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What happens if I give notice and do not register as unemployed?

29th May 2024

Learn about the consequences of not registering as unemployed with the Agentur Fur Arbeit after resigning

In Germany, those out of work can claim unemployment benefits or citizen's money. To receive these, one must register online or visit the local employment agency for jobless benefits. Alternatively, they can go to the relevant job center for citizen's money. If sickness or health issues prevent someone from registering in person, they can have someone do it for them. This is a short-term solution. Once they are able, they must register themselves in person without delay.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is critical to sign up as jobless to get benefits in Germany.

  • Unemployment is to be reported online or in person at a dedicated office.

  • If visiting the office poses a challenge, naming a representative is allowed.

  • Quickly registering in person is demanded when health issues clear up.

  • Failing to register can make receiving benefits difficult.

How to Register as Unemployed Online in Germany

Registering as unemployed in Germany happens online, making it very simple. You'll use a form on the employment agency's website to enter your info. This includes details and documents needed for signing up. Following these instructions will make your registration go smoothly:

1. Access the online arbeitsamt portal: Go to the agency's site ( and find the unemployment registration part.

2. Fill out the online form: Give accurate info about yourself and your work history or training agreements.

3. Upload required documents: Take scans or photos of important papers. This might be your ID, proof of where you live, your job's end notice, and other needed docs.

4. Submit the form: After checking everything for accuracy, hit submit.

Starting this process early is crucial, ideally at least three months before your job or training ends. If it's already less than three months away, register quickly. You can do this by calling or visiting the employment office in person. Waiting too long to register might mean delays in getting benefits. This could also shorten how long you can get paid. Early registration helps prevent these issues and ensures a smooth start on benefits.

To understand fully how to sign up for benefits, look at Section 38 of the German Social Security Code III (SGB III). By carefully following the steps and giving correct info, you can start receiving benefits without trouble. This makes using the German unemployment system simple.

The Difference Between Being Arbeitssuchend and Arbeitslos

In Germany, it's crucial to distinguish between being "arbeitssuchend" (actively seeking work) and "arbeitslos" (officially unemployed). Though both refer to job status, they carry distinct meanings and implications. Here's a detailed look at the difference:


About three months prior to an employment or training contract ending, individuals notify the employment agency. They announce they are "arbeitssuchend," indicating they are actively searching for work. It's a prelude to their official job search announcement. Yet, this doesn't exempt them from the need to register as "arbeitslos."


For unemployment benefits eligibility, individuals must officially register as "arbeitslos" (unemployed). Such registration is allowable up to three months before job loss. This step is key for receiving unemployment benefits, offering financial help during unemployment.

It's vital to understand that being "arbeitssuchend" alone doesn't secure unemployment benefits. To qualify for these benefits, the official "arbeitslos" registration is mandatory. Hence, if you foresee losing your job, promptly registering and notifying the relevant agency about your status is imperative.

In Berlin, one can easily register as "arbeitslos" using the Arbeitsamt Berlin website. This online process streamlines the submission of vital information and documents. It kickstarts your unemployment benefits claims efficiently.

Understanding the nuances between "arbeitssuchend" and "arbeitslos" enhances your ability to navigate Germany's unemployment system. This knowledge ensures you fulfill the necessary obligations to obtain support in difficult times.

Eligibility Criteria for Arbeitslosengeld (Unemployment Benefits)

In Germany, to qualify for unemployment benefits, individuals must fulfill specific criteria. This involves the concept of Anwartschaftszeit, or the required qualifying time. Generally, a person should have worked and paid into social security for at least a year over the past two. Yet, this can vary based on factors like the person's age.


To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you need a certain work history. This includes working and contributing to social security for a year within the last two. Remember, the exact time required can change, especially based on age.

Geringes Einkommen:

Earning less than a specific amount is crucial for benefits qualification. The maximum earnings allowed differ yearly and consider things like family size and marital status. This part of the eligibility process is vital.

Voraussetzungen online arbeitslos melden:

Finally, there are aspects like online registration that applicants must complete correctly. They must ensure they fill out the form accurately and submit it on time. These steps are key for being deemed eligible for benefits.

Ensuring you meet all these criteria is necessary to receive unemployment benefits in Germany. If any requirements go unmet, your benefits might be lowered or denied. Always consider reaching out for more specific details and help from the relevant job center or employment agency.

Defining Unemployment in Germany

In Germany, unemployment is defined by the German Social Security Code III (SGB III). To be deemed unemployed, several conditions must be satisfied:

1. Being able and available for work: An individual must be both mentally and physically fit for work. Additionally, they must actively seek job opportunities.

2. Not being in employment: The status of unemployment arises when an individual lacks a job or is on unpaid leave.

3. Registering as "arbeitslos" (unemployed) with the employment agency: It is pivotal to officially report a job loss to the pertinent employment agency or job center.

The line between seeking work, or "arbeitssuchend," and being truly unemployed is clear. Though one may be vigorously searching for work, they must fulfill SGB III conditions to be classified as unemployed.

Now, delving deeper, we will explore the specific prerequisites for receiving unemployment benefits in Germany.

Potential Consequences of Not Reporting Unemployment After Resignation

Resigning a job and not reporting unemployment quickly can have serious effects. Unemployment benefit approval hinges on many elements, such as why you left and how it ended.

If you're too slow to report unemployment, the employment agency may penalize you. This could mean having your benefits cut, paused, or even taken away.

So, not reporting can lead to lower benefits or none at all. Plus, you might lose health insurance support, having to pay for it yourself.

Understanding the need to promptly report post-resignation unemployment is vital. Following the agency's rules helps you avoid problems, securing your financial stability.

Important Information and Resources

Unemployment registration and benefits require accurate information and proper advice. Local ver.di branches or works councils provide vital guidance and assistance. They help individuals understand registration steps and benefit application procedures.

Organizations like ver.di are experts in the process's complexities. They offer crucial support for seamless navigation. By contacting these groups, one can get tailored information and advice. This ensures making well-informed decisions about unemployment benefits.

Such resources assist in comprehending the steps for online registration precisely. They also offer guidance on completing the process efficiently, making things easier for applicants.


Registering as unemployed online in Germany is key if you're out of work. Missing the deadline or doing it wrong could lower or cancel your benefits. It's vital to act quickly and correctly when online arbeitslos melden. Always follow the rules your job center or employment agency sets.

Looking for the right info from trusted sources is crucial. This can make the tough time of being unemployed easier. Make sure you know the rules for signing up as jobless and getting benefits. Being informed helps you navigate these steps more smoothly.

Don't forget about groups like local ver.di branches or works councils. They offer great help and can answer your questions. Being proactive and well-informed is your best move. It lets you get the most help and support as you sign up for unemployment benefits.

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