What is Hartz IV or ALG II?

Welfare (Arbeitslosengeld II, ALG II or Hartz IV) is a type of financial assistance in Germany. The official name is Arbeitslosengeld II, but it's often called Hartz IV.1

You only get ALG II when you have nothing left: no property, no savings, no private pensions. ALG II is your last protection against poverty, homelessness and bankruptcy1.

You apply for ALG II at the Jobcenter. When you get ALG II, the government pays for your health insurance1.

ALG II is not unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is called ALG I.