Ever since the first online applications for unemployment benefits were opened to customers in 2015, there has been a significant rise in digital submissions. While only 10% of applicants did away with paper in the first year, the percentage of online applications for ALG I has since increased to almost 50% of the 2.4 million submissions. Completing and submitting an online application from the comfort of your own home is clearly becoming the norm.
As much online as possible…
The Jobcenter customer portal was also launched in May last year. The focus here is on granting benefits, as registered customers can submit online renewal applications with attachments and access other services. The BA is constantly expanding its range of digital services – since the middle of last year, for example, recipients of child benefits have been able to report changes to the Familienkasse online (e.g. new address after moving house).
… but there’s still a world of possibilities:
Dr Markus Schmitz, CIO of the Federal Employment Agency, thinks the BA is on track with its online strategy: “We’re pleased to see more and more people using our online services. But there’s still a world of possibilities… I’d like to see the current bill become part of the Social Security Code as planned, as we’d finally be able to introduce a more sustainable system by doing away with the additional mailing of over 1.1 million ALG notices that we already send to customers online. And if we also got rid of the signature requirement, we’d be able to seamlessly offer many of our services online”.
Certain documents and applications still have to be printed out and personally signed by customers (e.g. when requesting benefits for reduced working hours, child benefits and child allowance), because a handwritten signature is legally required in such cases.