Generally speaking, this is not possible because students who are enrolled in an educational program which is eligible for funding at its core - this includes all regular university programs – are not entitled to the benefits specified in the SGB II and SGB XII. Due to students’ basic eligibility to receive funding for their studies, it does not matter whether the student does in fact receive BAföG. Students who have exceeded their funding period limit and do not receive BAföG any longer or have never received BAföG due to other reasons, are still not entitled to benefits specified in SGB II and SGB XII.

However, in certain cases of particular hardship, benefits may be available to secure one’s livelihood (as stated in SGB II as a loan, or as stated in SGB XII as a non-repayable allowance or a loan). These cases include, for example:

  • If the studies are suspended because of the birth and the subsequent care of a child

  • If the studies have to be extended beyond the duration supported by BAföG due to illness, pregnancy or disability and if the successful completion of studies would be jeopardized due to a lack of funding

  • If a student with severe disability is at risk of not being able to secure his or her livelihood through employment in the long run if he or she had to drop out of education

  • If a destitute student is currently taking his or her final exams and therefore, it would be unconscionable to expect him or her to drop out of education.

ATTENTION: Students on leave of absence - and of course those who are no longer enrolled at the university - are not entitled to BAföG. If they are able to work, they can apply for unemployment benefits (Arbeitslosengeld II) for themselves and social benefits for children living with them, provided that no supplementary child allowance is paid for them. Please note, however, that there must be a valid reason for a leave of absence: Illness, pregnancy or care of family members. The relevant proof must be submitted to the Studierendensekretariat. You cannot take a leave of absence in order to apply for unemployment benefits/social benefits!

Further information can be found on the websites of the Deutsche Studierendenwerk or the "HARTZ VI Ratgebers" (with "HARTZ IV Rechner").

Students can only apply for housing assistance benefits, if they are not/no longer entitled to BAföG benefits. This can be the case if:

  • The maximum funding period has been exceeded and the requirements for further support or graduation support specified in the BAföG cannot be met

  • The graduation support timeframe has been exceeded

  • The age limit for educational grants has been exceeded.

Attention! If one applies for housing assistance benefits, one has to provide proof that one’s regular income is slightly higher than the amount calculated to secure the need-orientated basic livelihood according to SGB II (at least €446 plus monthly rent). Otherwise, the authorities assume that false information has been given or that the applicant is concealing income. However, naturally an applicant’s income or fortune cannot exceed certain limits either.

Further information on this topic can be found on the website wohngeld.org (this includes a housing assistance calculator).

Please note: The housing allowance is a social benefit. Foreign students with a stay according to §16b AufenthG may endanger your stay by applying for housing benefit! Please seek advice in advance or consult the aliens department.

In Freiburg one can apply for housing assistance benefits at the Office of Housing (Amt für Wohnungswesen) located at the Fahnenbergplatz. Students who do not reside in Freiburg should contact their relevant administrative district offices Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald (Freiburg, Stadtstraße 2 or Titisee-Neustadt, Goethestraße 7) or Emendingen (Emmendingen, Bahnhofstraße 2-4).

When applying for housing assistance benefits, one should submit the BAföG letter of refusal as well as proof of income and the completed application form.

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