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Registering as unemployed - how to do it right!

4th April 2024

Unemployment can affect anyone. We give you a guide on how to register as unemployed.

Unemployment can affect anyone, whether due to company restructuring, economic difficulties or personal reasons. At such times, it is important to know how to register as unemployed correctly in order to receive financial support and help with your job search. This guide gives you a comprehensive overview of the process of registering as unemployed, including answers to the questions "How do I register as unemployed?", "When do I have to register as unemployed?" and "Can I register as unemployed online?".

How do I register as unemployed?

The first step on the way to unemployment benefit is to register as unemployed. This is a formal act in which you inform the employment agency that you are unemployed and seeking support. Here are the basic steps you need to take:

Contacting the employment agency: you can do this over the phone, online or in person. The most efficient method is often to register online, as it saves you time and possibly a trip to the nearest employment agency.

In person: Even if the initial notification can be made online or by telephone, it is usually necessary for you to visit the employment agency in person to submit the actual application. Your identity will be confirmed and other formalities will be clarified.

Submit the required documents: Prepare all the necessary documents in advance. This usually includes your identity card or passport, your CV, references and, if applicable, a letter of termination.

When do I have to register as unemployed?

The time at which you register as unemployed is decisive for your entitlement to unemployment benefit and other benefits. The basic rule is:

  • Before becoming unemployed: Ideally, you should register as unemployed as soon as you know that you are going to lose your job, for example immediately after receiving notice of redundancy. The Federal Employment Agency requires that you register at least three months before the end of your employment relationship if you already know the date. If this is not possible, you must register on the first day of your unemployment at the latest.

  • Avoidance of benefit delays: Late notification can result in your entitlement to unemployment benefit starting later, which can result in financial losses.

Can I register as unemployed online?

Yes, online registration is possible and is even recommended by the Federal Employment Agency. By digitising services, you can simplify and speed up the process of registering as unemployed. The Federal Employment Agency offers an online portal on its website that you can use to register as unemployed. The advantage of this is that you can register at any time and from anywhere. To register online, you usually need

  • Internet access

  • your national insurance number

  • personal information and professional data

After registering online, you will usually receive an appointment for a personal interview at your local employment agency, where the application for unemployment benefit will be formally submitted.

What happens after registering as unemployed?

After you have registered as unemployed, there are a number of steps and support services offered by the employment agency:

  • Counselling interviews: you will receive invitations to counselling interviews to discuss your professional situation, your qualifications and your options on the labour market.

  • Application support: The employment agency offers help with the preparation of application documents and the application process.

  • Further training programmes: In some cases, you can take part in further training measures to improve your chances on the labour market.

  • Financial support: Entitlement to unemployment benefit I or II is checked and granted if the requirements are met.


Registering for unemployment is an important step in receiving support and financial resources while you are looking for new employment. It is crucial to register in good time, ideally before you become unemployed. Thanks to the ability to file for unemployment online, the process is now easier and more accessible than ever before. Use the resources and support offered by the employment agency to make this transition period as effective as possible.

However, you can also do a lot yourself to improve your situation on the labour market. Research online job platforms, educate yourself and use the time for personal growth.

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