I was asked to speak at a Monthly Meet Up event on Tuesday evening hosted by Touring Artists e.V. as an expert on the Künstlersozialkasse (artists’ social security). With a bit of humour and a whole bunch of crazy anecdotes, we dived into the application process in delightful detail.
Applying for the Künstlersozialkasse is a dry and stressful process at the best of times, and it makes people nervous. Much like doing your taxes, there’s always a fear hanging over your head that you’ll do something wrong and get into a whole lot of trouble.
The purpose of the free information session this week was to give artists a realistic idea of the process and which factors can influence the success of the application. Touring Artists coordinates it once per month and invites experts to speak on a whole range of topics. It was a particular pleasure to meet a bunch of very fascinating creatives in Berlin! There were filmmakers, visual artists, graphic designers, actors, cartoonists, singers, musicians, dancers, music and dance teachers, literary translators and writers present, representing around 10 different countries.
There was a lot to cover! Defining artistic freelance work, job titles, invoicing, side gigs, profit limits, age limits, statutory pension obligations, contributions, what happens once you’re in and why you might need to adjust your memberhip or leave altogether if your circumstances change.
The seventeen highly enthusiastic participants peppered the evening with really intense, clever questions and kept me on my toes. There were even a few belly laughs, which is always welcome when discussing such a serious topic.
If you want to know more about the Künstlersozialkasse, here are some resources:
- Red Tape Translation’s introduction to the Künstlersozialkasse
- All About Berlin’s guide to applying for the KSK
- Settle In Berlin’s guide to health insurance for creatives
For some detailed help filling out the application form and gathering your supporting documents, book a coaching with me. Feel free to start with an hour and we’ll see how far we get. It generally takes around 90 minutes to prepare the application form and gather your documents from scratch.
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