Study Financing in special life situations
What benefits am I entitled to?

We offer support for all students and prospective students in special life situations and in solving economic issues. Child benefit, housing benefit, SGB II benefits, parental allowance and co help to cushion difficult financial situations.

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Child benefit
For studying children up to 25 years

In principle, all children are entitled to child benefit until the age of 18. Child benefit can be paid until the child reaches the age of 25 - if necessary extended by the time of military or civilian service - as long as the child is being trained for a profession or is studying.


After completion of a first vocational training or a first degree course, the child is only entitled to child benefit if he/she does not engage in gainful employment that would be detrimental to his/her entitlement. Gainful employment is not harmful if the regular weekly working hours do not exceed 20 hours in total. In the case of disability, child benefit can be paid without age limit under certain conditions.


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Child benefit
For children of student parents

Parents are entitled to € 250 child benefit per child if they have their residence or habitual abode in Germany. It is independent of the parents' income. Only one person can receive child benefit for one and the same child. Child benefit entitlement is regulated by law in the Income Tax Act (EStG) and the Federal Child Benefit Act (BKGG). 

Child benefit can also be applied for and claimed by students with a residence permit according to §16b Residence Act if they are gainfully employed (e.g. mini-job)!

Advice and applications can be made at the family benefits office (Familienkasse) of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit) responsible for your place of residence. You can also get advice at the Family Service - Advice for Students with Children.


Detailed information on child benefit is provided in the Child Benefit Information Sheet of the Federal Central Tax Office.

Housing benefit
Rent subsidy

Housing allowance according to the Housing Allowance Act (WoGG) is paid as a rent subsidy for owner-occupied housing (in the case of house/flat owners as an encumbrance subsidy). The amount of the housing allowance depends on the number of household members to be considered, the total income and the rent to be considered (cold rent + operating costs + water, heating costs are taken into account on a flat-rate basis; electricity costs are not considered).

Students who receive BAföG or whose parents' income does not allow for a positive BAföG decision are generally not entitled to housing benefit. However, a claim to housing benefit arises if

  • students are not entitled to BAföG on the merits (e.g. after changing their field of study without good cause, after exceeding the maximum period of support or the age limit, during a leave of absence, in part-time, second or doctoral studies) or
  • BAföG is granted or received in the form of a non-interest-bearing state loan (e.g. graduation assistance) or
  • at least one household member in a joint household with e.g. parents, partner or child/children is not entitled to BAföG (mixed household).

If one of the three basic access requirements is fulfilled, a claim to housing benefit is conceivable in principle, provided that

  • the centre of living relations is located in the flat for which housing benefit is claimed and
  • your own income (e.g. maintenance, salary, fee, scholarship, student loan, personal loan, use of savings) covers your living expenses and part of the rent.

Detailed information on housing allowance for students can be found on the housing allowance pages of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Advice and applications can be made at the housing allowance office responsible for your place of residence. The Counselling Centre for Social & International Affairs - BeSI also provides advice on housing allowance.

Students from the European Union, EEA countries and Switzerland as well as students with a residence permit for the purpose of preparing for studies, studying and doing a doctorate (according to § 16b AufenthG), who do not have a declaration of commitment, can also receive housing benefit under certain circumstances. You can get advice on this at the Counselling Centre for Social Affairs & International Affairs - BeSI


Citizen's Benefits (Bürgergeld) for BAföG recipients
who live with their parents

The BAföG application is still being processed


  • who live with their parents and
  • have applied for BAföG and
  • whose application has not yet been decided on by the BAföG Office

If they are in need, they can apply for Citizen's Benefit (Bürgergeld) at the Job Centre responsible for their place of residence. In the event of a BAföG rejection on the merits, Citizen's Benefit (Bürgergeld) is discontinued from the beginning of the following month.

Legal basis: § 7 Para. 6 No. 2 b) SGB II.


BAföG is not sufficient to cover costs


  • who live with their parents and
  • receive BAföG or do not receive it only because of the consideration of income and assets and whose BAföG and, if applicable, child benefit are not sufficient to cover their (housing) costs and whose parents cannot cover these costs,
  • can apply for supplementary Citizen's Benefit (Bürgergeld) at the job centre responsible for their place of residence.

Legal basis: § 7 para. 6 no. 2 a) SGB II.


SGB II - Benefits
Benefits according to the Social Code

Unemployment benefit II, social benefit, needs for education and participation, additional needs for single parents, additional needs for expectant mothers after the twelfth week of pregnancy, additional needs for cost-intensive nutrition for medical reasons, supplementary unemployment benefit II for BAföG recipients who live with parents and the loan for special hardship are examples of benefits according to the German Social Code (SGB) Book II, which can only be granted under certain conditions. Please contact the Counselling Centre for Social Affairs & International Affairs – BeSI for advice.


Emergency fund
of the Studierendenwerk Hamburg

Students at the University of Hamburg, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg University of Technology, HafenCity University Hamburg, Hamburg University of Fine Arts, Hamburg University of Music and Theatre, Bucerius Law School and Berufliche Hochschule Hamburg who find themselves in an unforeseen, acute and temporary financial emergency can apply for study start-up aid, an emergency loan or a grant or free meals in the Studierendenwerk cafeterias from the emergency fund of the Studierendenwerk Hamburg. Students at Bucerius Law School and Berufliche Hochschule Hamburg as well as doctoral students are excluded from the study start-up grant.

The application requires a personal counselling interview and proof of the emergency situation. All financing possibilities must be examined and used with priority. Aid from the emergency fund only enables a short-term bridging of the emergency situation towards self-reliant financing, which is sufficient as soon as possible without this aid. There is no legal entitlement to the payment of aid.

You can get advice on this at the Counselling Centre for Social Affairs & International Affairs – BeSI.


Social benefits in certain life situations
In individual cases

In particular, students on leave of absence, part-time students, pregnant students, students with children, students with chronic illnesses/disabilities and students in the final stage of their studies can receive social benefits in individual cases. You can get advice on this at the Counselling Centre for Social Affairs & International Affairs – BeSI.

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