You are eligible for the 9-Euro-Sozialticket (Berlin AB) if you receive social benefits such as housing allowance (Wohngeld), citizen´s benefit (Bürgergeld), basic income or benefits according to the Asylbewerberleitungsgesetz. Unfortunately, students who receive BAföG are not included, we as AStA demand from the politicians to change this as soon as possible!
Most often, students are entitled to housing allowance or citizen’s benefit. With this you will automatically get a certificate of eligibility (QR Code) and can buy the 9 Euro ticket at the BVG. Therefore, we briefly explain the two options here.
Deciding which is the best way for you to secure your student funding and a ticket depends very much on your individual situation. Therefore, feel free to come to the BAföG and Social Counseling of AStA to see together what fits for you.
- Tuesdays via video with appointment booking: https://termine.astatu.berlin/2 and
- Fridays 10-16 o’clock in presence in the AStA (without appointment).
- More information you can find on our website.
Housing allowance (Wohngeld)
The most important requirements for housing allowance are:
- Wohngeld and BAföG are mutually exclusive! Only those who are not “basically entitled” to BAföG can apply for housing allowance. E.g.
- you have been studying longer than the standard period of study
- are over 45 years old
- are studying for a second degree
- or part-time and are therefore not entitled to BAföG
If, however, you are basically entitled to BAföG, but e.g. because your parents’ income is too high, you cannot receive Wohngeld.
In order to apply for housing allowance, you need a BAföG refusal certificate. You can apply for this here at the Studierendenwerk.
- Wohngeld is not a “normal” social benefit but a rent subsidy.
- You have to prove a minimum income.
- Wage payments, BAföG as a bank loan, support from friends and family are considered as income. The minimum income is calculated like this:
Basic needs (cash and non-cash benefits)* + your warm rent + health insurance.
*The basic needs are roughly based on the Bürgergeld standard rate, which is 502 € per month for single persons from 2023.
- You must be able to raise at least 80% of the minimum income yourself.
- The amount is complicated to calculate and depends on the number of household members. Household members are not equal to the number of persons living in an apartment, but only family members, (spouses) partners, children, etc. If you live in a shared flat, your flatmates are not considered household members, therefore you do not have to declare their income!
- EU/EEA citizens are also entitled to housing allowance according to the EU Freedom of Movement Act.
Attention: If you have a residence for the purpose of studying (§ 16b AufenthG), applying for housing allowance and other social benefits such as Bürgergeld may jeopardize the extension of your residence!
- Unfortunately, the processing of housing subsidy applications in Berlin often takes at least 2 months!
- You can find all application documents and the responsible Bürgeramt/Wohnungsamt here.
- Any questions? See here.
- Wohngeld calculator
Citizen´s Benefit (Bürgergeld)
Normally, students in full-time study cannot get Bürgergeld. However, it is different if you are studying part-time (or in an academic leave of absence). Part-time study means that you are officially allowed to get about 15 credits per semester, in some cases you can´t stay in your students health insurance and are not entitled to BAföG.
However, the Jobcenter will pay your health insurance, rent, heating costs and additionally the standard rate (502 € for singles).
In part-time studies
- you officially study 20 hours per week and
- are available to the labor market for 20 hours. This means that the Jobcenter can send you job offers to which you should apply
- If you have a part-time job, you can still get Bürgergeld on top! 100€ (or even 520€ if you are under 25 years old) of your income will not be deducted. From the amount above 100€ you get 20% or 30%.
- Most of the time, the Jobcenters are more relaxed if you already have a job on the side and do not place you in another job
- Apply for part-time studies within the deadlines (May 15 or November 15 for the respective summer or winter semester) in your TUPort.
- In most cases, you will also need a BAföG refusal certificate (“BAföG-Negativbescheid”), which you will receive from the Studierendenwerk. More information here.
- Your nationality is relevant. For people with certain residence titles (e.g. residence for the purpose of studying § 16b AufenthG), applying for social benefits can endanger your residence, so be sure to get advice beforehand!
- If you live with your parents, partner or children, the calculation is much more complicated, because then you all belong to a community of need (“Bedarfsgemeinschaft”) and their income is also calculated. Shared flats are not a community in need, therefore you do not have to declare the income etc. of your flatmates!
- You have to apply at the Jobcenter. Here you can find out which Jobcenter is responsible for you.
- Apply directly! The month of application is the month of payment. If you apply for Bürgergeld in October you will receive the money from October, even if documents are submitted later. If you apply in November, you will lose the money for October. This means: submit an informal application as soon as possible, even if you can’t fill it all out yet or have all the documents ready.
- Make sure that the (informal) application is in written form, i.e. with signature + mail/fax or hand in personally (not by mail)!
Further information and a detailed FAQ on student financing you can find here.