Federal financial bridging aid

Grant for students in pandemic emergency situations

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing grants to help students who are in acute distress due to the corona pandemic. The grants are awarded through the Studenten- and Studierendenwerke.

The bridging allowance can be applied for by domestic and foreign students who are enrolled at state and state-recognised universities in Germany. Depending on proven need, between 100,00 € and 500,00 €can be paid as a non-repayable grant.

Decisive is the account balance: If you have more than 500,00 € on your accounts at the time of application, you are unfortunately not entitled to claim this assistance. Therefore, please refrain from making an application.

Applications can be submitted for the current month and must be renewed for each further month one at a time. The support runs up to and including September 2021.

Important note: Please submit your documents in full, otherwise your application may be rejected.

Please refrain from personal requests. Your application has been reviewed by the STUDIERENDENWERK team in several processing instances.

You are not legally entitled to the award of interim financial aid. You confirm this when you submit your application by recognition of the ancilliary provisions. 

This aid shall benefit those students who are demonstrably in a pandemic-related emergency, who need immediate help and who can claim no other support. This applies equally to German and international students.

Students enrolled at a public-funded or government-recognised higher education institution in Germany are entitled to submit an application, provided they are not on leave and that Germany is their main place of residence.

Students studying within an employment relationship or as part of service, for example at Universities of Applied Administrative Sciences (Verwaltungsfachhochschule) or Federal Army Universities (Bundeswehrhochschule), students in courses alongside career or dual system courses, non-enrolled and occasional students (Gasthörer) as well as students at higher education institutions not recognised by the government are not entitled to apply.

The interim financial aid complements the initiatives that the Federal Government has previously launched to assist students in the current exceptional situation brought about by the corona pandemic. BAföG or the KfW Student Loan can provide more long-term support.

During the month in which you apply for this interim financial aid, you must not reckon with any other pandemic-related support for your living expenses, for example via emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations.

If you can prove that you are in a financial emergency due to the pandemic, for example because your part-time job has been cancelled and you have not been able to find a new part-time job so far, we can provide you with a government grant of 100,00 € to 500,00 € per month.

You can submit applications for the entire summer semester 2021, but a new application is required for each month. The amount of the grant depends on your account balance at the time you submit the online application and is calculated in this way:

Account balance           Bridging aid
< 100,00 €                  500,00 €
100,00 - 199,99 €                  400,00 €
200,00 - 299,99 €                  300,00 €
300,00 - 399,99 €                  200,00 €
400,00 - 499,99 €                  100,00 €

What counts is the account balance on the day before the application is submitted counts (or the last banking day before you send in your application). This means, for example, that if you submit your application on the 15th of April 2021, the account balance of the 14th of April 2021 is relevant.

After your online application has been checked, you will be informed by e-mail whether you will receive bridging allowance and if so, how much.

No. The bridging aid is a grant from the Federal Government which does not have to be repaid.

 

You can submit your application again for each month on any day during the respective month.    

 

You can submit your application on the online portal: ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de. Please use the latest version of the Internet browsers Chrome, Firefox or Opera - or the current standard browsers of mobile devices. If you use Edge as your browser, please upgrade to Edge Chromium version 83.x or higher. Internet Explorer versions are not supported.

It is important that you indicate at which university you are studying. For universities that have offices or locations in other cities, the system assigns a Studierendenwerk after the university's headquarters. 

We will check your application and let you know whether and when you will receive how much bridging allowance.

Please submit your application only if all documents are complete. Otherwise this can lead to a rejection. There is no possibility to submit documents later. You can also speed up the examination process by providing carefully and comprehensibly prepared documents.

FAQ

If you continue to be enrolled in the same higher education institution at which you were studying before, please continue to use the same access data as back then. This means that you log in to the portal with the email address that you have used in your last application in order to make a follow-up application.

If you have transferred to another higher education institution, please create a new application-ID with the new e-mail address of your current institution. You are then taken through the identity verification in the application phase again and will then have two different application-IDs on the portal. It is important that you always use the right E-Mail address to login to the portal and that you make new applications or modifications in the correct application profile, since your E-Mail address is linked with a particular application-ID.

 

Yes, that is what the criteria specify. This bridging aid is intended for acute emergencies.

You may apply for interim financial aid even if you have a monthly income. Any other monthly income is not relevant as long as:  

  • a demonstrable pandemic-related emergency prevails at the time of submitting the application and
  • you assure that you have not filed any further applications for allowances as comparable support during a pandemic-related emergency situation for the month that you are now applying for. Such applications could be other emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations.

 

For an application, you need:

  • your institution’s certificate of enrolment for the summer semester  2021
  • your identity card or equivalent proof of identity, such as a passport with a registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung)
  • contact details of a bank account in Germany to which you have access
  • a declaration that you have not applied for or expecting any further pandemic-related support for the month that you are herewith applying for (such as from emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations)  
  • an explanation of why you are in a pandemic-related emergency situation, if possible proven by corresponding documents. The reasons for the emergency must have occurred within the month that your are submitting your application or in the two months before. If the beginning of the emergency dates further back, you must document current initiatives that could lead to an improved financial situation in the near future.
  • comprehensive account statements of all your accounts to which you have short-term access, in chronological order and sorted by date for the full calendar before the month in which you file your application, and for the current month up to the until the last (banking) day befor your submit your application.
  • A self-declaration that you can be expected to successfully complete your studies.

a. For unsuccessful application initiatives:

  • Contacted employers (including concrete contact persons or organizational units)  
  • Date of unsuccessful applications and refusals  
  • Expected jobs and expected income
  • Reasons why applications and refusals cannot be substantiated by relevant documents

b. In the event of cessation or restriction of self-employment:

  • Former clients
  • Type and extent of self-employment, in particular details of which contracts have been eliminated and to what extent
  • Average income from self-employment before the Corona pandemic
  • The extent of lost revenue due to the pandemic or, if it has been a process since March 2020, the decrease in order (financial and temporal)

c. In the event of loss or limitation of the support received so far:

  • By whom and in what amount and until when maintenance payments were made
  • Specify the reason for the failure or of the reduction of maintenance
  • When the maintenance payment is reduced, the amount of the current maintenance payment should also be documented

d. In the event of loss or restriction of employment caused by the pandemic:

  • Duration and scope of previous employment
  • Reason and circumstances of terminations
  • Name of former employers
  • Duration of the activity that was terminated
  • Precise timing of the termination (incl. last working day)
  • Average income from previous employment
  • An explanation of why this cannot be explained by appropriate documents

The interim financial aid is intended to support those students that can prove that they are in a pandemic-related emergency financially, that they need direct help, and that they cannot draw on other forms of support.

To prove such a situation, the following preconditions must be met:
a)    the account balance of all your combined accounts must be less than 500 €
b)    b) the emergency situation has been caused by a pandemic-related loss of income within the current months or in the two preceding months

A pandemic-related loss of income may have occurred by the following reasons and corresponding proof must be provided:

  • termination of a work contract or proof that employment has been suspended by the employer, or – where such proof cannot be delivered – a corresponding self-declaration that includes in particular the length and amount of the employment up to now, as well as the reason and circumstances of termination;  and/or  
  • a documented rejection of at least two applications at different employers for the time up to your application, as well as a self-declaration about the necessity of the intended employment for securing your living costs. Exceptionally, you can explain the job applications and rejections in your self-declaration if such documents cannot be produced due to the pandemic; and/or
  • a self-declaration about the cessation of self-employment (information about clients, type and amount of work; information about which contracts have been lost to what amount; amount of lost revenues); and/or
  • a self-declaration about the cessation of allowances from your parents (information about which allowances have been lost when, and to what amount, and for what reasons).

If the reason for the pandemic-related loss of income dates back longer than the two months before the current month, e.g. if you apply for interim financial aid in April 2021 but have lost your job before the end of January 2021, you must document own current initiatives to improve the pandemic-related emergency (such as applications for part-time jobs, commissions in self-employment). In order for such documentation to be “current”, the must date from the last two months before the current month and up to the day of your application for interim financial aid.

If the reason dates back longer than two calendar months before your application, you must document your own current initiatives to improve the pandemic-related emergency (e.g. applications for part-time jobs, offers for self-employment).

Thus, if your employment contract has been suspended since January 2021 when you apply for interim financial aid in April, the same rules apply as in a termination of contract; correspondingly, you must document current efforts in the time-period of the two calendar months before your application respectively in the current month up to your application.  

When the application portal shows a message about “need for action” (Handlungsbedarf), this means that the processing of your application has started, but cannot be completed without your intervention. Click on the pop-up icon in the application portal in order to read the message from the caseworker.

You will then learn what you still need to do. Usually, you will be asked to provide further documents or information. You can only provide missing information by uploading them to the application portal.

Yes. Only documents proving the pandemic emergency must be submitted without gaps. Information on the identity card that does not directly serve to prove identity and address, such as place of birth or religious affiliation, can be blacked out.

To prove that you are in a financial emergency, you need to provide the comprehensive bank statements (without any gaps) of all of your bank accounts to which you have short-term access. These are all accounts to which you have the sole or at least shared right of disposition. You must provide the bank statements of all accounts (including payment transaction services such as PayPal or amazon payments), to which you have short-term access, listed in chronological order and sorted by date for the full calendar months before the current month and for the current month up to the last (banking) day before you file your application.

Lists of transactions can be accepted instead of bank statements as long as the transactions are listed comprehensively (without any gaps). Exceptions are savings agreements (for example home loan savings contracts – or Bausparvertrag) or other accounts to which you do not have short-term access, i.e. within the current month, such as rent deposit accounts (Mietkautionskonto), or trust accounts (Treuhandkonto). These are the only accounts to which you are not required to send in documents.

Attention: So-called blocked accounts (Sperrkonto) that are used as proof of sufficient financial resources for foreign students do allow for access within the current month in a determined amount, thus they must be indicated – in which a declaration about the determined accessible amount within the current month must be given.

Similarly, you must provide information about online accounts such Comdirect or financial transaction services such as PayPal, Amazon Payments etc. as long as the balance is available at short-notice – or you must declare that you currently do not have any credits on those accounts.

For all other accounts to which you have no short-term access within the current month or on which you do not have a current balance, the following declaration will suffice: “I confirm that I have provided comprehensive information about the available balance on my accounts and that I do not have any current balance on other accounts. Beyond this, there is no current balance available on other payment transaction services if these services are not listed (such as e.g. PayPal or Amazon Payments).”

It must be discernible from your documents that the applicant has a sole (or shared) right of disposal for the bank account within Germany to which the interim financial aid should be transferred.
You may only list a loan/credit to the amount in which a redemption obligation is biding for the current month.

Please upload a personal declaration to explain this with the following information:

  • What kind of maintenance payments have been granted?
  • When have these payments been granted?
  • What was the amount?
  • Why have these payments been terminated?

 

During the online application process, you must, among other things, upload a photo of yourself several times, once with your identity card or passport (with certificate of registration), and there is another verification step with an automatically generated numerical code that is sent to your e-mail address.

This prevents abuse and fraud.

You can always log in to the portal www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de and check the status of your application at the responsible student service organisation (Studenten- oder Studierendenwerk – STW in short). To do so, click "LOGIN" on the start page and enter the e-mail address that you have used in your application. We send you a six-digit “token” or code via e-mail; you can use this code to access the information of your application.

When your STW has finished processing your application, you receive a message to the e-mail adress with which you are register on the portal.

If you log in to the application portal again, you find out if and in what amount you receive the bridging assistance. To do so, please click “LOGIN” again and use the six-digit token/code that we send you per e-mail. Important: you receive the e-mail message directly from the application portal  www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de, not from the STW that has processed your application.

Please refrain from phone calls or inquiries at your student service organisation. How quickly you receive a message from the system depends on how many applications the student service organisations receive. Staff will do their best to process the applications swiftly. Many student service organisations have set up their own teams specifically for this purpose.

If your application is approved, you can reckon with the money being transferred in a week’s time.

 

Yes. This interim financial aid is granted monthly. If your emergency lasts longer than a month, you can submit a new application in the following month.

 

No. All you have to provide with a subsequent application is:

  • a declaration that you have not applied for any further pandemic-related support for the month that you are herewith applying for (such as from emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations) or are not expecting further support through applications that you have already submitted
  • your declaration about your emergency situation caused by the pandemic must concern the current month; thus, you have to upload new or updated documents or self-declarations.
  • the latest bank account statement(s) that cover(s) the time from the last application up to the current one without interruptions

 

 

No. The pandemic-related emergency must exist at the point of submitting the application and must be proven. You can prove this difficult situation with account statements and further required information.

You cannot receive interim financial aid with incorrect or incomplete statements. If it turns out afterwards that you have provided incomplete or even incorrect information, you will have to pay back the financial aid you received. In case of false information, there is also a risk of criminal proceedings.

No. Claims for interim financial aid have no influence on questions of the right of residence. The application for interim financial aid relies on a sudden emergency through no fault of one’s own.  Such a situation must be considered a case of hardship for granting a temporary and limited emergency aid.

Thus, this is an exemption from the standard requirement to provide proof of your own living costs according to Art. 5 Par. 1 No. 1 of the residence act (§ 5 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 Aufenthaltsgesetz).

In principle yes, if you are demonstrably still in a pandemic emergency situation despite these other sources of funding.

That depends on the situation. Students submitting an application must declare that they have not applied for or intend to apply for further pandemic-related support (such as from emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations) in the month of application for interim financial aid.

This excludes financial means that do not pay for daily living costs such as the support from a technical grant for your IT equipment, or operational support for the self-employed. If you are in a proven pandemic-related emergency, you can receive interim financial aid irrespectively from such other support.

Your BAföG decision is not checked. What is decisive is the account balance and the pandemic-related lack of equal income from jobs and/or family support as shown on the account statements.

No, the BMBF states that interim financial aid is not an income in the sense of the BAföG, cf. BMBF online source:

“In some Federal States or student service organisations, emergency aid is available for trainees and students who have lost their (part-time) job owing to the pandemic. Recipients of payments in accordance with the BAföG can also apply for such aid and will receive it, if they qualify. Such loans are referred to in § 21 Para. 4 No. 4 BAföG and are hence not to be treated as income in the sense of the BAföG. […] This regulation is to be applied correspondingly for emergency aid in the form of allowances.”

 

 

 

Yes, as long as it is not a course alongside a career (berufsbegleitendes Studium) and as long as your domicile and habitual place of residence is within Germany.

 

If you find a job within the same months and receive income, then yes. If this only happens in the following month, then no.  Interim financial aid is meant to bridge the time of one month.

This is both for secure identification and protects you and other students from fraud. Each time you log in, you receive a six-digit token or code that is valid for two hours. You must be request a new token for each login. Make sure you always use the same e-mail address with which you have made your application.

In order to finally send and finish your application, you receive a six-digit confirmation code per text message on your mobile phone when your online application is ready and all documents have been uploaded completely,

Thus, you always receive e-mail tokens when you complete your application after a break or if you want to online application is ready and all documents have been uploaded completely.

Thus, you always receive e-mail tokens when you complete your application after a break or if you want to check the status of your application, while you receive the six-digit text message code to your cell phone only once in order to send your application.

No, the age is not important.

The data protection is guaranteed according to the standards of the European Data Protection Basic Regulation (DSGVO).

 

No, interim financial aid is an additional contribution by the State to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on students. You do not have a legal entitlement and you actually confirm this by indicating your agreement to the funding guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the application portal.

The sole responsibility for the decision about your application lies with the Studierenden- or Studentenwerk (STW) that is processing your application, in this case Studierendenwerk Essen-Duisburg. You can only get binding information about your application there. There is no other institutions for appeals. Furthermore, neither the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) nor Deutsches Studentenwerk (DSW) are entitled to view applications or decisions about applications.

 

Contact

STUDIERENDENWERK

Email: ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende[@]stw-edu.de

Hotline Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Tue08:00 am-04:00 pm
Wed08:00 am-04:00 pm
Thu08:00 am-04:00 pm
Fri08:00 am-noon

Tel. +49 800 2623003

Email: ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende[@]bmbf.bund.de