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FAQ Corona / Covid 19: Latest Updates (May, 14, 2020)

We update this page constantly. If your question is not answered here, please write to us at oeffarb((at))studierendenwerk.uni-kassel.de

Questions on BAföG

Does the postponed start of lectures have an effect on my BAföG?

No. As long as you have submitted the application and the grant has been approved, you will receive your BAföG, even if the university is closed. This has been regulated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Even first-year students whose semester start has been delayed due to a pandemic will receive their BAföG as if the classroom lectures had begun at the originally planned time. Important: As soon as online courses are available and teaching can be maintained, you are obliged to participate in these courses in accordance with the funding requirements.
More information on this topic can be found here: www.bafög.de

 

I cannot complete my studies this semester as planned. Can I still receive BAföG support?

You already receive BAföG support but due to the pandemic, there is no date for the last achievements or for the final thesis? Then please submit a complete application for further support  (in German language only) and an application for an extension of the maximum period of support. You must also include the reasons for the extension. The relevant form is available here (in German language only). Please also submit a current performance overview.

 

I cannot provide proof of performance at the end of the fourth semester.

Is it not possible to provide proof of performance because examinations have been cancelled or postponed? If so, please submit an application for further support (in German language only) and describe the reasons for extending the maximum period of support. The relevant form is available here (in German language only). Please also submit a current overview of performance records.

 

I have financed my studies myself so far, but due to the current situation I am without income.

If you are an international student, please contact the social counseling team.

 

Due to the current circumstances, I cannot submit all of the necessary documents for my BAföG application.

In order to meet the BAföG deadline, it is important that you submit the application first in order to begin the processing. In principle, it is of course best if you already provide all available documents together. If documents are missing, you can also submit them later. We will inform you on which documents exactly are missing.

 

Because of the Corona pandemic I would like to take a semester off.

In principle, the University of Kassel only grants a semester's leave of absence if certain reasons exist, for example, because of an illness that precludes proper study, or for maternity and parental leave. The Corona Pandemic is currently not yet one of these reasons for leave. In addition, a semester of leave is always to be regarded as a break from studies. During this time, one is not entitled to BAföG funding because there is no study activity. If necessary, alternative services according to SGB II (basic security) may be considered during a semester of leave. Therefore, we recommend that you obtain good advice in advance about financing a semester of leave, for example from our Social Counselling Team.

 

My parents are acutely affected by the current situation and have no more or a smaller income. Does this change my BAföG entitlement?

If you have not yet received BAföG at all or the maximum rate of BAföG due to the level of parental income, you can have the income situation of your parents reviewed again. This is possible with the so-called update application. We will then check whether BAföG entitlement exists or adjust the BAföG grant amount. The form is available here (German language only).

 

Will my entitlement to educational support from my parents continue to exist despite the closed university?

After all, even if you pursue self-study or online studies, this still counts as a study activity. Your parents will have to accept delays and interruptions in your education and the associated extension of maintenance payments as an exception. This is especially applicable if there are reasons for delay that are worthy of recognition. In the current - unforeseeable - situation, a delay in your education is not your fault, as it is due to official measures such as the discontinuation of teaching. However, you should use the extended lecture-free period as time for self-study and not as a holiday.

I have applied for BAföG support but have not yet received a decision. What do I have to do?

No. The Corona Pandemic also affects the work in the BAföG Office. We process all BAföG applications just like the rest of the mail now, but it may take a little longer than normal times. This is because our team is currently working in groups and at different times. However, you can reach us by phone and e-mail.

 

I work as a harvest helper from April on. Will there be a special regulation in BAföG for this income? (May, 14)

Yes, there definitely will be a regulation for these cases. The Federal Government has spoken out in favour of money from jobs in system-relevant areas of work not being credited towards BAföG. https://www.bafög.de/keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-756.php

However, a legal regulation for this is still missing. We will inform you here as soon as there is something concrete.

 

 

I have more questions concerning BAföG...

You can find a lot of information about BAföG at www.bafög.de And, of course you can ask us by phone or e-mail. We will gladly help you.

Questions about financing of studies outside BAföG

As a student on the job, could I also receive short-time work benefits (= Kurzarbeitergeld)?

No, unfortunately not. Jobbing students are exempt from health, nursing and unemployment insurance. And those who don't pay into unemployment insurance can't get short-time work benefits (= Kurzarbeitergeld).
The Social Counselling Team and the Student Financing Advice Service are still available and will advise you by e-mail or phone.

 

What can I do if I cannot pay my health insurance, rent, mobile phone bill etc. now?

You should contact your health insurance company, your apartment rental agency, your mobile phone contract company, ARD ZDF Deutschlandradio Beitragsservice ... and ask for an extension of the payment deadlines and possibly for a reminder block. Perhaps you can also pay a reduced amount for the time being.
The Social Counselling Team and the Student Financing Advice Service are still available and will advise you by e-mail or telephone.

 

Am I currently entitled to Unemployment benefits if I lose my job or do not receive my wages?

This can only be considered in exceptional cases: In cases of hardship, e.g. in the case of a loss of financing through no fault of your own and advanced studies, benefits can be checked by the Job Centre as a loan in accordance with § 27 Paragraph 3 SGB II. Please ask the Social Counselling Team by telephone or e-mail whether benefits are possible.

 

 

I lost my job. Where can I find job offers?

Perhaps you will find what you are looking for on the website of the employment agency:
Right now, certain sectors are desperately seeking reinforcement:
- Delivery services for food and beverages
- Supermarkets, grocery stores
- Building cleaners
- Petrol stations
- Agricultural helpers for the harvest time in: https://www.daslandhilft.de/ or https://www.cleverackern.de/
- Pharmacies
- Drugstores
- Post offices
- Hospitals
- Call centers
- Babysitting

I have questions about my mini job, who can help me?

Depending on what kind of job you have or how your contract is structured, you will find information here:
www.minijob-zentrale.de/DE/01_minijobs/01_basiswissen/01_grundlagen/09_corona_faq/node.html

I am self-employed/freelancer alongside my studies and have lost my orders due to official restrictions or cannot carry them out. Do I have claims for compensation according to the German Protection against Infection Act (IFSG)?

Please read up on this:
https://wirtschaft.hessen.de/wirtschaft/corona-info/soforthilfe-fuer-selbststaendige-freiberufler-und-kleine-betriebe
If you are affected by a measure according to IfSG, it is best to get advice by telephone as soon as possible. On Thursdays, the Studierendenwerk Kassel offers expert and free legal advice for students by e-mail or telephone.

 

 

Where can I get financial help? Do I have to or can I take out a loan?

If you have questions about financial help, please contact the social counselling service of the Studierendenwerk. If you are considering a student loan, obtain various offers and compare them carefully. It is best to inform yourself in advance about the different possibilities at the student finance advisory service by telephone or e-mail.
Here you will find answers on the topics KfW student loan, education loan and scholarships

 

Is there any state aid available for students in financial need? (May, 11)

So far it is certain that you can apply for a loan from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW). The loan is interest-free until March 2021. If you have not completely repaid the money by then, interest will be charged (currently at a rate of 4.36%). This can turn out expensive. Before you decide to apply for a KfW loan, please make sure you talk to our study financing advisor.
In addition to the KfW loan, the Federal Government announced further assistance. However, the details are not clear yet. As soon as we have more information, we will forward it to you here.

Is there any state aid available for foreign students, too? (May, 11)

The federal government promised assistance. So far we do not know what it will look like specifically. As soon as we know more, we will inform you here. If you are in an emergency situation you should at first contact the social advising service of the Studierendenwerk.

 

How do I finance the degree? I have to study one semester or year longer, how do I manage this financially?

More Advice

I'm very concerned about the changes Corona brings. They're turning my life upside down. Who can I talk to about this? (April, 7)

There's a phone line at the psych center of the Studierendenwerk. Make the call. T. 0561 804 2800, Monday through Friday 9am -1pm.
The advice centre also offers a video consultation hour. The best way to make an appointment is to send an e-mail to beratung((at))studierendenwerk.uni-kassel.de or simply call T. 0561 804 2800.
Both offers are also aimed at those students who are already in a counselling process, but who are no longer able to get personal appointments.

 

 

I need legal advice - do I get it despite Corona?

You can reach the   legal advisor by e-mail or telephone on Thursdays between 2pm - 4.30pm.

 

Childcare

I have to use the time when the university closes to study ... Is there emergency care for my child? (May, 13)

Emergency care (German: Notbetreuung) is available in Hesse primarily for certain occupational groups that are particularly urgently needed in the context of corona work. Working single parents have also been entitled to emergency care since 20 April. Since 11 May, single parent students are included.

 

Childcare in the new semester: My child is to be looked after by studykidscare in the summer semester. Can I register despite being closed? When will I get a place? (April, 30)

You can still register your child using the registration form. Even if you are unable to specify fixed times at the moment, please register anyway and, if possible, give us an approximate number of hours (e.g. 20 or 25 hours per week). We will collect the registrations and allocate the places as soon as we know when our day care centers can open again for you and your children. In order to give you a little more planning security despite the unclear situation, we are currently allocating places for the time when the daycare centres are allowed to open again regularly.

 

CampusCard / Mensa

When will the Mensa open again? (May, 8)

Actually, the Zentralmensa should have opened on Monday, May 11. It was decided at the last minute that we have to postpone the restart. One thing is for sure, we are ready to go and will start as soon as we can.

 

What will happen to my bonus points on the CampusCard now?

Don't worry, they won't expire. Instead, we are extending the CampusCard bonus promotion and allowing time to collect and exchange points. As soon as the refectories are open again, we'll continue. We will keep you informed.

 

Where can I top up my CampusCard?

At the moment you can do this from 7.30 am to 5 pm at the cash-to-card station in the entrance hall of the library on Campus Nordbahnhofstraße in Witzenhausen.

 

Can I transfer or withdraw CampusCard credit now?

Yes, all incoming applications are processed. And if you have CampusCard questions, please write to campuscard@studierendenwerk.uni-kassel.de . We will be happy to answer them.

Student Accommodation

I come from abroad to my student hall in Kassel or Witzenhausen. Do I have to pay attention to anything? (April, 10)

Since 10 April, the following has been in force: People who enter Hesse after a stay abroad of at least two days must immediately go into a two-week domestic quarantine. This applies even if they do not show any symptoms. They must also inform the health authority responsible for their place of residence and refrain from visits within the two-week period.
If you have any questions about your stay in the student hall now, please contact your clerk in charge.

Official information on travel restrictions and quarantine

I am in financial difficulties and temporarily unable to pay the rent for my room in the student hall. What happens now? (April, 6)

We will not terminate your contract. You have until June 2020 to pay the rent. As long as you have a valid rental contract, you will have to pay the rent - we cannot waive it for you, only offer payment in instalments. If you want to arrange payment in instalments, please contact your clerk in charge.

 

Because of Corona I can’t leave and would like to keep my student hall room longer than planned … (April, 6)

Please contact your clerk in charge as soon as possible. She will clarify with you whether you can keep the room or move to another one.

 

I want to terminate the rental agreement for my student hall room at short notice / before move-in. Is that possible? (April, 6)

Yes, you can now, exceptionally, terminate without notice. If you have already moved into your student hall room, please return it to us clean and without any damages. You will then only pay the rent until the day you move out. This exception is valid on revocation, but in any case until April 2020.

 

I urgently need more information about my Student Hall - tenancy agreement, moving in and out, termination ...

Please contact your clerk in charge. She will clarify everything with you. Even if there are no personal office hours at the moment, you can reach the team of Student Accommodation via e-mail and telephone.

 

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