The Hartz 4 application

With us you will be led through the Hartz 4 application step by step. Use the opportunity to fill in the application form correctly and get the benefits you are entitled to from the Jobcenter.

Application for Hartz 4 benefits (also according to SGB II)

Hartz 4 is social welfare intended for job-seekers who are not entitled to unemployment benefits after SGB I. Hartz 4 is social welfare for those seeking employment. Unemployment benefits after SGB I are only paid to jobseekers who were in employment before unemployment and contributed to the unemployment insurance. How long unemployment benefits can be claimed depends on the length of time you have worked. If the authorization for ALG I expires, Hartz 4 can be applied for. Also entitled are working people whose salary does not cover their basic needs. Whether you are entitled to apply for Hartz 4 benefits depends on the following factors:
  • your ability to work
  • your need for help
  • your age
  • your place of residence
Ability to earn one’s livelihood You are fit for work if you are able to work three hours a day. In this neither illness nor disability prevent you from carrying out this work. This regulation is also stipulated in § 8 SGB II. Employability or disability is always determined in periods of 6 months. This means that if you are classified as disabled, but your state of health improves, you can be considered fit for work after 6 months.

By the way:

Because of raising a child under the age of three and caring for a relative, you are not necessarily considered unemployable. In this case, employment is only temporarily unreasonable.
Need for help You are in need of help if you cannot make a living on your own. Section 9 SGB II stipulates that this is to occur when:
  • you can’t get a decent job.
  • your own assets and income are not enough.
  • third parties, such as relatives, cannot support you.


In order for a work to be considered unreasonable, there must be solid reasons. Such a reason could be, for example, illness or psychological stress. The job centre does not accept reasons such as unwillingness or unpleasant working conditions.
Age & place of residence If you would like to apply for Hartz 4 benefits, you must also be over 15 years old and have not yet reached retirement age. Furthermore you should be living in Germany.

Step by step to my application:

Vollmacht unterschreiben Date – When your Hartz 4 is due?
Bescheid fotografieren Select and fill in application form.
Bescheid an uns senden Send your first application to the Jobcenter.
Wir prüfen für Sie Wait for the Jobcenter’s answer
Wir prüfen für Sie If they refuse, object to it.

Who should I contact for an initial application for Hartz 4 benefits?

Once you are eligible to apply for Hartz 4 benefits, you should contact your local job centre. Because Hartz 4 is not yours automatically as soon as you need it. You must ensure you receive the payments and therefore apply for Hartz 4 benefits. An application can be made according to the forms provided by us or can be collected directly from your job centre. By the way, you can also use our postcode search to find the job centre responsible for you. As soon as you enter your postcode, the relevant job centre will be displayed. You can also contact the Employment Agency to find out who is responsible for you. Since it is important to submit an application as quickly as possible, an informal application is sufficient for the time being. Then your job centre already knows that your complete application will follow. Afterwards, you can collect all the necessary documents and send them to your job centre with the completed form. In your interest, however, you want to be fast, as you will not receive any Hartz 4 benefits until all the documents are at the job centre. To hand in the documents, you make an appointment with the administrator responsible for you. Here one might also discuss further steps such as finding a job for you. To this appointment you are entitled to bring an adviser or proxy if you do not want to go alone.


Get a written receipt for every document you hand in at the job centre. This way you can prove that you have submitted documents in case they are lost at the job centre.

What are the deadlines for my Hartz 4 application?

It is important for you to submit your Hartz 4 application as soon as possible. After all, Hartz 4 benefits are no longer paid for past months. Not even if you were already entitled to Hartz 4. That means exactly: If you apply on 01.04. and were already eligible for Hartz 4 in March, you will still not receive any benefits for March. However, you will receive full benefits for the month of application. With an application filed on March 31st, you get full benefits for March.


Submit all required documents as quickly as possible. The job centre does not issue a Hartz 4 notifications without complete documentation.

What processing times do I have to be prepared for?

You can help to keep the processing time of your Hartz 4 application as short as possible. By submitting your Hartz 4 application in full and bundled with all documents, you avoid many job centre requests. They will only process your Hartz 4 decision after the required documents have been submitted. This way, the processing time is unnecessarily delayed. Unfortunately, however, the processing time depends heavily on your job centre and is difficult to predict. For initial applications and applications for further approvals the processing time is up to 4 weeks. Legally, the Jobcenter may take up to 6 months to process all other Hartz 4 decisions. Only afterwards action for failure may be brought to act in order to speed up the process.

What do I have to enclose with my initial application?

Da du etwas vom Staat forderst, musst du leider auch beweisen, dass dir die Hartz 4-Leistungen wirklich zustehen. Daher musst du alle Angaben, die du in deinem Hartz 4-Erstantrag machst mit den entsprechenden Dokumenten belegen. Diese fügst du in Kopie deinem Hartz 4-Antrag bei. It is also important that you fill in all necessary attachment forms in addition to the main application. An attachment form affects you, for example, if you receive income from a part-time job. Whether you need additional attachments is stated in the relevant section of the main application.


You should always submit a follow-up application in good time, as your Hartz 4 benefits will not be extended automatically. They are usually valid for 6 – 12 months. Although the processing time for follow-up applications is usually shorter than for an initial application, you should allow for enough lead time.

Did you already submit your application and receive a notification? Check now.

Did you already apply for Hartz 4 and receive a letter from your job centre? Then check if your job centre has made mistakes and if you receive all the benefits you are entitled to. Our attorneys at hartz4widerspruch. de will be happy to help you. Just send us your Hartz 4 notifications and we will check it for you for free.