General information on unemployment benefit is available on the website of the Federal Employment Agency under ''Unemployed and finding work'' .
Please note that if you are threatened with unemployment, you must register as unemployed at an early stage in order to avoid disadvantages (blocking period due to late job-search registration) regarding your entitlement to unemployment benefit.
In order to receive unemployment benefit, you must be available to the placement services of your local employment agency ("Agentur für Arbeit"), among others.
As a German or a citizen of another EU member state, you are generally allowed to work in Germany and can therefore generally meet the availability requirement.
Whether your British insurance periods can be taken into account for your German unemployment benefit entitlement depends, among other things, on whether you last worked as a frontier worker in the UK. You were a frontier worker if you commuted to your German place of residence at least once a week during your employment in the UK or had your main place of residence in Germany.
If you were not a frontier worker, your UK insurance periods can be taken into account for a claim to German unemployment benefit if you meet the general eligibility requirements for receiving unemployment benefit and were last subject to compulsory insurance in Germany before registering for unemployment and applying for German unemployment benefit, e.g. due to employment. Without the required German previous insurance period, it is not possible to take your British insurance periods into account. The legal basis for this is - depending on the case - either the Withdrawal Agreement or the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom.
If you last worked as a frontier worker in the United Kingdom, your British insurance periods can be taken into account for a German unemployment benefit claim if, in addition to the general eligibility requirements for receiving unemployment benefit, you meet the requirements of Article 30 of the Withdrawal Agreement. Then Regulations (EC) No. 883/04 and 987/09 on the coordination of social security systems apply to you in full extent
You fulfil the requirements of Articles 30 of the withdrawal agreement if you belong to one of the both following categories of cases:
- Case group 1: You have been linked to the United Kingdom since 31.12.2020 at the latest. This reference may, in particular, be based on the fact that you have lived or worked in the United Kingdom or that you have been subject to UK social security legislation. The nature of your relationship with the UK may change, for example from living to working. However, it is important that you have been in a situation related to the UK for most of the time up to the date on which you applied for unemployment benefit.
- Case group 2: You have been living in the UK since 31 December 2020 at the latest and have a right of residence in the UK under the withdrawal agreement ("settled status" or "pre-settled status"). It is important that your right of residence after your return to Germany remains valid until the unemployment benefit you have applied for. Settled status is maintained for up to five years' absence from the UK and pre-settled status for up to six months' absence from the UK per year.
For information on the right of residence in the United Kingdom, please contact the competent authorities in the United Kingdom (for example on the EU Settlement Scheme).