Skip to main content

What does the ‘Contactability Order’ (‘Erreichbarkeitsanordnung’) mean?

The Contactability Order (Erreichbarkeitsanordnung) stipulates that a recipient of basic security benefits is obliged to attend appointments and comply with requests by the Jobcenter within a few days. You are therefore obliged to notify the Jobcenter if you leave your residence for an extended period (more than one weekday). The notification obligation does NOT apply in the case of weekend trips as the Jobcenter is closed at the weekend anyway. This applies to trips both in Germany and abroad.

You are allowed to take a total of 21 days per year (plus weekends) of ‘holiday’ from this regulation. To do so, write an informal email, call or speak in person to the responsible Jobcenter and obtain permission. You will either be required to complete a form and send it to your caseworker or you can do it online at

If you are away for longer than 21 days or do not properly deregister with the responsible Jobcenter, your entitlement to benefits under Social Code II will expire. Exceptions are possible by arrangement, however. If you are absent for more than six weeks, your entitlement will expire completely and must be reassessed, i.e. you must submit a new application.

A trip abroad, for example, to Ukraine to deal with urgent matters must therefore always be coordinated with the Jobcenter, regardless of your residence title, for as long as you receive benefits under Social Code II.

NOTE: Trips abroad

Regardless of the Contactability Order, before any trip abroad, you should check whether § 81.4 is marked on your probationary certificate. You can find where this remark is here. If this is the case, you do not have to worry about any legal restrictions. If § 81.4 is not crossed, please contact the Foreigners’ Registration Office in the Welcome Centre

The form for the notification and request of absence can be found here: