Second only to the word “Coronavirus” that gets thrown about in the media is the word “Entschädigung” (compensation). You might have heard that you’re entitled to a compensation if you are not permitted to do your job due to a quarantine or work ban. This information is brand new, it was only published last night.
The Gesundheitsamt (Department of Health) pays compensation to workers, be they employees or self-employed people, if they’re prevented from doing their job by an official quarantine order but aren’t actually sick. If you ARE sick, you might be covered under other forms of benefits (e.g. sick pay) and so you might not be eligible for this compensation.
I’m an employee
For the first 6 weeks of your official quarantine, your employer will continue to pay your salary and will apply to have this money paid back by the Gesundheitsamt. At the beginning of the seventh week, the infection protection law kicks in, and you receive compensation from the Department of Health.
How much will I get?
The amount you receive is the amount of Krankengeld (sick pay) you would normally get from your health insurance if you were actually sick. This depends on many factors, like your salary and contribution amounts. There are many calculators you can use to find out how much it would be (here’s one!) or you can visit the website of your health insurance provider and use theirs. It’ll be around 70% of your gross salary (or ca. 90% of your net salary).
If the Gesundheitsamt announces a quarantine, you should fill out the application form and send it to the Senatsverwaltung für Finanzen by the beginning of the seventh week of your quarantine.
Even though you are self-employed, you might be eligible for compensation if you are prevented from working by the officially ordered quarantine. You should submit the application, give as much detail as you can, and if they need more information, they’ll write and let you know.
How much will I get?
Take a look at your last tax return. What was your net profit? This is the amount of profit you made before you paid tax on it. Divide that by 365 and multiply it by the number of days of your quarantine (max 6 weeks). That’s how much you’ll get.
I have a commercial enterprise e.g. a restaurant or factory
This compensation does not apply to commercial enterprises that have to close down, but there are other forms of help available to you. I will post about them shortly and update this blog post as soon as I know more.
How do I apply for this?
In both cases (employment and self-employment) you submit an application form to the Senate Department of Finance in your state. If you’re in Berlin, you can find the information and forms (in German) here.
Keep in mind that in both cases, you’ll need the official quarantine order /the official order that bans you from doing your job from the public authority who issued it. If this has already happened, you should have a piece of paper with the dates on it, or you’ll get it soon enough. Some people who have had close contact with infected people or live in areas of Germany with a particular high risk of infection have already received these notices.
If you’d like help applying, book an hour of Life Admin – we’ve reduced the price to 35 EUR per hour from 49 during the COVID-19 pandemic.