What is Erstausstattung and where do you apply for it?
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Erstausstattung is a legal term used by German Jobcenters. If you’re moving from an asylum seekers accommodation to your first own apartment you can send an application form to the Jobcenter for basic items that you need in your apartment.
Each family member that lives with you in your apartment can apply for those basic items. Or you can send one application form for your whole family. Please keep in mind that you can only apply once for the Erstausstattung and not a second time. So if you move again you cannot apply again.
What are those basic items you can get in the Erstausstattung? For your apartment these are things like: beds, cabinets, a couch, living room cabinet, kitchen table, chairs, writing desk, ceiling light, curtains, bedding, towels, blankets, pillows, dinnerware and other basic kitchen items apiece, a flat iron, vacuum cleaner and a washing machine.
You cannot apply for items like computers, microwaves, TVs and other electronic devices. You have to pay those things from your unemployment benefit II. The Jobcenter doesn’t pay for carpets or other floor coverings.
There’s also a Erstausstattung for pregnant women and babies. During a pregnancy a women needs pregnancy clothes and she can apply for help from the Jobcenter. You can also apply for basic items for your baby during the pregnancy. That is called Baby-Erstausstattung. You can get clothes for your baby, a stroller, a bed and all those basic items you need for your first baby.
Keep in mind that if you get pregnant shortly after your first child you cannot apply again because the Jobcenter thinks that you can use the items you got for your first child. If your first pregnancy is 10 years ago than that is a different case.
Try to be careful with your stuff and don’t throw them away because if you’re still with the Jobcenter you won’t have the opportunity to apply for Erstausstattung again. If you’ve already thrown away your old clothes and furniture you’ll be forced to get a loan from the Jobcenter to buy new things.
It is also important to keep the receipts from the things you bought from the basic items benefits.
That way you can always prove to the Jobcenter that you’ve used the benefits for the basic items you’ve applied for.