Unemployment benefit

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As unemployment is defined as a support service for job seekers. A distinction must be made between insurance benefits from unemployment insurance and state-financed minimum income schemes in welfare states . The services allow unemployed a fair standard of living in the form of a charge compensation , a guarantee of individual living standards at a low level or poverty avoidance subsistence .


In Germany there is unemployment benefit as an insurance benefit from unemployment insurance in the form of a compensation benefit .

“Unemployment benefit” is not a generic term that includes unemployment benefit II . Nevertheless, the unemployment benefit is sometimes unofficially referred to as unemployment benefit I, which suggests this error. Unemployment benefit II is not “unemployment benefit” in the sense of the law, neither an insurance benefit nor a compensation benefit , but a social benefit .


After the end of the temporary entitlement to unemployment benefit, unemployment benefits were granted until the end of 2004 , the amount of which was based on the amount of the wages before unemployment occurred. Unemployment assistance was abolished in the course of the Hartz 4 legislation . Instead, unemployment benefit II was introduced as a basic security benefit for job seekers . Its amount is not based on the previous remuneration of the beneficiary, but on a legally stipulated requirement, which should enable the beneficiary to lead a decent life ( Section 1 (1) SGB II). In contrast to previous unemployment benefits, prior receipt of unemployment benefit is not a prerequisite for receipt of unemployment benefit II. Unemployed people who were able to work and who previously received social assistance should be supported in taking up gainful employment so that they can earn a living from their own resources and resources regardless of the basic security can dispute ( Section 1 (2) SGB II). In the report of the Hartz Commission, this was referred to as the “merging of unemployment benefits and social assistance”, regulated since January 1, 2005 in Book Two of the Social Code (SGB II). The price of such newly created instrument between the beneficiary and the Federal Employment Agency to be closed integration agreement ( § 15 SGB II).


The means-tested state emergency assistance can be paid after the unemployment benefit .


In justified cases, Swiss unemployment insurance pays unemployment benefits in the form of daily allowances.


All member states of the European Union offer unemployment insurance. However, the specific design differs considerably. In most cases, unemployment insurance is a compulsory statutory insurance for employees , whose contributions are paid proportionally by employees and employers. Voluntary insurance is only available in Denmark and Sweden .

A prerequisite for receiving unemployment benefit is usually a minimum period in which contributions have been paid into the unemployment insurance; In Germany, Italy and Austria contributions must have been paid for at least 12 of the last 24 months (in Germany 30 instead of 24 months from 2020). In France, contributions must have been paid for at least 6 of the last 22 months. In Spain the minimum duration for deposits is 12 months.

In many countries the duration of receiving unemployment benefits is limited; This is usually followed by state-funded supplementary support systems, e.g. For example, in Sweden since 1998, as in Germany from 2005, basic social security benefits .

In practically all EU countries, receipt of unemployment benefits requires the ability to work and registration as a job seeker. In Finland and Great Britain , the receipt of unemployment benefits is linked to the place of residence in the respective country, in the other countries it is sufficient to be a citizen of an EU or EEA country. EU citizens who move to Germany receive state benefits in accordance with the provisions of the respective country; a transfer of, for example, German "Hartz IV" benefits abroad is therefore not possible.

In most EU countries, recipients of the unemployment benefit insurance benefit from occupational and qualification protection ; only in Luxembourg , Germany and the Netherlands must any “reasonable” or “reasonable” work be accepted.

For information on financing unemployment benefit, see unemployment insurance .

United States

In 2002 only 42% of all unemployed received unemployment insurance benefits. This percentage is even lower in the lower wage groups.


  • Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS): Social Compass EUROPA. Social security in Europe in comparison . Bonn: October 2006.

Web links

Wiktionary: unemployment benefit  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fourth law for modern services on the labor market of December 24, 2003, Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2954
  2. ^ Peter Hartz et al .: Modern services on the job market. Commission proposals to reduce unemployment and to restructure the Federal Labor Office. Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs , status: October 2002, p. 123 ff.
  3. ^ Roger Bybee: Cast Adrift: America's Jobless Cope With Shredded Safety Net. In These Times, March 20, 2010.