How to bypass the blocking period for unemployment benefits in Germany, IF you quit your job!


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If you resign from your job or simply quit, you will often initially not any unemployment benefit from the state. But you can bypass this blocking period. Find out exactly how this works.

Bypass the blocking period for unemployment benefits: Let’s face it – who hasn’t thought about just quitting there job? Sometimes there are good reasons to quit the job. Be it change in your job. But what about unemployment benefits if you quit? Are you entitled to unemployment benefit I (ALG I) if you give notice, or does the so-called blocking period apply first? Expaturm explains when what applies and how employees can bypass the blocking period.

bypass the blocking period

Can the Agentur für Arbeit (employment office) impose a blocking period for unemployment benefits?

The employment office can impose a blocking period for unemployment benefits if you resign yourself – because you brought about unemployment yourself by resigning. That means you have to wait for unemployment benefits. This does not apply if you have good reasons (see below).

The blocking period for unemployment benefit can be up to twelve weeks. The blocking period is counted towards the entire unemployment benefit period – as a result, you will receive less money than you are actually entitled to.

The good news is that you can object to this ban informally in writing after you have terminated your employment. Your written objection must be based on good cause (see below) but has a good chance of success. Social courts have already declared the blocking period to be ineffective more than once.

Note: You must register as a job seeker three months before your job ends to avoid a one-week lock-up period. This gives the employment office the opportunity to find you a new job.

bypass the blocking period

Ways to bypass the blocking period for unemployment benefits?

When you apply for unemployment benefit I, you should justify why you gave notice. However, not all reasons are recognized by the employment agency. Below is an overview:

1. Professional reasons

If you are demonstrably overwhelmed and the job is too stressful for you, the employment agency will usually recognize this. However, you must prove this. Understandable reasons include proven mobbing or  sexual harassment  at work. A dismissal due to delayed or non-payment of wages also does not result in a blocking of unemployment benefit.

2. Private reasons

If you set up an “education community” with your life partner, i.e. move in together in order to bring up the children better, the employment office usually recognizes this – the blocking period does not apply. This also applies if you are caring for a close relative. But here it depends on the individual case. Even if you move into a shared apartment with your spouse, you can give notice of termination without a blocking period for unemployment benefit. However, this usually does not apply if you are only in a relationship.

3. New job

If you have a new job prospect and may have already signed your contract, that should also count as an important reason.

Tip: If you have problems in your job or are dissatisfied, contact the works council if there is one. In some companies there is also a person of trust or an ombudsman for such cases. As an employee, however, you do not have to tolerate if your employer demands unlawful behavior from you. In this case, you are not threatened with a blocking period.

These rules apply to a termination agreement

Employers can also agree a termination agreement with an employee in order to avoid notice periods, for example. However, you should know that a termination agreement can lead to a suspension period.

If you have an important reason for a termination agreement, you do not have to worry about a blocking period. This is the case, for example, if you have already been made redundant for operational reasons (see below) and can negotiate a severance payment with the termination agreement.

Tip: Clarify the consequences for your unemployment benefit with the employment agency before you sign a termination agreement. To do this, hand over the draft of the termination agreement to the employment office. The agency can then check this.

bypass the blocking period

Is there a blocking period for unemployment benefits if my employer fires me or terminates my contract?

Here it depends on the reason why your employer terminates you. A distinction is made between three different types of termination: personal, behavioral or operational terminations.

  • personal termination is given if the reason lies in the person of the employee – i.e. if you work too badly.
  • A termination for operational reasons is the case when the economic situation of a company deteriorates sharply, so that job cuts are necessary.
  • behavior-related termination occurs if you have become conspicuous through misconduct or breaches of duty.

► If your employer terminates you for operational or personal reasons, you do not have to worry about a blocking period for unemployment benefits.

► The situation is different in the case of behavioral termination because in this case you yourself are responsible for the termination through your misconduct.

Good to know: If you have defended yourself against dismissal by filing a lawsuit for protection against unfair dismissal , the employment agency generally does not impose a blocking period on unemployment benefits.


Expaturm aims to help educate Expats in Germany on key issues that they will have to deal with while living in Germany by providing everything you need to know about Banking, Healthcare, Lifestyle, and Housing in Germany


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