New Bürgergeld app will allow online applications, says German government

New Bürgergeld app will allow online applications, says German government

The German government has announced that it will launch a new app, through which residents can apply for Bürgergeld citizens’ allowance benefits and receive guidance from the Jobcentre.

Germany to launch new app for unemployment benefit applications

As part of Germany’s efforts to modernise its bureaucratic systems, the government has announced that it will launch a new Bürgergeld app.

Via the app, residents in long-term unemployment will be able to apply for the Bürgergeld (citizens’ allowance) benefit, schedule appointments with the Jobcentre and receive recommended job openings.

Bürgergeld is a long-term unemployment benefit available to people who have worked in Germany, lost their job and received the full term of Arbeitslosengeld (unemployment benefits) to which they are entitled, but have not found new work within that term. The benefit is also available to low-income workers.

Speaking to Table.Media, Labour Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) said that the Bürgergeld app should relieve overwhelmed administrative employees. Hit hard by the worker shortage, the dbb recently estimated that 360.000 public sector positions are vacant in Germany.

He added that the government will also explore the potential of AI to speed up non-EU skilled workers’ applications to come and work in Germany.

In the throws of a record-high worker shortage, the German government recently introduced its Chancenkarte policy, which makes it easier for non-EU skilled workers to move to the federal republic and find work.

German Jobcentre cuts Bürgergeld for almost 16.000 people

While the government has set its sights on making it easier for unemployed people to apply for Bürgergeld, screws are also being tightened as recipients come under more scrutiny.

According to a report from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), 15.777 people who received Bürgergeld in Germany in 2023 had their benefits cut for reasons which included, “failing to turn up to a Jobcentre appointment without an important reason” or “refusing to take up a job offer or continue a job, training or scheme put forward by the Jobcentre”. 

Since January 2024, Jobcentres in Germany already have the power to cut recipients’ Bürgergeld for two months if they consistently refuse to take up relevant work or training.

Now, the FDP branch of Germany’s coalition government is pushing to tighten things further. According to a draft resolution submitted in late April, the party would like to give Jobcentres the power to cut Bürgergeld by 30 percent immediately, if recipients refuse to work.

"Anyone who does not fulfil their obligations to cooperate with Bürgergeld and, for example, refuses reasonable work without good reason, should face an immediate 30 percent reduction in benefits," the resolution proposes.

Further suggestions in the paper include scrapping the possibility of retiring at 63 and cutting employers’ contribution to unemployment insurance once the standard working limit has been reached.

Thumb image credit: GaudiLab /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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