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The pension is not enough? You can apply for support – from basic security to housing benefit


Worked your whole life and your pension is still not enough? Some people in Germany feel the same way. What support you can get.

Worked your whole life and your pension is still not enough?

Some people in Germany feel the same way.

What support you can get.

Around half of pensioners in Germany receive less than 1,000 euros per month from the pension fund.

This is the answer of the federal government to a request from the Left Party, as reported by the

Augsburger Allgemeine


According to the Augsburger Allgemeine

, Left Party leader Dietmar Bartsch calls for

a “pension fund for all workers”.

What changes there can and will be in relation to pensions in the future is open.

But what can you do now if the pension is not enough?

Pension is not enough: There is such support


Is your pension insufficient?

Then you are entitled to social benefits.

© Imago

If the pension is not sufficient, there is usually state aid in Germany.

Some services are then taken over by the office, provided they are applied for and approved.


informs that this is done either by the social welfare office, the long-term care insurance fund or the health insurance company


Low pension: basic security can help - an overview

If your income is not sufficient for your livelihood in old age or with a complete reduction in earning capacity, you can apply for basic security, the German pension insurance will inform you.

The biggest difference to social assistance is that the income of the children or parents is only taken into account and used if it is higher than 100,000 euros per year.

If your income is less than 924 euros, the German Pension Insurance advises you to have it checked to see whether you are entitled to basic security.

Basic insurance covers the following:

  • The necessary subsistence is secured,

  • rent and heating costs,

  • health and nursing care insurance contributions,

  • pension contributions,

  • "More need for certain groups of people",

  • support in special cases.

Source: German pension insurance, as of February 1, 2023

How high the basic security is depends on various factors.

For example, your income and other assets are included in the calculation.

The income of the partner is also taken into account in the case of marriage or a life partnership-like community.

Important: You must actively apply for basic security, you can do this at the social welfare office or you can go through the German pension insurance, but they will forward the application to the social welfare office.

If the application is approved, it is valid for twelve months, after which you must submit a new application.

Apply for housing benefit if the pension is not enough

Pensioners can apply for housing benefit, this can be done at the local housing benefit office or online, as

Stiftung Warentest


It is important, however, that the housing allowance cannot be combined with other benefits, such as citizen's allowance or the like.

How high the housing benefit is depends on the income, the household members and the rent.

Stiftung Warentest reports that households have received an average of around 370 euros per month since January 2023.

When you can apply for housing benefit:

  • When renting/subletting an apartment or room,

  • home residents,

  • property owners,

  • users of a cooperative or foundation apartment,

  • Persons with rights of use similar to rent (e.g.: permanent right of residence)

You will not receive housing benefit if:

  • you unemployment benefit 2 (citizen’s benefit),

  • welfare,

  • basic security,

  • livelihood assistance,

  • services in special cases,

  • Basic benefit under the Asylum Seekers Act,

  • transitional allowance,

  • Subsistence security for those doing basic military service,

  • Or live in a benefit community with a beneficiary.

    You will also not receive housing benefit if benefits have been canceled due to conditions not being met.

Source: Stiftung Warentest, as of February 1st, 2023

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Can I stay in my apartment if I can't finance it myself?

The social welfare office checks whether the costs for housing and heating appear reasonable, informs Stiftung Warentest, so this can vary from region to region.

The job center can provide you with information on exactly how this applies to you.

However, there is also a guideline when it comes to the size of the apartment.

size of the apartment

Persons in household

45 to 50 square meters

For a person

60 square meters or two rooms

For two

75 square meters or three rooms

For three people

85 to 90 square meters or four rooms

For four persons

If the social welfare office does not agree with your housing situation, you may be asked to look for a new apartment or the benefits may be reduced.

No budget for “measures to improve living environment”?

If you or your spouse have a nursing degree, you may receive up to 4,000 euros in support for the adjustment measures from the nursing care insurance fund.

The aim is to provide care in one's own home or to maintain the independent lifestyle of the people in the home.

For example, structural measures such as door widening or the installation of ramps or structural changes in the bathroom are supported, according to the Federal Ministry of Health on its website.

Such applications would have a processing period of three weeks, if a medical report is required for the assessment, the period is extended to five weeks.

If an assessment cannot take place in time, this must be communicated in writing,

Care allowance for relatives?

From care level 2 there is money

Pensioners who are cared for by relatives receive care allowance from the statutory or private health insurance company, which is usually passed on to the person caring for them.

How high the care allowance is depends on the degree of care, informs


In principle, the following price rates apply per month.

  • Care level 1: 0 euros

  • Care level 2: 316 euros

  • Care level 3: 545 euros

  • Care level 4: 728 euros

  • Care level 5: 901 euros

List of rubrics: © Imago

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-02-02

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