What - where?
There are many different banks and credit institutes in Landshut. The consumer consultant «Verbraucherberatung» can help with the choice of a bank.
It is common to open a current account «Giro-konto» for every day expenses and income such as wage, rent and other payments.
For regular standing orders «Daueraufträge» such as rent or charges for water, gas and electricity the bank will transfer the fixed amount of money on the set date to the recipientâ€™s account.
PERMISSION TO WITHDRAW FROM YOUR ACCOUNT
The permission for a third party to withdraw from the account «Einzugsermächtigung or Lastschrift» is used for regular payments, but with varying amounts, like phone bills. If a company withdraws the wrong amount one can correct the withdrawal within a couple of weeks and can cancel the permiss ion to withdrawal at any time.
EC-CARDS AND BANK MACHINES
After opening a current account, the bank will provide an EC-card with a personal pin number. One can withdraw money with this card anywhere in Germany and pay with it in many stores. One also prints the bank statements at a machine in the bank with the card. All transactions are documented in the bank statements. Credits are written under «Haben» (have) and debits under «Soll» (debit side).
CREDIT ON OVERDRAFT
From a current account it is possible to have an automatic overdraft «Überziehungskredit». The amount of this depends on the regular income. Please note that the banks often ask high interest rates on these overdrafts.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
UNEMPLOYMENT MONEY I «ARBEITSLOSENGELD I»
In order to receive unemployment support one must have worked for at least 12 months in the past three years in a job with unemployment insurance. The amount and duration of the unemployment money depends on the past income and the duration of the past job.
UNEMPLOYMENT MONEY II «ARBEITSLOSENGELD II; ALGII OR HARTZ IV»
Having no claim to unemployment money then one can get support, to insure minimum living, from the government «Arbeitslosengeld II». The amount of this basic support is usually less than the unemployment money.
Being unable to participate in gainful employment because of age or disability one can get social support «Sozialhilfe». This is about as much as the unemployment money.
One can apply for and get «Arbeitslosengeld II» in Landshut from the ARGE «Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Stadt Landshut». Information and forms can be found in the entrance area of the ARGE. If necessary an appointment can be made with a caseworker.
Notel: Receiving «Arbeitslosengeld II» or social support can lead to deportation. Please get information about this as soon as possible!!!
At the social off ice «Sozialamt» every client is allocated to a caseworker alphabetically according to the family name. People will only get social support if they cannot help themselves and cannot get help from anyone else. One can help oneself if the income is high enough or if one has a certain amount of capital.
The following groups can get social help:
- People not capable of working at least 3 hours a day
- People who cannot work for 6 months or longer
- People not capable of work because of disability
- Retired people
Everyone receiving «Arbeitlosengeld II» is insured under the public medical insurance. The fees for the insurance are paid for.
CHILD SUPPORT MONEY
Parents with underage children receive child support money «Kindergeld». The amount depends on the number of children in the household.
Until the children reach the age of 18 one will get support money on application. Children continuing to go to school (high school, university, or trades school) or if they earn less than 7680 Euros in a year can get the support until their age of 25.
One has to apply for child support money through a written form at the family insurance office «Familienkasse». One can get the forms at the «Agentur für Arbeit» or on the Internet at www.familien-kasse.de.
The forms have to be sent to the family insurance «Familienkasse» in Regensburg.
Social insurance consists of 5 parts:
Medical insurance «Krankenversicherung» secures financial protection while sick or pregnant and it is mandatory for all people living in Germany. The insurance also covers the spouse and children of the insured person, if these people have little or no personal income. Individuals can choose between various health insurers «Krankenkassen»: «Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse, Ersatzkassen, Betriebskrankenkassen or Innungskrankenkassen». The health insurers differ only slightly in the level of contributions collected and the services and cover offered. The basic services covered are laid down by law. All employees below a certain income are obliged under law to be publicly insured. If the income is of a higher level, the individual can choose between public and private health insurers.
NURSING CARE INSURANCE
The nursing care insurance «Pflegeversicherung» provides social security if nursing care is needed. Payment of contributions awards people the right to financial aid for care as an inpatient or outpatient.
The pension insurance «Rentenversicherung» is the most important pillar securing old age in Germany. Employers, along with apprentices and certain groups of self-employed people, are obliged to have public pension insurance.
The main functions of the pension insurers are payment of pensions to the insured or their surviving dependants (spouse and orphans) and provision of medical and occupational rehabilitation measures.
Certain conditions have to be fulfilled before pensions can be drawn. Men and women insured must have reached a minimum age «Altersgrenze», they must have paid contributions for a certain amount of time «Wartezeit» and they have to apply for a pension. Pensions are generally paid at the age of 65, but it is also possible to receive an early pension or to work longer and receive the pension at a later age. The «Bundesministerium für Gesundheit und Soziale Sicherung» (Federal Ministry for Health and Social Security) has information on pensions,
partial pensions, pensions due to reduced earning capacity and pensions due to death (for spouses and orphans).
Unemployment insurance «Arbeitslosenversicherung» offers financial help for the unemployed and assistance in acquiring new employment. Anyone who has paid unemployment contributions for a certain period of time and is then made unemployed, or registers themselves as unemployed, has a right to unemployment benefits. The German Federal Employment Office «Agentur für Arbeit» has a number of employment promotion schemes for employers and employees alike and tries to place as many job seekers as possible in employment.
Accident insurance «Unfallversicherung» reduces the financial burdens of accidents at the workplace or occupational illnesses. It offers prevention advice (reducing accident risk in the workplace) and rehabilitation services.
Besides social insurance there are many other insurance types that you can get for different reasons. You can see here a list of insurances and you can see which ones may be useful for you.
Personal Liability Insurance
Personal liability insurance «Haftpflichtversicherung» covers the insured in case of accidental damage to a third party. This insurance also covers accidental damage caused in other homes. This type of insurance policy provides cover against financial ruin in case of claims for compensation by third parties.
Household insurance «Hausratsversicherung» covers costs incurred in the case of burglary or other incidents. The insurance cover should correspond to the actual cost of the items insured in the household.
Incapability of Work Insurance
This insurance policy «Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung» provides cover against the financial loss incurred if a person becomes unable to carry out their job due to accident or illness. A pension is paid according to the bearerâ€™s insurance policy, should incapacity occur.
Legal Costs Insurance
Legal costs insurance «Rechtsschutzversicherung» covers any legal fees incurred by the insured. This is only valid, however, in certain cases. It is recommendable to seek consumer advice on this and other insurance policy matters.
Life insurance «Risiko-Lebensversicherung» is a commonly held policy and guarantees a fixed financial sum to the bearer at a certain age or to his family should the insured person die. The «Kapital-Lebensversicherung» is one way of saving for the future and old age.
The national pension should be packed up by private funds to maintain the standard of living during retirement. Information and advice can be found at the «Verbraucherberatung».