Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Bürgergeld (citizens’ allowance) and Grundsicherung (basic income benefits)

Antragsformular und Centstapel. © Klaus-Uwe Gerhardt -© Klaus-Uwe Gerhardt -

In Münster, the job center is responsible for all questions relating to citizens' income. With questions and applications regarding the granting of benefits as well as gainful employment and integration You can get in touch with the contact persons at the job center in Stadthaus II or the job centers in Hiltrup, Wolbeck and Kinderhaus.

All information is conditional, because Bundestag and the Bundesrat have to finally approve the new law. Pending possible changes, it should come into effect from January 2023. 

If your family has no or a low income, your assets do not exceed a set threshold and you are able to work, you can claim Bürgergeld (citizens’ allowance, former ALG II or Hartz IV)

If you have previously received ALG II, you do not have to apply for Bürgergeld (citizens’ allowance), the benefit continues as before. Applications for further approval are to be submitted as before when the performance period expires.

The capacity to work means a person (anyone between the ages of 15 and 64) is able to work. People are able to work if they can work least 3 hours per day under normal conditions. Normal conditions mean at a normal job. For example, in an office or as a salesperson. People can be able to work even if they have an illness. This changes if they are unable to work for at least 6 months due to an illness or disability. There may be different reasons someone is unable to work.

Mothers or fathers who look after children up to the age of 3 are considered to be able to work,  but are not expected to look for a job and can therefore claim Bürgergeld (citizens’ allowance). Single parent students who are taking a break from their degree to raise children are also eligible for Bürgergeld. If they are not themselves eligible to receive Bürgergeld – because they are continuing their degree for example – children and other members of their household may still be eligible for Bürgergeld. Students can also claim the additional pregnancy and single parent benefits.

Young adults aged between 18 and 25 years who live with their parents are considered to be members of the same household and receive € 402 (since 2023) per month as standard.

Bürgergeld includes:

1. Current standard benefits

  • Singles / single parents:  € 502; partners € 451
  • Children aged 0–5 years: € 318
  • Children aged 6–13 years:  € 348
  • Children aged 14–17 years:  € 420
  • Young adults aged 18 to 25 years in the same household:  € 402

All standard rates are intended to allow for some savings to be put aside. One-off grants can be awarded for maternity clothing, childbirth and orthopedic shoes.

2. Additional benefits (list is not exhaustive)

  • Expectant mothers from the 13th week of pregnancy: 17% of the applicable standard benefit.
  • Single parents with a child under 7 or 2–3 children under 16: 36% of the applicable standard benefit
  • Single parents with a child over 7: 12% of the applicable standard benefit
  • Single parents with 4 children under 18: 48% of the applicable standard benefit
  • Single parents with 5 or more children under 18: 60% of the applicable standard benefit
  • Hot water
  • Special, unavoidable costs such as costs relating to visitation rights

3. Health insurance

If there is an existing need for help and you are currently receiving citizenship benefit, the costs for compulsory insurance in a statutory health insurance company will be covered from the age of 15, until then the insurance is valid as part of the family insurance.

4. Housing costs at a reasonable level (as of January 2021)

Actual costs for accommodation and appropriate heating costs are covered in the first year (waiting period). After the waiting period has expired, only reasonable costs for accommodation and heating will be covered. If you have questions about this in individual cases, please contact the Münster job center hotline on 0251/492-9292.


1 person (50 m²) Rent/bills: € 532.50
2 people (65 m²) Rent/bills: € 674.70
3 people (80 m²) Rent/bills: € 803.20
4 people (95 m²) Rent/bills: € 969.50

For apartments with energy requirements up to and including 100 kilowatt hours per square meter per year, slightly higher costs are possible.

There is an additional allowance for heating/hot water costs. Owner occupiers can also apply for help with housing costs.

The BSG court has ruled that the size and layout of a house or flat must permit a degree of private space for both schoolchildren and adult parents. Individual circumstances may give rise to a need for more living space.

If you wish to move, the local authority benefits office must specifically approve the move before you sign the new tenancy agreement. Otherwise, financial disadvantages may result. Young adults up to the age of 25 who live with their parents can only move out with the consent of the local authority benefits office.

5. Additional needs für school

In addition to the standard benefits, you can also apply for grants for:

  • fixtures and fittings for your first house or flat (if there is evidence of need)
  • maternity clothing and initial baby equipment
  • school trips lasting more than one day (within the framework of schools legislation)
  • purchase and repair of orthopaedic shoes, etc.

For more information, visit:

6. Education and participation/inclusion ('Bildung und Teilhabe' / BuT)

Children and young people who attend a normal school or who attend a vocational college either full time or as part of an unpaid training scheme are eligible for the following education and inclusion benefits:

  • school excursions (includes children in daycare)
  • school trips lasting several days
  • school supplies
  • transport for school pupils (on a case by case basis)
  • extra tuition
  • lunch at school or daycare
  • Inclusion in social and cultural life (up to € 15 per month)

Applying for these benefits:

The assumption of costs within the framework of education and participation is automatically applied for with the application for citizen's income. Only learning support needs must be applied for and proof of the period and the actual amount must be provided for school trips.

You may apply for them even if you do not recieve benefits according to SGB II/XII/AsylBL.

7. Further Information

If you apply for Bürgergeld, you must conclude an integration agreement (Eingliederungsvereinbarung) with your employment advisor. This agreement sets out what support you will receive to help you return to work, what you undertake to do to find work, and what benefits you and your family members will receive. If you do not fulfil the obligations you enter into, the Bürgergeld payments you receive may be reduced.

Deduction of income from Bürgergeld

Kindergeld (for children below the age of 18) and maintenance or maintenance advance are treated as income (for the child) and are taken into account in determining the amount of Bürgergeld paid. Income from employment is also deducted from Bürgergeld, though the amount of income deducted is dependent on the amount earned.

A proportion of Elterngeld (parental allowance) payments from employment (up to € 300 / € 150) and any financial assistance received from the Bundesstiftung Mutter und Kind or the municipal special fund are ignored when determining the amount of Bürgergeld payments. If you have income from childminding, you should clarify the effect of this income on Bürgergeld payments with the Amt für Kinder, Jugendliche und Familien (Child and Family Welfare Office). Owning an appropriate motor vehicle, a reasonably sized house or flat in which you live, or other assets up to a certain value (the amount depends on your age) does not preclude you from receiving benefits.

Sozialhilfe/Hilfe zum Lebensunterhalt (HLU) (social assistance/living support)

Anyone below the age of 65 who, as a result of illness for example, is unable to work for a minimum of three hours a day, but is not permanently limited in their ability to work is entitled to Sozialhilfe/Hilfe zum Lebensunterhalt. This benefit is, however, only paid where the recipient’s needs are not met by other benefits. Responsibility for administering this benefit lies with the Sozialamt (Social Welfare Office).

Grundsicherung im Alter und bei Erwerbsminderung (income support for the elderly and people with reduced ability to work)

To be eligible for Grundsicherung benefits, you must either be aged 65 or over or be aged 18 to 65, have a long-term medical reason why you are completely unable to work, and be unlikely to be able to return to work in the future. The local Grundsicherung office (in the Sozialamt, Hafenstraße 8, Münster) is responsible for administering this benefit.


Application for financial support for additional heating costs or increased advance payments

(Source: Website of the Münster Social Welfare Office)

People who live in Münster and receive an old-age pension or disability pension and are unable to pay their heating costs due to the current price increases, and refugees who have a residence permit or toleration can apply to the social welfare office for financial support. Refugees who already have a residence permit should contact the Münster job center.

Please note: The application must be submitted in the month in which the payment/additional payment is due.

People who live in Münster and are in acute danger of losing their home or having their energy supply cut off because they are in arrears with payments can apply to the social welfare office to assume their existing debt obligations in order to secure their home or energy supply.

All information and applications can be found here:


Contact addresses

If you have any questions on any of the topics discussed here, you can contact the organisations below. For further information, please contact Sozialbüro im cuba or cuba - unemployment advisory service.

Jobcenter Münster
Stadthaus II 
Ludgeriplatz 4 
48151 Münster

or district administrative
offices around Münster

Tel: 0251/492-9292

Sozialamt der Stadt Münster
Hafenstraße 8
48153 Münster

Tel: 0251/492-5001