The Hartz IV rule requirement means a cash benefit from a lump sum, which is paid out in advance by the cost-bearers in advance and is available to individuals entitled to benefits by their own responsibility to ensure their livelihood. The statutory basis is the rule requirement law for the determination of the rule requirements according to § 28 of the twelfth book Sozialgesetzbuch. The need for regulation is thus the basis for the calculation of the needs estimation for the unemployment benefit II and the social benefits.

What are the necessities that fulfil the regulatory requirements?

The need for regulation covers the basic costs of securing livelihood and covers the ongoing and unique needs of:

  • Nutrition,
  • Clothing,
  • Personal hygiene,
  • Household goods,
  • Household energy

As well as needs for participation in social and cultural life in the community such as:

  • Education
  • Communication,
  • Leisure, entertainment, and culture
  • Traffic & travel costs

The individual life situation of the applicant is taken into account and the need for those in need of help is determined on the basis of the current requirement for benefits. In addition to the regular requirements, e.g. for food, even irregular needs for clothing, initial equipment or class trips are covered by the rule requirement.

Increase in the Hartz IV requirements and provided benefits as of January 1, 2019

As of 1 January 2017, the benefits were raised on the basis of the new requirement levels. The standard requirement for adults who are single-parent or single-parent in their own household as well as disabled individuals is 424 €. The requirement for full-year partners in a community is 382 €. Young adults aged 18 years and over who are not 25 years old and do not have a household of their own, a spouse, a life partner, or a marriage-like or life partnership-like community 339 € . Children and young people between the ages of 14 and 17 will receive € 322 Children aged 6 to 13 years of age are entitled to 302 € and children younger than 6 years will receive € 245.

How is the rule requirement determined?

According to § 20 SGB II, the standard services of the cost carriers are based on individual requirements for life support, which are calculated by the Federal Statistical Office by means of a special price index by means of the annual update of the standard requirement levels. This index only takes into account the price development of goods and services relevant to the supply chain. As a so-called “mixed index”, it consists of 70 percent of the price-related price development and 30 percent of net sales. In its decision on the 9th of September 2014, the Federal Constitutional Court recognized and confirmed this mechanism for determining needs. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Bundesamt für Arbeit und Soziales – BMAS) publishes the amount of the regular requirements for the following calendar year according to the amount resulting from a requirement of the Ordinance on the requirements of the Ordinance.

Legal basis:

The requirements are adjusted as of January 1st of each year according to § 28a of the twelfth book in conjunction with the regulation pursuant to § 40 sentence 1 number 1 of the twelfth book. Section 28 of the Twelfth Book in conjunction with the Ordinance Requirement for the Determination of Appeals applies correspondingly to the new determination of the requirements of the law. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs shall publish in the Federal Gazette, at the latest by 1 November of each calendar year, the amount of the regular requirements applicable for the following calendar year.

The Rule Requirements Levels

The following is a description and an overview of the update of the individual requirements of the Social Security Code (SGB II):

RequirementsDescriptionregulated according to
Requirement 1:For an adult person entitled to benefits, who, as a single, leads a household of his own; This also applies if one or more other adult persons who are assigned to level 3 of the regulation as well as people with disabilities are living in this household.§20 SGB II
Requirement 2:For two adults who are entitled to a joint household as a spouse, a life partner or a marriage-like or life partnership-like community.§20 SGB II
Requirement 3:For an adult person who is not entitled to a household of his own, or as a spouse, a life partner or in a marriage-like or life partnership-like community.§20 SGB II


§20 SGB II

Requirement 4:For a young person who is entitled to performance benefits, or a young person with a high potential, from 14 to under 18 years of age.§20 SGB II

§23 SGB II

Requirement 5:For a child between 6 and 14 years.§23 SGB II
Requirement 6:For a child under 6 years.§23 SGB II
Regulatory requirements123456
valid from:100%90%80%14 to 18 years6 to 14 yearsup to 6 years
EVS 2008361,81325,63289,45273,62240,32211,69
1. January 2011364328291287251215
1. January 2012374337299287251219
1. January 2013382345306289255224
1. January 2014391353313296261229
1. January 2015399360320302267234
1. January 2016404364324306270237
1. January 2017409368327311291237
1. January 2018416374332316296240
1. January 2019424382339322302245