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 may be submitted only for the months of November, December, January, February and March.

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 is intended to help those students who are in a proven pandemic emergency situation, who need immediate help and who cannot call on any other assistance.

Eligible to apply:

  • German students and
  • international students,
  • who are enrolled at a state or state-recognised higher education institution in Germany and are not on leave of absence.
  • you have not applied for any other pandemic-related support, e.g. from emergency funds, foundations or funding agencies.

Not eligible to apply are students who are studying in the context of an employment relationship, for example at universities of applied sciences for administration or universities of the armed forces, students in part-time or dual studies, guest students and students at universities not recognised by the state.

The bridging aid complements the initiatives taken so far by the Federal Government to support students in the current exceptional situation caused by the corona pandemic. BAföG or the KfW student loan can provide longer-term support.

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 months November, December, January, February and March , 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: If you submit the application on 25.11.2020, the account balance on 24.11.2020 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 an application up to the last day of a month; the application will then be considered for the month requested, e.g. in the case of an application on 30 November 2020 for November 2020.

 

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 in the period from June to September 2020, please continue to use the same access data as during the summer. This means that you log in to the portal with the e-mail address that you have used in the summer months 2020 in order to make a follow-up application for November 2020 or the ensuing months.

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 log-in 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.

 

This is important for you:

  • Your certificate of enrolment must be for the winter term 2020/2021 and the declaration that you have not applied for other pandemic-related aid must also be up to date
  • Your declaration about your pandemic-related emergency must concern the current month; please upload new or updated documents or declarations to prove this  

 

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

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, and
  • you are not expecting income through previously filed applications this month.

If you have received other forms of financial support that do not serve the purpose of paying for your living expenses, such as support from a technical grant for your IT-equipemnt, or operational support for the self-employed, you can nevertheless receive interim financial aid as long as you can prove that your financial emergency is pandemic-related

 

For an application, you need:

  • your institution’s certificate of enrolment for the winter semester 2020/2021
  • 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 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. If you have received other forms of financial support that do not serve the purpose of paying for your living expenses, such as support from a technical grant for your IT-equipemnt, or operational support for the self-employed, you can still receive interim financial aid as long as you can prove that your financial emergency is pandemic-related
  • an explanation of why you are in a pandemic-related emergency situation, if possible proven by corresponding documents: termination of you employment contract by your former employer, or a self-declaration regarding the loss of your previous gainful employment, or a self-declaration that owing to the pandemic, family support has been reduced or terminated, or a documented, written rejection of at least two application letters or a similar self-declaration about your job applications and subsequent rejection letters
  • account statements of all your accounts (including payment transaction services such as PayPal or amazon Payments) as long as you have short-term access, for the two months before your application and up to the day (or last the banking day) before sending in your application. Important: you may not blacken anything on your account statements, otherwise the application is considered to be incomplete. All account statements must be easily legible and your name must be clearly identified.
  • For all other accounts to which you do not have short-term access or on which there is not a credit 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).”
  • A self-declaration that you can be expected to successfully complete your studies

 

 

a. For unsuccessful application initiatives:

  • Notified employers (including concrete contact persons or organizational units)  
  • Date of unsuccessful applications and refusals  
  • Notified jobs and expected income
  • Explanation 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

You can still file a application. The expiry date of your identity document only has to be after 31.12.2019.

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 bank statements (without any gaps) of all of your bank accounts to which you have short-term access. Exceptions are savings agreements (for example home loan savings contracts – or Bausparvertrag) or other accounts to which you do not have short-term access such as rent deposit accounts (Mietkautionskonto), other blocked accounts (Sperrkonto) or trust accounts (Treuhandkonto). These are the only accounts to which you are not required to send in documents.

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 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).”

 

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 situation lasts longer than a month, you can submit a new application in the following month, i.e. for the months of December 2020 and if necessary, for January 2021, February 2021 and March 2021 respectively.

 

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 that covers the time from the last application up to the current one without interruptions

 

 

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

You cannot receive interim financial aid with incorrect or incomplete statements.

 

No. Claims for interim financial aid have no influence on questions of residence permits. The positive verification of an application for interim financial aid relies on a sudden emergency through no fault of one’s own and so that the given 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 Nr. 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 do not expect further income for the month for which they apply for interim financial aid, and have not applied for or intend to apply for further pandemic-related support (such as from emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations).

This excludes financial means that are not used to 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 has regulated that it is not an income in the sense of BAföG, see this BMBF online source

Yes, as long as it is not a course alongside a career (berufsbegleitendes Studium).

This bridging allowance is granted as a non-repayable grant; it serves as a bridge until you have found a new job and your need no longer exists.

But caution: If it is subsequently established that you have provided false information, you must repay the grant.

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.

There are several improvements for students:

  • If you cannot prove the pandemic-related cancelation of an existing working contract or if you cannot documents this in written form, it is now sufficient to make a self-declaration that explains the reason and the circumstances of the notice of dismissal.
  • If you cannot provide the required two written refusals from at least two job applications, it is now sufficient to make a self-declaration about the unsuccessful job applications and their refusal. This self-declaration must be include clear and precise information about which job application were send and when and by whom they were rejected. You must also explain to what extent the desired position was necessary to secure your living expenses.
  • This time, you have to upload only the bank account statements of the preceding month as well as the month of application until the day before sending the application. If you receive only monthly account statements from your bank, please verify if your bank can deliver a comprehensive overview of income ad expenditures for the (current) month of application from the date of the last account statement until the day (or last banking day) before your application for interim financial aid.

 

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

 

No, and you confirm this by indicating your agreement to the funding guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the application portal. These exclude a legal claim.

Contact

Telephone consultation STUDIERENDENWERK

Tue09:00 am-noon
Thu10:00 am-01:00 pm
Fri09:00 am-noon

Tel.: +49 201 82010-111

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