Please note

Since November 2020, new applications for bridging assistance can be submitted.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides bridging assistance for students in pandemic related emergency situations via the respective Studentenwerk and issues the guidelines on the conditions for funding. This support has been relaunched in November. Students in pandemic related emergency situations can now apply for the subsidy at their local Studentenwerk until 31 March 2021.

You can apply online here: www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de

The bridging assistance can be applied for online since 20 November 2020. The Studentenwerk responsible processes the applications and induces the concluding payments. The project as a whole poses an enormous technical and organisational challenge for all of us, which needs to be dealt with on short notice. We are doing our utmost to make sure that the students will receive their bridging assistance.

We kindly ask fou you to be patient and refrain from making any requests until then, thank you!

BMBF hotline for  bridging assistance:
Phone: +49 800 26 23 003
E-mail: ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende {{ätt}} bmbf {{punkt}} bund {{punkt}} de

Because of the many questions that arose the application process, we have compiled the most important answers and technical information here

The 10 Most Important Questions & Answers and Technical Advice

General questions on the topic

In a nutshell:

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has restarted bridging assistance for winter semester 2020/21. This offer, available from November to end of March 2021 is meant to support those students who are again in an acute, pandemic-related (economic or financial) emergency and require immediate support. You can apply for bridging assistance if you are a German or international student enrolled at a public-funded and government-recognised higher education institution in Germany.

Those already receiving loans, grants or other support during the reference month may nevertheless obtain bridging assistance. Depending on proven need, you could receive between 100 euros and 500 euros as a non-repayable allowance.

Those with more than 500 euros in their bank account at the time of submitting an application will not receive this bridging assistance and should please not apply for one.

The application can be submitted from November 2020 onwards; a follow-up application must be submitted for each additional month.

The Studierendenwerk, to which you submit your application online, will decide, on the basis of the information provided in the application, whether to award the subsidy within the available budget. The order in which the application is processed depends on the date on which the complete documents are received by the respective Studentenwerk. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

You are not legally entitled to the award of bridging assistance.

The application can be submitted exclusively online. Please use the latest version of the internet browsers Chrome, Firefox or Opera - or the current standard browsers of your mobile device. If you use Edge browser, please update to Edge Chromium version 83.x or higher. Internet Explorer versions are not supported.

Applications are submitted to the Studentenwerk responsible for the higher education institution that you are studying at. Should your  institution be present at several locations, the student service organisation where the head office of your higher education institution is located will be responsible for processing your application. In the case of higher education institutions without relevant student service organisations, the German National Association for Student Affairs (Deutsches Studentenwerk – DSW) will determine which Studentenwerk is responsible.

If you cannot find your higher education institution in the following list, please send an Email to ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende {{ätt}} studentenwerke {{punkt}} de

This is how the application process works:


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The Federal Ministry of Education and Research refers to two types of bridging assistance for students:

  • a temporary waiver of interest on the KfW Student Loan until the end of March 2021 and expanding the entitlement to the KfW Student Loan also to international students
  • 100 million euros in allowances for students in an acute, pandemic-related emergency; in the following, the focus is on these allowances, which amount to a total of 100 million euros.
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This aid is meant to 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.

Students studying within an employment relationship or as part of service, for example at Universities of Applied Administrative Sciences (Verwaltungsfachhochschule) or Federal Army Universities (Bundewehrhochschule), 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 bridging assistance 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 I apply for this bridging assistance, I must not reckon with any other pandemic-related support, for example via emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations, or through previously filed applications.

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If you are demonstrably facing financial hardship brought about by the pandemic – for example because you have lost your part-time job and you have so far been unable to find any other part-time employment – you can obtain an allowance of between 100 and 500 euros a month from the government via the student service organisation (STW) that is responsible for your higher education institution.

You can submit applications for the months of June, July, August and September 2020, although a new application is required for each month. The level of the allowance depends on pandemic-related, individual needs and is calculated as follows:

Account balance
Less than 100.00 € -> 500.00 € Bridging assistance
Between 100.00 € and 199.99 € -> 400.00 € Bridging assistance
Between 200.00 € and 299.99 € -> 300.00 € Bridging assistance
Between 300.00 € and 399.99 € -> 200.00 € Bridging assistance
Between 400.00 € and 499.99 € -> 100.00 € Bridging assistance

The account balance on the day before the application is submitted counts. This means, for example, that if you submit your application on 20 June 2020, the account balance of 19 June 2020 is relevant.

You will be informed by E-Mail if and how much bridging assistance you may receive after verification of your online application.

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Yes, that is what the criteria stipulate. This bridging assistance is meant for acute emergencies.

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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.

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You apply online via the portal www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de. Your application is forwarded directly to the student service organisation responsible for your support and will be processed there.

It is important that you state at which higher education institution you are studying. In the case of institutions with branches or locations in further cities, the system will assign a student service organisation according to the head office location of the institution. Please complete the online application mask. The student service organisation responsible for you will assess your application and notify you whether and when you will be receiving bridging assistance.

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You can submit your application from Monday, 15 June 2020 on – but note:

For technical reasons, the student service organisations will only be able to process the applications from the 29th June 2020 on, and the allowances will only be paid after this date.

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You must submit your application within the month for which you need bridging assistance.

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Please write an Email to Deutsches Studentenwerk, and send it to ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende {{ätt}} studentenwerke {{punkt}} de – you will then receive a reply from there.

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For an application, you need:

  • your institution’s certificate of enrolment for the summer semester 2020
  • your identity card or equivalent proof of identity, such as a passport with a registration certificate
  • details of a bank account in Germany
  • 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
  • an explanation of why you are in a pandemic-related emergency situation, if possible proven by corresponding documents: termination of you employment relationship by your former employer, a self-declaration regarding the loss of your previous gainful employment, or a self-declaration that owing to the pandemic, family support has been terminated
  • account statements of all your accounts since February or March 2020, depending on when you last received income
  • a self-declaration that you can be expected to successfully complete your studies
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In the course of the online application, you will have to upload a photo of yourself several times, including once with your identity card or passport (together with the registration certificate), and there is a further authentication step with an automatically generated number code that will be sent to your Email address. This is meant to prevent abuse and cheating.

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You can log on to the portal www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de at any time and check the processing status of your application with your local Studentenwerk. To do so, click "LOGIN" on the start page and enter the e-mail address you used to submit your application. We will send you a 6-digit token or code by e-mail, which you can use to access your application information regarding your apllication.

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Yes. This bridging assistance 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 June, July, August and September 2020 respectively.

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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
  • the latest account statement
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What counts is whether you were in a pandemic-related emergency at the point of submitting the application. You must supply proof of this difficult situation with account statements and further information.

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No. The bridging assistance is a non-repayable allowance from the Federal Government.

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No. The utilisation of interim financial aid has no influence on questions of the right of residence. A positive assessment of an application for interim financial aid is based on a sudden emergency through no fault of one’s own. This must be considered as a hardship (Härtefall) which allows for an emergency financial aid that is limited in time (Nothilfe). Thus, we have here an exception from the standard requirement to prove guaranteed subsistence according to § 5 art. 1 no. 1 of the residence act (Aufenthaltsgesetz).

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Unfortunately, then you cannot receive bridging assistance.

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Yes, provided that despite this you are demonstrably in a pandemic-related emergency situation.

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Students submitting an application have to declare that they do not expect further infome for the month for which they apply for bridging assistance, and have not applied for or intend to apply for further pandemic-related support (such as from emergency funds, foundations or sponsoring associations).

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No, it doesn’t. BAföG notifications are not tested. What counts is that you are nevertheless in a pandemic-related emergency situation, and that the account statements demonstrate that previous income of the same amount from jobs and/or family support has ceased owing to the pandemic.

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No, the BMBF states that it is not 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, provided that 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."

https://www.bafög.de/keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-756.php

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Yes.

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

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Yes.

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This bridging assistance is granted as a non-repayable allowance; it is meant to bridge the time up to when you have found new employment and are no longer in an emergency situation.

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No.

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Data protection is ensured in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.

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No, the bridging assistance is an allowance that does not have to be repaid if you meet the eligibility criteria. 

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You may still file an application, as long as the expiry date of your identity card was after December 31, 2019.

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Yes, you must only provide comprehensive documents regarding the pandemic-related emergency. Information in your identity card that do not directly serve the proof of identity and adresse, such as place of birth or religious affiliation, may be blackened.

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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. The only exceptions are savings agreements (for example home loans 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.

You must also provide information about online accounts such as paypal or Comdirect.

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Please upload a personal declaration to explain this.

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No. Later submissions are not possible.

Therefore, during the application process, make sure that you have uploaded the correct documents in full before sending the application. The documents will be displayed immediately after the upload and you can delete or replace them if they are incorrect or illegible. You can also go back and check the accuracy and completeness of the documents before you send the application. If you do not have the documents immediately at hand, interrupt the application process and log in again later to upload the correct documents. You should not send the application until it is completely processed!

The online application tool will automatically show you if and when your application is complete when uploading your documents.

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.

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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 and must be requested again for each login. Make sure you always use the same e-mail address with which you have made your application.

Once all documents have been uploaded during the online application process, you will receive a six-digit confirmation code per text message on your cell 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 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.

As of 20 November 2020.