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Social security

Self-employed artists, with an income below poverty level, are eligible for social security benefits. In Germany the benefits are called ‘Arbeitslosengeld II (Alg II)‘, also referred to as ‘Hartz IV’.

Minimum Income
The minimum income for a single adult is currently 424 Euro a month. For adults living in a so-called 'Bedarfsgemeinschaft' (usually with a partner or the family) this amount is reduced to 382 Euro. Costs for housing (including heating) are covered if they are appropriate. Currently (since 2018) the maximum rent that is considered appropriate in Berlin is 404 Euro for a single person living in the household (except social housing) plus maximum 94 Euro for heating depending on the type of heating for a single person. 

Apply at the Jobcenter 
Artists who want to receive benefits need to apply at the Jobcenter of the jurisdiction they live in. Forms and information are provided on the webpage of the job centre (Arbeitsagentur):

Unfortunately the forms are available in German only.

Forms Alg II:

translation of the forms in other languages:


Office for artist consulting
Büro für Künstlerberatung

Kulturwerk des bbk berlin GmbH
Köthener Straße 44
10963 Berlin

Nina Korolewski • tel: 030.230899-15
fax: 030.230899-19


Office hours by appointment  

  Supported by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture