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Corona FAQ – Important Questions and Answers

Dear students,

the Corona pandemic presents us all with extraordinary challenges and has far-reaching effects on the services of the Studentenwerk Hannover, too. We would like to inform you in detail on this page and have summarised the most important questions and answers.

Even if you can’t speak to us personally or can’t be provided with food at our canteens – it is important for us that you know: we are there and we take care of it!

Follow us on our social media channels where we are also there for you! We are currently working on some entertaining non-corona content to help us get through this stressful and sometimes lonely time together.

And of course we also share all relevant updates on the subject of Corona and the Student Administration Hannover.

Stay healthy and take care of each other!

Your

Studentenwerk Hannover

Link zum Instagram-Account des Studentenwerks Hannover
Link zur Facebook-Seite des Studentenwerks Hannover
Link zum YouTube-Kanal des Studentenwerks Hannover

In General

How long will the canteens and cafeterias be closed?

As a precaution, we have closed all university catering establishments on Monday, March 16th, 2020. This closure applies until the health authorities have made another risk assessment. As soon as there is any news, we will of course inform you immediately via our website and our social media channels.

How long are there going to be no personal office hours?

The personal office hours of the accommodation administration, the student houses, the BAföG department and the social advice centre are cancelled until further notice.

We can’t yet predict when they will be resumed. Here applies as well: we will inform you as soon as there is news on all of our channels.

In the meantime, we are available for you in different ways in regard to the following areas:

Accommodation Administration

The colleagues in the accommodation administration are still available Monday to Friday for your questions, date arrangements and other matters.

You can

Please note that the office hours in the student houses are also cancelled. For more information, please see the notices of the student house management offices on site.

BAföG Department

You can reach the colleagues at the BAföG department as usual from Monday to Friday via email or phone.

Here you will find

Please note that the office hours at the ServiceCenter of Leibniz Uni and the office hours at HsH on March 12th, 19th and 26th 2020 will also be cancelled.

Social Advice Centre

The colleagues of the social advice centre are still available for consultation.

You can

Please note that the external office hours at the HsH, MHH and TiHo are cancelled, too.

BAföG | Study finances

Can I benefit from the bridging assistance for students provided by the Federal Government?

Please refer to our page Corona pandemic: aid for students in financial emergency situations.

How does the Corona emergency aid (interim aid) work for students by means of interest-free KfW loans?

From May 8 th, 2020, students can receive the KfW student loan temporarily at an interest rate of 0 %. The new interest rate will apply until March 31st, 2021. The Federal Ministry of Education (BMBF) will cover the interest during this time. From April 2021, the regular interest rate will again apply, which is set for 6 months respectively. All other conditions will remain unchanged.

New from June 1st, 2020: all foreign students who have not been able to receive KfW loans so far can apply for the KfW student loan if they are registered at a German address. The first payment will then be made from July 1st, 2020. The extension to all foreign students is also limited until March 31st, 2021.

Anyone who already receives a KfW student loan can also be pleased that from May 1st, 2020, 0 % interest will apply to all payments. KfW will adapt the loan automatically, you don’t have to apply or change anything. As with new contracts, the interest-free period is limited to the end of March 2021. From April 1st, 2021, the regular interest rate will apply again, which is set for 6 months respectively.

You can find more information directly at KfW: KfW-Corona-Hilfe für Studierende (German)

There are also questions and answers about interim aid on the BMBF website: Interesting facts about interim aid for students (German)

If you have any further questions, please contact our BAföG department.

Important: Before you apply for a KfW loan, be sure to check whether you are entitled to BAföG! BAföG is even more favourable as half of it is paid as a grant that doesn’t have to be repaid. Click here for our BAföG FAQ (German).

Does the postponed start of lectures affect my BAföG?

Basically, the start of the lectures has been postponed, not the start of the semester. If you apply in April, you will receive money for the whole of April – provided funding is granted.

BAföG recipients receive their payment even when universities close. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has now regulated this in a decree to the states that implement the law. Even first-year students whose start of lectures is delayed due to a pandemic will receive their BAföG as if the conventional lectures had started at the originally scheduled time.

As soon as online courses are offered by training institutions in order to maintain teaching, participation in these online courses is mandatory in terms of the funding requirements.

There is more information on the topic on the BMBF homepage.

Is my BAföG payment secured?

Yes. Students who have already received a notification will automatically have the according granted amount transferred to their account in good time at the end of the month for the next month.

Please note! This only applies until the end of the approval period. The subsequent application must be made in good time beforehand.

Can I make my application personally or submit documents?

Unfortunately, this is currently not possible. Please also note the information on personal office hours (see above). You can easily submit your documents online and find all information on our website: apply for BAföG online. Alternatively, you can also send missing documents directly to your assistant as a PDF. Here you find the contact details. Or you can post your application in the letterbox of the BAföG department at Callinstraße 30 A.

I can’t finish my studies this semester – what should I do?

I don't get a date for my final exam (for example, to defend my bachelor's thesis) and therefore won’t be able to complete my studies within this semester.

We recommend that you make a new application by all means and explain the reasons in writing. If you have any questions, please contact our BAföG department.

I can’t provide proof of my performance at the end of the fourth semester – what now?

I can’t give prove of my performance at the end of the fourth semester because the exams have been cancelled or postponed.

The reasons must be presented and Form 5 submitted with the signature of the authorised signatory of the university or respectively an ECTS point printout if an according regulation of the university is available to the office. In most cases, funding can continue subsequently. If you have any questions, please contact our BAföG department.

I have financed my studies myself so far but now I have no income any more – what can I do?

Financing according to BAföG can be checked. This requires an application. Here you will find all information about the online application.

If you don’t get BAföG, you can apply for a temporarily interest-free KfW student loan (KfW-Studienkredit) (German) from May 8th, 2020! The federal government will cover the interest until March 31, 2021 in order to provide students with interim aid.

Due to the high demand resulting from the coronavirus crisis, the larger German supermarket chains are urgently looking for new employees, including student helpers. Perhaps this is an alternative for one or the other of you. Inquire at a supermarket close by. Delivery services are also currently looking for staff. Helpers are sought for the upcoming harvest season as well. Perhaps that would also be an option for you.

We have compiled a list of where there might still be jobs.

Students who are in acute financial emergency due to the Corona crisis can contact the social advice center.

As a first-year student I would like to apply for a semester fee scholarship. How do I proceed?

Prospective students who want to apply for the semester fee scholarship for first-year students send the application (with the necessary documents) via email to soziales(at)studentenwerk-hannover.de.

Here you will find all information on the semester fee scholarship.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the social counsellors via phone or email. Here you find the contact information.

My parents or one of my parents are / is acutely affected by the corona crisis; they have little or no income. Will I get more BAföG now?

If your parents earn less, for example because of short-time work, your chances of receiving BAföG funding or a higher BAföG funding, respectively, are better.

Case configuration 1: If you haven’t received BAföG due to your parents' income so far, but your parents earn less now, you can hand in a new BAföG application at any time and have the current parental income taken as a basis update via an update.

Case configuration 2: If you already receive BAföG, but your parents' income is currently lower (e.g. due to short-time work), you can hand in an updating BAföG application and your BAföG office will check the amount of your current BAföG entitlement.

Basically, if you have any further questions, please contact our BAföG department.

Will I still be entitled to parental maintenance now?

Yes, provided your parents are still economically capable; otherwise you may be entitled to BAföG.

Self-study (reading specialist literature, researching and writing papers etc.) or online studies also count as a study activity, especially in the current situation.

As an exception, your parents will also have to accept delays and interruptions in your studies and the according extension of the maintenance payments. In the event of delays and interruptions in training, the individual case must be considered, in particular whether there are special reasons for delay that are worthy of recognition. In the current situation, which is completely unpredictable for everyone, a delay in training, provided that it is based on official measures, is completely involuntary. However, you should use the extended lecture-free period as time for your self-study.

 

I am considering to take a semester of leave because of the corona crisis. What do I have to keep in mind?

Attention: There is no BAföG entitlement for semesters of leave – which are naturally a break from your training, because you don’t study!

Before you take a semester of leave, please be sure to find out what the consequences would be for your study financing. You can contact our Social Advice Centre to find out about the prerequisites for receiving benefits under the Social Security Code II (basic provision, "Hartz IV") during a semester of leave.

Please keep in mind: a semester of leave isn’t a course of study; you are also not allowed to provide any academic performance during the semester of leave.

Am I currently entitled to housing benefit if I lose my job or if my wage payments are overdue?

Not automatically. Those who currently have no income due to loss of job or lack of wages are not automatically entitled to claim housing benefit. The basic requirement of a BAföG rejection “in principle” and the examination of the coverage of the monthly living expenses remain. In short: the eligibility criteria for housing benefit stay the same.

Can my employer just cancel my student or mini job?

There are certain prerequisites for redundancies under employment law: the termination must be in writing in any case; an email or a verbal termination doesn’t suffice. A notice period must be observed as well, which depends on the duration of employment and the (collective) agreement: usually at least four weeks, but often only two weeks during the probation period.

If you have been employed for over six months in a company with more than 10 full-time jobs, there is a legal protection against dismissal. Under certain conditions, for example, a compulsory redundancy is possible. Temporary employment contracts can only be terminated if this is regulated in the employment contract. If there is a works council at the company, they must be consulted for every dismissal. All of this applies regardless of whether you are employed in a mini-job or in a “normal” employment relationship. If in doubt, you should seek legal advice so that you can exercise your worker rights.

Am I entitled to ALG II benefits if I lose my part-time job or if my wage payments are overdue?

No, you are currently not universally entitled to ALG II benefits.

Full-time students are generally excluded from benefits under Social Security Code II.

There are exceptions in only a few cases, for example:

  • in the semester of leave due to pregnancy / bringing up children or on leave of absence due to own illness / impairment. It is important that no academic performance is provided during the semester of leave due to the reasons mentioned above, otherwise the ALG II benefits are endangered and can be reclaimed. In addition, other requirements must be met. You can discuss whether you are entitled to ALG II with the social counselling service provided by your Studentenwerk.
  • in part-time studies due to pregnancy or bringing up children and on leave of absence due to own illness or impairment. There are also a number of things to consider here, and further requirements must be met. Get advice from the social counselling service.
  • in cases of hardship, for example if the financing dries up through no fault of your own and your studies are well advanced, benefits can be checked by the job centre as a loan in accordance with § 27 (3) SGB II.
  • increased demand for certain beneficiaries according to § 21 SGB II; this applies, for example, to students with children or students with disabilities.

You can find more information on how to reach the job center on the job center website. (Website in German)

Could I also receive short-time allowance as a working student?

No. Job-seeking students are exempt from health-, nursing- and unemployment insurance. Hence: those who don’t pay into unemployment insurance cannot get short-time allowances.

What can I do if I’m currently unable to pay my health insurance, rent, mobile phone bill, etc.?

Contact your health insurance company, your apartment rental company, your mobile phone contractor, the radio licence fee collector etc. actively, if you are currently unable to make payments. Ask for a deferral of your contributions and, if necessary, a dunning block. If you are able to pay a reduced amount, ask if this would be possible.

Do you have more questions about jobs, termination and rights? Then take a look at the DGB Jugend website.

Residence

The cash desk has closed. How can I pay my rent?

Since all personal contacts are currently to be avoided as far as possible, a cash payment of your rent / deposit is not possible.

You have the following options:

  1. You ask someone with a German bank account to make a transfer for you. In that case, please write the following: Rent »month«, »tenant number«, »name tenant«, »room number«, »student house«. Please send proof of the transfer to ulrike.flach(at)studentenwerk-hannover.de
  2. Put the money aside safely and pay the full rent when cash payment is possible again. Write an email to ulrike.flach(at)studentenwerk-hannover.de, stating that you will pay the rent later in cash.

Please note that the rental payments must be made in any case!

Do I have to pay the rent?

We are aware that we are in an exceptional situation. Due to the renovations in the student houses and our large projects in regard to new buildings for students, we also have payment obligations towards companies and other business partners. We have to comply with these. In order to meet our payment obligations, we rely on rental income. Unfortunately, we cannot meet the request to remit your rental payment, but we have some advice and suggestions for you:

  • In cases of social hardship, we offer fair instalments or deferments. To make use of this, please contact our rental accounting department. However, you have to prove that your economic situation has changed due to COVID-19 developments and that you are accordingly unable to pay the rent. Therefore, we ask you to send us an e-mail in the form of a certificate / termination of the employer because of COVID-19, an affidavit or other evidence of income or loss of earnings.
  • We have compiled further job opportunities for you in a news message.
  • In the event of an acute financial emergency due to the corona crisis, our colleagues from the social advice centre will be happy to help you.

 

Will the student houses be closed as well?

No. Students who live with us have a valid lease that we will continue to comply with. As a precaution, we closed the common rooms. It is now important to reduce social contacts to the bare minimum and, especially in shared flats, to adhere strictly to the rules for protection against infection:

  • Keep your distance.
  • Stay as little as possible in the shared kitchens.
  • Please avoid unnecessary hand contact, wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.
  • Air your rooms four times a day for 10 minutes.

Especially in such a tense situation like this, it is very important to treat each other with respect. Be considerate of your fellow students and take care of each other.

Are there quarantines in the student houses?

No, currently not. A real quarantine will be imposed by the health department if necessary. So far there have been no cases of illness or suspicion in our facilities. If you have been in one of the crisis areas defined by the Robert Koch Institute in the past few days, it is extremely important that you go into self-isolation and inform both the student house management and the health department. Under the following link you will find all the important contact details for Lower Saxony.

How do I get my rental deposit back?

We will transfer your rental deposit to you later, after we have checked the condition of the room. Please understand if this should take a little longer considering the situation. Please send your bank details to: wohnen(at)studentenwerk-hannover.de

Can I extend my duration of residence?

In principle, yes. Please send us your registration notice for the summer semester 2020. We will check whether your rental contract can be extended until September 30th, 2020. You will subsequently receive another notification from us. Please send your request to: wohnen(at)studentenwerk-hannover.de

How can I get the keys for my flat | my room?

Please clarify the hand-over of the room key with the student house management. You can do this via email or phone. You will find the contact details for your student house management at: https://www.studentenwerk-hannover.de/en/en-rooms/en-dormitories/en-wohnhausportraets/

I live in a shared flat with three other roommates in a student house of Studentenwerk Hannover. Will there be a problem for my roommates if I cancel my lease?

No, in principle not with the Studentenwerke, since each flatmate in a shared apartment has his / her own rental contract with us.

It could be different if you live in a shared flat of a private landlord, though. It is often important to note who’s the main tenant and who’s the subtenant. If you are the main tenant and terminate the apartment, all roommates who are subtenants automatically lose their rooms on the date on which the flat has been effectively terminated.

If, on the other hand, you are only a subtenant in this shared apartment, you can cancel your room in accordance with the contractual notice periods without your roommates also losing their rooms.

 

 

Contact

Studentenwerk Hannover
Social and International Affairs Dept.

Lodyweg 1 C
30167 Hannover

Phone +49 511 76-88 919
Phone +49 511 76-88 922
Phone +49 511 76-88 935
Fax +49 511 76-88 927

E-mail
Consulting Times