Study Financing for Students with a Disability or Chronic Diseases

More about student financing.

This page will give you a brief insight into general student financing. However, since this overview does not claim to be complete, we still recommend that you make an appointment so that we can present the options that are right for you. This way, you can choose the best type of financing for you in a well-informed manner.


Aike Dägling

Social Counsellor & Contact Person for Students with disabilities/chronic illnesses

Mobile: +49 1761 9659 669

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  • Parental Maintenance

    Most students finance their studies through parental maintenance. According to the German Civil Code (BGB), this is the primary form of financing.

    According to the German Civil Code (§ 1601 BGB), parents – as relatives in a direct line – are in principle obliged to pay maintenance to their adult children during training, that means also during studies. The legislator assumes that students are not able to support themselves while studying.

    The amount of maintenance is based on the economic capacity of the parents. They are granted an appropriate amount for their own living.

    Note: If the parents do not pay maintenance and the education is therefore endangered, an application for advance payment can be made to the responsible Department for Grants (BAföG office). In this case, students should definitely contact the Studentenwerk!


  • Grants according to BAföG

    If, due to the parents insufficient income in the penultimate calendar year, no (sufficient) parental maintenance can be paid in the first year of studies, there is the possibility of education support through BAföG. Please note that there are reasons for exclusion such as age, residence title, previous study history, etc.

    To find out whether you are eligible for BAföG funding, we recommend that you submit an application to the relevant BAföG office at an early stage. There you can also find out about the possibility of parental-independent support if you have already been gainfully employed for many years.

    There are certain “disadvantage compensations” (“Nachteilsausgleiche”) for students with disabilities or chronic diseases.

    For example, it may not be possible to study within the standard period of study due to a disease. In this case, BAföG offers the possibility of granting support beyond the maximum duration of support. This is regulated in the following paragraphs “Disability” (§ 15 paragraph 3, number 5 BAföG) or for other “serious reasons” (§ 15 paragraph 3, number 1 BAföG)

    Overall, there are the following rules for students with disabilities and chronic illness to compensate for existing disadvantages:

    1. Additional hardship allowance for income calculation of parents/spouse
    2. Additional property allowance for trainees
    3. Support beyond the maximum support period
    4. Consideration of impairment in loan repayment
    5. Change of subject for an unavoidable reason after the occurrence of a disability or chronic illness
    6. Illness during studies
    7. Exceeding the age limit at the beginning of studies

    For general information on compensation for disadvantages (“Nachteilsausgleich”), please contact us.  For specific advice, please contact your BaföG Counsellor.

    Attention: If you are studying in Leipzig with a residence title, you should contact the Social Counseling Service for International Students before applying for educational funding. Depending on your status, applying may be harmful to your residence title.

  • Unemployment Benefit (“Arbeitslosengeld II”) according to SGB II

    Persons who are capable of working and in need of assistance are entitled to benefits under SGB II, if they have their habitual residence in Germany.

    Able to work means that the person is basically in a healthy condition to work at least 15 hours/week. Persons are in need of assistance if they are unable to support themselves from income or assets.

    Students are generally excluded from these transfer benefits. This is regulated by the following paragraph:

    § 7 Paragraph 5 SGB II:

    “Students whose training is eligible for funding under the Federal Training Assistance Act [are] not entitled to benefits to secure their livelihood beyond the benefits under Section 27.”

    Thus, most students are excluded from the standard benefits of SGB II, since abstract eligibility is an exclusion criterion.

    For your understanding, here are some examples, which are intended to represent abstract eligibility:

    • Student is studying in the 5th semester. It was not possible to submit sufficient proof of performance for the educational support, which is why further support cannot take place. In the abstract, the studies are still eligible for support, which is why ALG II receipt in full-time studies is excluded.
    • Student already has a Bachelor’s degree and is starting a second Bachelor’s degree. For the first bachelor’s degree, education support could be obtained according to BAföG. The second bachelor is not eligible. Nevertheless, the study is abstractly eligible, which is why an ALG II reference is excluded.
    • Student is studying in the 7th semester of a Bachelor’s degree. The standard period of study has been exceeded and no reasons for extension could be claimed from BAföG. Therefore, there is no entitlement to educational support according to BAföG. However, the education is eligible for support in the abstract, which is why no ALG II can be drawn.

    (Beispielliste nicht abschließend)

    Under certain conditions or exceptions, funding can still be provided through Unemployment Benefit II (“Arbeitlsosengeld II”).

    For example, an official “part-time study at 50%” is not eligible for funding in the abstract, which may make it possible to receive Unemployment Benefit II (“Arbeitslosengeld II”). However, part-time study is not possible at all universities or courses of study and must be justified. A disease can constitute an important reason.

    In the case of an official interruption of studies (vacation semester) due to your own illness, receiving Unemployment Benefit II (“Arbeitslosengeld II”) may also be possible. You can find an initial overview of the vacation semester in our FAQ Vacation Semester (German).

    There is also the possibility to apply for a loan in cases of special hardship according to § 27 SGB II.

    Whether you are eligible for Unemployment Benefit II (“Arbeitslosengeld II”) can be discussed in a counseling interview.

    Attention: In the case of a part-time study/vacation semester, there are consequences under social law which must be taken into account. Therefore, we recommend that you take advantage of a consultation with us before applying for such a part-time study/vacation semester.

    If you are studying with residence status, you should contact the Social Counseling Service for International Students before applying for Unemployment Benefit II (“Arbeitslosengeld II”). Depending on the status, the title may be withdrawn.

  • Housing subsidity (“Wohngeld”) according to WoGG

    It is generally possible for students to receive housing subsidies, but some requirements must be met. Please contact us for an initial consultation on this topic.

  • Further Forms of Financing

    If you have questions about jobs, loans or scholarships, please feel free to join our online information sessions.