BMBF bridging assistance for students in pandemic-related emergencies starts again
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will again help students who are in demonstrable acute need due to the Corona pandemic with grants from November 2020 to September 2021. The Kölner Studierendenwerk is responsible for checking and processing your online application for bridging assistance. Individual questions regarding your application (except status inquiries!) can be sent by mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not send us any missing documents via this address! If we are missing documents for the processing of your application, we will ask you to submit them via the application portal.
Please note: As of November 20, 2020, the bridging grant can only be applied for online via the application portal.
You most probably have the chance to receive interim aid, if …
Great, that’s the basics. Now of course you want to know how much money you can get. You can file your application directly online. You’ll get a feedback very soon on all the information on your new application.
Contact us and get advise by our social consultants on how we can help you with other financial tools. Remember: The exception proves the rule. We’d love to help you.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) provides interim financial aid 2020 until end of September 2021, in order to help again those students who are demonstrably in an acute, pandemic-related (economic or financial) emergency and require immediate support. You can apply for interim financial aid if you are a German or international student enrolled at a public-funded and government-recognised higher education institution in Germany and if you have your domicile and habitual residence in Germany.
All the following information is provided to the best of our knowledge.
Only the local Studierenden- or Studentenwerk (STW) that processes the application is responsible for the decision and for providing binding information on an application that has already been submitted.
In a nutshell
All questions about bridging assistance starting in November are answered in the following drop-down menu:
As of June 14, 2021
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research refers to two types of interim financial aid for students:
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 100-500 € a month from the government via the student service organisation (STW) that is responsible for your higher education institution.
The level of the allowance depends on pandemic-related, individual needs and is calculated as follows:
Interim financial aid
Less than 100.00 €
Between 100.00 € and 199.99 €
Between 200.00 € and 299.99 €
Between 300.00 € and 399.99 €
Between 400.00 € and 499.99 €
What counts is the account balance on the day before the application is submitted (or the last banking day before you send in your application). This means, for example, that if you submit your application on the 15th of April 2021, the account balance of the 14th of April 2021 is relevant.
You will be informed by E-Mail if and how much interim financial aid you may receive after verification of your online application.
Yes, that is what the criteria stipulate. This interim financial aid is meant for acute emergencies.
You may apply for interim financial aid even if you have a monthly income. Any other monthly income is not relevant as long as:
You can only apply online via the portal www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-studierende.de. Your application is forwarded directly to the student service organisation (STW) responsible for your support and will be processed there.
Therefore, it is important that you state at which higher education institution in Germany 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 interim financial aid.
If you cannot find your higher education institution, please check the style of writing. The name of the higher education institution must be spelled out completely and correctly – no abbreviations. You can also search for the head office of your higher education institution.
You can only submit an application if you are enrolled in a public or publicly recognised higher education institution in Germany, as long as you are not on leave and as long as your main place of residence is within Germany.
You are not entitled to apply if you are studying within an employment relationship or as part of service, for example at Universities of Applied Administrative Sciences (Verwaltungsfachhochschule) or Federal Army Universities (Bundeswehrhochschule). Also, 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.
If you are enrolled at a public or publicly recognised higher education institution in Germany and still cannot find our institution in the application portal, please please write an Email to Deutsches Studentenwerk, and send it to email@example.com – you will then receive a reply from there.
For an application, you need:
See also question 10 on this: If the reason dates back more than 2 calendar months before the application, then you must document your own current efforts (e.g. two applications for a part-time job, offers of self-employment) to improve the emergency situation caused by the pandemic. If, for example, the employment contract has already been suspended since January 2021 when the application is submitted in April 2021, the same applies as in the case of termination: then you must document corresponding current efforts, i.e. in the period of the two calendar months before the application or in the current month until the application is submitted.
However, the proven putting off of the employer in the case of a dormant employment relationship is considered as an effort, i.e. as an application. In accordance with 5.4.5 of the guidelines, another application to another employer must be submitted.
a. For unsuccessful application initiatives:
b. In the event of cessation or restriction of self-employment:
c. In the event of loss or limitation of the support received so far:
d. In the event of loss or restriction of employment caused by the pandemic:
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, address, and validity of the document such as place of birth or religious affiliation, may be blackened.
To do this, you must upload a personal declaration in which you must indicate the following:
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.
No. Later uploads are not possible.
In the application process, please make sure that you have completely uploaded all the right documents before sending the application. Your documents are shown immediately after the upload, and you can is they are not the correct ones or not readably, delete and change them. You can also go back and verify if all documents are correct and complete before sending the application. If you do not have the documents ready at hand, please interrupt the work on your application and log in again later to upload the right documents. You should only send the application when it is completely finished!
The online application tool will automatically show you if your application is complete when uploading documents.
Yes. This interim financial aid is granted monthly. If your emergency lasts longer than a month, you can submit a new application in the following month.
No. All you have to provide with a subsequent application is:
Please file a new application for interim financial aid with your new educational e-mail address. You will then receive a new application-ID. With this new application-ID, you can now follow your applications in the application tool. You no longer need your “old” application-ID.
Für dich ist wichtig:
No. The pandemic-related emergency must exist at the point of submitting the application and must be proven. You can prove this difficult situation with account statements and further required information.
No. Claims for interim financial aid have no influence on questions of the right of residence. The application for interim financial aid relies on a sudden emergency through no fault of one’s own. Such a situation must be considered a case of hardship for granting a temporary and limited emergency aid. Thus, this is an exemption from the standard requirement to provide proof of your own living costs according to Art. 5 Par. 1 No. 1 of the residence act (§ 5 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 Aufenthaltsgesetz).
No. The interim financial aid is a non-repayable allowance from the Federal Government.
However, this does not apply if your financial situation has changed in the meantime, e.g. due to a new job or payments from parents or other relief funds for your living expenses.
If it is subsequently established that you have provided false information, you must repay the grant.
You cannot receive interim financial aid with incorrect or incomplete statements. If it turns out afterwards that you have provided incomplete or even incorrect information, you will have to pay back the financial aid you received. In case of false information, there is also a risk of criminal proceedings.
When the application portal shows a message about “need for action” (Handlungsbedarf), this means that the processing of your application has started, but cannot be completed without your intervention. Click on the pop-up icon in the application portal in order to read the message from the caseworker. You will then learn what you still need to do. Usually, you will be asked to provide further documents or information. You can only provide missing information by uploading them to the application portal.
It depends. Applying students must declare that they have not applied for other pandemic-related assistance grants (for example, emergency funds, foundations, booster clubs) from which additional subsistence income is expected in the current month, or that they do not intend to apply for the month in question. On the other hand, funds that are not used to support yourself, such as support from a technology fund for your IT equipment, or operating assistance for solo self-employed individuals, are not eligible. If you can demonstrate that you are in a pandemic-related emergency, you may also receive bridge assistance independent of such assistance.
Yes, you do qualify! BAföG notifications are not tested. What counts is that you are nevertheless in a pandemic-related emergency. Your account statements must demonstrate that previous income of the same amount from jobs and/or family support has ceased owing to the pandemic.
No, the BMBF states that interim financial aid is not an 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, if 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.”
Yes, as long as it is not a course alongside a career (berufsbegleitendes Studium) and as long as your domicile and habitual place of residence is within Germany.
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. You must request a new token for each login. Make sure you always use the same e-mail address with which you have made your application.
In order to finally send and finish your application, you receive a six-digit confirmation code per text message on your mobile 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 in your application.
Data protection is ensured in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union.
Question not answered?
General questions: Call the BMBF bridging assistance hotline at.
Tel. 0800 26 23 003 | Hotline service hours: Tue to Thu from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Fri from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Questions about your application (status inquiries excluded!):