Current circumstances present many students with an uncertain financial future. What about my BAföG? What should I do if I lose my part-time job? Can I apply for short-time allowance? With the following FAQs, we would like to provide you with the most important answers and points of contact for secure student financing.
Does the pandemic and the postponement of the summer semester affect BAföG?
No, as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research has announced in a decree, the postponement of the start of lectures does not generally affect BAföG entitlement. Students (regardless of whether they are freshmen or already in financial aid) do not have to worry that they will not receive any money in or for April or May 2020. It is important that your BAföG application is submitted in April 2020 at the latest, if you have not yet received a BAföG notification for the summer semester 2020.
Will I still be entitled to educational maintenance from my parents?
Yes, as long as your parents are still financially capable; otherwise you may be entitled to BAföG. Self-study (reading technical literature, researching for and writing term papers, etc.) or online study also count as study activities, especially in the current situation. Your parents also have to accept delays and interruptions of your studies and the associated extension of the maintenance payments. In the case of delays and interruptions in education, the individual case must be considered, in particular, whether there are special reasons for delay that are worthy of recognition. In the current situation, which is completely unforeseeable for everyone, a delay in education, if it is based on official measures, is completely without fault.
Am I currently eligible for housing assistance if I lose my job or miss a paycheck?
Not automatically. Anyone who currently has no income due to job loss or due to missing wage payments is not automatically entitled to apply for housing assistance. The basic requirement of a BAföG rejection “on the merits” and the check of covering monthly living costs remains.
In short, the eligibility requirements for housing benefits remain the same.
If I lose my part-time job or if my wages are not paid, am I entitled to ALG II benefits?
No, you are not currently entitled to ALG II benefits on a flat-rate basis. Full-time students are generally excluded from benefits under Social Code II. An interest-free loan is supposed to come, but nothing has been determined yet.
However, there are exceptions through which you could make a claim:
in the semester of absence due to pregnancy/raising children or in the case of leave of absence due to own illness/impairment. It is important that no study activities are performed during the leave of absence due to the aforementioned reasons, as otherwise ALG II benefits are at risk and can be reclaimed. In addition, other prerequisites must be fulfilled.
Part-time studies due to pregnancy or child rearing and leave of absence due to own illness or impairment. Here, too, there are a number of things to consider, and further requirements must be met.
in cases of hardship, for example in the case of a loss of financing through no fault of one’s own and a far advanced stage of studies, benefits can be examined by the Jobcenter as a loan in accordance with § 27 Para. 3 SGB II.
Additional requirements for certain beneficiaries according to § 21 SGB II; this applies, for example, to students with children or students with disabilities.
Feel free to ask the AStA’s Department for Social Affairs for advice if you plan to make a claim.
I have lost my job or cannot do it at the moment. Where can I search for job offers?
On online job portals. There are also job portals specifically for students, also with a regional focus. There are currently areas that have an increased need for personnel. Try to actively apply there:
Food and beverage delivery services
Supermarkets, grocery stores
Gas Station Harvester; a new portal has been launched here: https://www.daslandhilft.de/
For this purpose, use the AStA’s job exchange in particular, where you can still find numerous job offers: https://www.asta.rwth-aachen.de/service/jobboerse/
Free Meal Project
For students in financial need, there is an offer to eat for free once a day in the Mensa. How to get a free table
Could I receive short-time allowance as a student with a job?
No. Jobbing students are exempt from health, long-term care and unemployment insurance. This means that If you do not pay into unemployment insurance, you cannot receive short-time allowance.
What else can I do if I can’t pay my health insurance, rent, cell phone bill, etc. right now?
In this case, please contact the relevant contractual partners, preferably before you become insolvent. Explain your situation and, if necessary, ask for a deferral of your contributions and for a reminder block. If it is possible for you, you could ask if a reduced amount can be paid.
Where can I get financial help? Do I need to take out a loan?
Your best bet is to contact the AStA’s social counseling service. You can find an important contact point with an overview of funding options here: https://www.asta.rwth-aachen.de/beratung/asta/studienfinanzierung/
In particular, also consider the possibility of a temporary social loan. You can find more details here: https://www.asta.rwth-aachen.de/beratung/asta/sozialdarlehen/
Can I just quit my student job or mini-job?
There are certain requirements for terminations under employment law: In any case, the notice of termination must be in writing; e-mail or verbal is not sufficient. And a period of notice must be observed. This depends on the length of employment and the (collective bargaining) agreement: normally at least four weeks, but often only two weeks during the probationary period. If you have been employed for more than six months in a company with more than 10 full-time jobs, you do have protection against dismissal under the law. Under certain conditions, however, termination for operational reasons is possible, for example. Fixed-term employment contracts can only be terminated if this is stipulated in the employment contract. The works council must also be consulted whenever notice of termination is given, if the company has one. This all applies regardless of whether you are employed in a mini-job or a “normal” employment relationship. In case of doubt, you should therefore seek legal advice in order to be able to exercise your employee rights. Read your employment contract carefully, the AStA will be happy to support you in this if you are unclear.
I am a foreign student and because of the pandemic I have lost my part-time job, which I use to finance my studies. I can no longer pay my rent. I would like to return to my home country as soon as possible and give up my room at the Studierendenwerk. Can I terminate my room without notice or prematurely?
In principle, the contractually agreed notice periods apply. However, Studierendenwerk Aachen has suspended the notice period for the time being. Detailed information about the changed rental conditions in dormitories can be found here: https://www.studierendenwerk-aachen.de/de/aktuelles/beitrag/geaenderte-mietbedingungen-in-den-wohnheimen-zur-abmilderung-sozialer-haerten.html
My student funding has gone away, the college is closed, my dorm room is very small, and I can no longer meet up with friends. In addition, the Corona pandemic scares me. Who can I turn to with my worries and fears?
You are never alone with your fears, even in quarantine. The RWTH now offers counseling sessions by telephone. You can find an overview of the counseling services here: https://www.rwth-aachen.de/cms/root/Studium/Beratung-Hilfe/~sei/Psychologische-Beratung/.
Alternatively, you can contact the Center for Psychological Health (ZPG) at the University Hospital (https://www.ukaachen.de/kliniken-institute/klinik-fuer-psychiatrie-psychotherapie-und-psychosomatik/patientenversorgung/ambulante-versorgung/zpg/zpg-angebote.html).
If you simply want to get your worries off your chest, you will always find attentive listeners at the Nightline Aachen: http://www.nightline.rwth-aachen.de