Calculate Hartz 4 for free

With us, you can check in a few steps whether your job centre pays you enough Hartz 4 benefits. You can use our Hartz 4 calculator for this.

High jobcenter error rate

More than 50% of all Hartz 4 notifications are incorrectly calculated. As a Hartz 4 receiver, it is often difficult to understand where the administrator made the mistake.

Table of content

What are the Hartz 4 services? Community of needs – what does that mean? What do the Hartz 4 standard rates 2018 look like? What is included in the cost of accommodation? How do additional benefits influence the payments? How does the Hartz 4 calculator calculate my income? Working Hartz 4 recipients are entitled to allowances What does an example of a calculation of the Hartz 4 calculator look like? My Hartz 4 was wrongfully calculated by the Jobcenter – what can I do?

What are the Hartz 4 benefits?

In your Hartz 4 notification, there are several components that affect your total, monthly payments. What the job centre pays you is determined by a complicated calculation. This includes your Hartz 4 standard rate and your accommodation costs (KdU). The KdU includes your rent and heating costs. In addition to these benefits, you can also receive various additional benefits, which are paid as a supplement to your Hartz 4 standard rate. It is also important to know whether you or a member of your community receives an income and how high it is.

Community of needs- what does that mean?

As soon as you receive Hartz 4 benefits, you automatically form a community of needs. The term “Community” is therefore misleading in this context. In general, however, all working members of your household also belong to your community of needs. This means that the following people would belong to a community of needs:
  • applicant
  • Spouse of the applicant
  • Partner of the applicant if an apartment is shared (observe test year)
  • Children of the applicant or partner (up to 25 years of age)
Members of a community are important for determining the standard rate. The complete amount of financial benefits for a community of needs is calculated, in which the income of each individual member is taken into account. Even members of a household who do not need social benefits themselves are included in the community of needs. The Hartz 4 calculator calculates the total amount of benefits that your community of needs including all members is entitled to.


The applicant has been living with his partner in a shared apartment for over a year. The partner works full-time and is not entitled to Hartz 4 services. However, their income is included in the total of the community of needs and influences the level of payments made by the job centre.

What do the Hartz 4 standard rates 2018 look like?

An important part of the calculation of your monthly benefits by the Hartz 4 calculator is your Hartz 4 standard rate. This is divided into different categories, which differ in the amount of the payment depending on the life situation. The following standard rate levels are available:
Hartz 4 standard rate level Amount of payment / month
Single people / single parents 416 EUR
Beneficiary adults within a community of needs 374 EUR
Young adults aged 18-25 years in the household of their parents 332 EUR
Young people aged 14 to 18 years 316 EUR
Children and adolescents aged 6 to 14 years 296 EUR
Children from 0 to 6 years 240 EUR

What is part of the costs of accommodation?

In addition to the Hartz 4 standard rate, the cost of accommodation will also determine the sum of your Hartz 4 entitlement. These are divided into rent and heating costs. Electricity costs must be paid independently from the Hartz 4 standard rate. Therefore, the amount of your rent including utilities and heating costs must be stated in the Hartz 4 calculator so that your demand can be calculated. However, the job centre will not pay you every rent, it must be in an appropriate range. The range is determined individually by the job centre for each region and is based on the rent index in your area. If the costs for your apartment are within a reasonable range, rent as well as the additional and heating costs will be paid in full by your job centre.

How do additional benefits influence the payments?

An important factor in the calculation of your Hartz 4 benefits are additional benefits. You are entitled to them and they must be paid by your job centre. The benefit is calculated in addition to your Hartz 4 standard rate. It is possible to receive several additional benefits at the same time if they apply to you. However, the total payout of additional benefits cannot exceed your original standard rate. The following additional benefits exist:
  • Pregnancy (from the 13th week of pregnancy)
  • Handicaps
  • Severe chronic diseases
  • Costly nutrition
  • Single parents
  • Decentralised water heating (gas/water boiler)

How does the Hartz 4 calculator calculate my income?

Basically any income you earn per month will be deducted from your Hartz 4 benefits. The same applies to income from other members of your community. Income includes earnings like:
  • Salary from employment (independent or employed)
  • Rental or leasing income
  • Christmas and holiday bonuses
  • Tax refund
In case you are employed, but are unable to earn your living completely, you will be considered a supplementer in the job centre. This means that you don’t get the full rate, but just as much that your salary is increased to the subsistence level. In addition to commercial income, there is also other income. This includes child benefit, child support for your child or alimony advance. This income will also be deducted from your Hartz 4 benefits. In our Hartz 4 calculator you can enter the other income in an additional field.

Working Hartz 4 recipients are entitled to allowances

If, in addition to your Hartz 4 benefits, you have an income from a commercial activity, you are entitled to allowances. This means that a certain part of your salary is not deducted from your Hartz 4 benefits. Each Hartz 4 recipient receives a lump sum of 100 EUR on his or her commercial income. If you earn up to EUR 100 per month for a part-time job, you can keep this income completely and don’t have to deduct it from your compensation. If your income exceeds the limit of 100 EUR, there are certain graduations of how much of your income is counted as a tax-free allowance. These are regulated as follows:
  • With an income of 101 to 1,000 EUR per month you are entitled to an allowance of 20 %.
  • With an income of 1,001 to 1,200 EUR per month you are entitled to an allowance of 10%.
  • With an income of 1,200 to 1,500 EUR per month you are entitled to an allowance of 10% if a child lives in the community.
Income that exceeds the topmost limit usually means that you are no longer entitled to Hartz 4. In this case, the job centre assumes that you can provide for yourself.

What does an example of a calculation of the Hartz 4 calculator look like?

To show you how the Hartz 4 calculator works, we show you the calculation based on a fictitious community of needs. It consists of a married couple and their 12-year-old child. In our account the father earns an additional 450-EUR monthly. The child receives child benefit. The family is also entitled to additional demand for hot water heating. The following table shows you how income is credited and which costs are to be considered:
Standard rate mother +374 EUR
Standard rate father +374 EUR
Standard rate child +296 EUR
Costs of accommodation plus additional costs and heating costs +640 EUR
Additional demand for hot water heating +20,75 EUR
Demand: 1.704,75 EUR
Sum income:
Income father +450 EUR
Child benefit +194 EUR
Sum income: 644 EUR
Credited income (child benefit, father’s salary including allowances) -474 EUR
Hartz 4 claim: 1230,75 EUR
The calculation shows: The additional demand for hot water is calculated per person within the community of needs and will be paid in addition to the regular Hartz 4 standard rate. The father’s income is offset against the allowances. This means in detail: 450 EUR are earned monthly, of which 100 EUR are deducted as a lump sum. A sum of 350 EUR remains. Of these 350 EUR, 20% remain free of charge, i. e. 70 EUR. Thus, a sum of 280 EUR will be deducted from the Hartz 4 benefits as income. The total entitlement of this community of needs is therefore reduced from EUR 1,704.75 to EUR 1230.75.

My Hartz 4 was wrongfully calculated by the Jobcenter – what can I do now?

The Hartz 4 calculator shows that your job centre has calculated your Hartz 4 benefits incorrectly? We will be happy to check your Hartz 4 notification for you. Our lawyers will file an objection for you and sue for your rights if necessary. Make sure you have applied for all the additional demands that affect you. With our free application forms you can do this in a few minutes.