Social Security - Social Security Number

Social Security Number

Apply now for health insurance to get your social security number.

The German Social security covers health insurance, pension scheme, unemployment benefit, accident and long-term care insurance.

Social Security Number

(Rentenversicherungsnummer – Sozialversicherungsnummer)

By law, all employees in Germany have to contribute to the social security system – it is mandatory!
Contributions to the statutory pension scheme are deducted from salaries at source.

When taking up employment, your employer needs to sign you up with a collection agency for social security contributions. Depending on your type of employment, the relevant agency is either a statutory health insurance firm (Gesetzliche Krankenkasse), the artists’ social insurance (Künstlersozialkasse) or the central agency for mini-jobs (Minijob-Zentrale).

Freelancers, on the other hand, aren’t obliged to take part in the German social security system.

If you are self-employed and want to contribute to the social security system that will entitle you to a range of benefits (i.e. retirement payments, accident insurance,…), then you will have to find a private health insurance coverage for unemployment, accident and pension insurance.

Self-employed people are not subject to compulsory statutory health insurance and therefore come under private health insurance unless they were insured under the statutory system before entering self-employment.

The Social Security Number (SSN) is administered and assigned by the German statutory pension insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung), so the relevant collection agency will transfer your data to the pension insurance administration and apply for a personal social security number (Sozialversicherungsnummer) on your behalf.

You should get a letter by post with a social security number within two to four weeks after your employer registered you with the relevant agency. If this isn’t the case, you will need to contact the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German pension office) or, in some cases, your health insurance provider in order to obtain your personal social security number.

The 12-digit social security number consists of letters and numbers and it is used for personal identification within the social security system. The number remains the same throughout your whole life – even when you change employment or health insurance provider.

Moreover, your social security number is directly linked to your personal pension account. This pension account contains the history of all the contributions you’ve paid towards the state pension insurance. Based on that information, your future retirement pension will be calculated.

The German social security is a statutory insurance system and consists of five insurances:

 

  1. Public health insurance (in case you get sick)
  2. Long-term care insurance (in case you get old or sick, and you need someone to take care of you)
  3. Pension insurance (retirement income)
  4. Accident insurance (in case you have an accident at work)
  5. Unemployment insurance (in case you get unemployed)

How to get a Social Security Number in Germany?

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Public Health Insurance

Not a member yet?

You need to get a social security number (Sozialversicherungsnummer) if you want to work in Germany. Your employer will ask you to apply for health Insurance (sometimes they do it on your behalf) in order to get this number on your first day at work. You cannot get paid without having a social security number!

Note that you must have a registered address in Germany to apply for a German social security number. You cannot apply for your German social security number from abroad. The social security number can only be sent to a German address, i.e. the address where you are officially registered.

Find more details about the public health insurance on this page.

Already a member?

In case you’re already covered by statutory health insurance (i.e. TK or AOK) but haven’t received your social security number yet, you could contact the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (DRV) using this Online Form. It’s a simple form and, most importantly, it is FREE.

1. Fill in the online form and you will get your Sozialversicherungsnummer forwarded to your registered German address within 2 to 4 weeks. The online form is in German, so follow the instructions below to complete it:

  • Access the Online Form on the German pension office website,
  • tick the box “Neuausstellung eines Sozialversicherungsausweises wegen Verlust / Zerstörung / Unbrauchbarkeit“,
  • insert your insurance number in field “Versicherungsnummer” (your insurance number can be found on your health insurance card),
  • add your details in the last section: first name (Vorname), last name (Familienname) & birth name (Geburtsname) if applicable,
  • click on “Absenden” to submit your request,
  • and be patient, it could take up to 4 weeks to get the so-called Sozialversicherungs­ausweis with your your social security number by post (see image at the bottom of this page).

2. Alternatively, you could contact your public health insurance fund and ask them for a certificate of insurance (in German: Versicherungsbescheinigung). The social security number will be indicated on that document. To request it, follow the instructions below:

  • Go to your health insurance website and access your personal area (i.e. Meine TK or Meine AOK),
  • once logged in, search for “Versicherungsbescheinigung” (certificate of insurance),
  • depending on your insurance provider, you will either have to click on “herunterladen” (Download) or send an email to your insurer to request your social security number.

3. Another way to get your SSN is by contacting directly the Deutsche Rentenversicherung by email or by phone. Choose your local German pension office here to obtain the contact details.

Unfortunately, they mainly work in German, so it could be challenging! If you decide to go that road, give them your date & place of birth, your full name and your current registered address, and you will receive the Sozialversicherungs­ausweis with your social security number by post (see image at the bottom of this page).

Insurance cards - Social Security Number

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Private Health Insurance

Not a member yet?

If you are not member of the German social security system because you are not part of the public health insurance system or because you don’t have yet a private insurance, then you will have to find a private insurance coverage for unemployment, accident and pension insurance. Find more details on this page.

For questions about German social security (Sozialversicherung), you should always address the German pension office (Deutsche Rentenversicherung). Check out the English section of the German pension office website here.

Already a member?

1. If you already have private health insurance and need to apply for your social security number in Germany, you could contact the Deutsche Rentenversicherung using this Online Form. It is FREE.

Fill in the online form and you will get your Sozialversicherungsnummer forwarded to your registered German address within 2 to 4 weeks. The online form is in German, so follow the instructions below to complete it:

  • Access the Online Form on the German pension office website,
  • tick the box “Neuausstellung eines Sozialversicherungsausweises wegen Verlust / Zerstörung / Unbrauchbarkeit“,
  • insert your insurance number in field “Versicherungsnummer” (your insurance number could be found on your health insurance card),
  • add your details in the last section: first name (Vorname), last name (Familienname) & birth name (Geburtsname) if applicable,
  • click on “Absenden” to submit your request,
  • and be patient, it could take up to 4 weeks to get the so-called Sozialversicherungs­ausweis with your your social security number by post (see image below).

2. Alternatively, you could contact the Deutsche Rentenversicherung by email or by phone. Choose your local German pension office here to obtain the contact details.

Unfortunately, they mainly speak German, so it could be challenging! If you decide to go that road, give them your date & place of birth, your full name and your current registered address, and you will receive the Sozialversicherungs­ausweis with your social security number by post (see image below / source: deutsche-rentenversicherung.de).

3. What you could also do is go in person to your German pension office together with your passport/ valid ID (incl. visa, if applicable) as well as your city registration document (Anmeldebestätigung) and they will give you the Sozialversicherungsnummer on the spot.

sozialversicherungsausweis - Social Security Number

There are three types of pension in Germany: government-controlled pensions (Deutsche Rentenversicherung), company pension schemes, and private pensions.

Health Insurance Side Scraper - Social Security Number

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