Taking German unemployment benefit with you to the Netherlands

If you are unemployed in Germany and want to look for work in the Netherlands, you can continue to receive German unemployment benefit there for a period of three months. The period for which you can take your German unemployment benefit with you can be extended up to a maximum of six months for the purpose of looking for work.

You are entitled if you:

  • are unemployed,
  • have registered as unemployed in Germany,
  • are entitled to unemployment benefit,
  • want to look for work in an EU or EEA country or in Switzerland,
  • have fulfilled the qualifying period and
  • are a national of a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.

You must apply for the transfer of benefits before you leave Germany to look for work. Your responsbile German employment agency will then issue you with a U 2 certificate. You need this certificate to prove that you are entitled to benefits from the UWV in the Netherlands.

The U 2 form certifies, among other things, the period for which you are entitled to the benefit, the date of departure, the latest date for reporting to the UWV in the Netherlands for seamless payment and the amount of the benefit.

Benefits are paid at the same level as in Germany. Benefits are paid by UWV (institution in the Netherlands).

You must be available to the German Employment Agency for at least 4 weeks during your unemployment before leaving the country so that the Employment Agency can initiate its placement efforts (priority of the national labour market). In order for the benefit to be paid to you from the beginning of the carry-over period, you must register with UWV no later than 6 days after your departure. If the 6th day after departure is a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is decisive. In principle, you can take your benefits with you to look for work in other EU countries for a maximum period of 3 months from the date of departure.

During the job search in the Netherlands, the continuation of the entitlement to benefits is in principle to be assessed according to German legislation. UWV only provides the benefits and you are subject to the control regulations in the Netherlands (e.g. regular reporting).

If the entitlement to unemployment benefit ends during the carry-over period due to exhaustion of the entitlement, payment of the unemployment benefit II is eligible for the remaining carry-over period. A separate certificate U 2 is required for unemployment benefit II. The carry-over period is thus covered by two U 2 certificates, if necessary, whose periods follow each other. The separate U 2 certificate for unemployment benefit II is issued by the institution responsible for the unemployment benefit II. A comprehensive means/poverty test is required for the issue. Therefore, please contact the institution responsible for the unemployment benefit II in time before leaving the country.

Health insurance

While you are looking for work in the Netherlands, you are also entitled to health insurance benefits as a member of a legal health insurance. For benefits in kind (e.g. medical treatment, medication, hospital treatment), you and your family members need a European Health Insurance Card or a provisional replacement certificate. Your family members who are covered by family insurance are generally still entitled to benefits in Germany while you are looking for work abroad.

Returning to Germany

If you return to Germany within the period of unemployment, any remaining entitlement to benefits in Germany will be re-established from the day on which you register as unemployed again in person. The period of entitlement is reduced by the number of days of benefit received abroad.

More information is available in a brochure from the Federal Employment Agency