency with hemodialysis treatmentDialysis2082€
Celiac disease/ Sprue (diarrhea due to hypersensitivity to gluten)Gluten-free diet2082€
Cancer (malignant tumor)1041€
HIV-infection / AIDS1041€
Multiple sclerosis (degenerative disease of the central nervous system, often progressive)1041€
Ulcerative colitis (ulcerative disease associated with ulcerative mucosa)1041€
Crohn’s disease (disease of the gastrointestinal tract with a tendency to form fistulas and narrowness)1041€