Broadcasting fee: Citizens’ income recipients remain exempt from the GEZ fee

broadcasting fee
Citizens’ allowance recipients do not have to pay – who can still be exempted?

The list of those who are entitled to a GEZ exemption is long (symbol image)

© Markus Mainka / Picture Alliance

At the turn of the year, the requirements for exemption from the broadcasting fee also changed. In addition to recipients of citizen income, many other population groups do not have to pay. You should know these requirements, forms and applications.

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The white letters with the imprint “Contribution Service” are regularly in the mailbox. However, not every citizen in Germany actually has to pay the monthly amount of 18.36 euros. Who can be liberated? All innovations and requirements for exemption from the GEZ fee.

Citizens’ allowance recipients: GEZ exemption possible

With the turn of the year, a lot has changed for the citizens. For example, the citizen’s income replaces Hartz IV. But does the associated license fee exemption remain? As the contribution service from ARD and ZDF explains, it will not be shaken. Citizens’ income recipients can thus continue to be exempted from the obligation to pay broadcasting fees.

However, citizens’ allowance recipients are by no means the only population group that can be exempted from the GEZ fee. RTL explains in which cases you do not have to pay the monthly fee for public broadcasting of 18.36 euros.

Who can be exempted from the broadcasting fee?

The list of those who are also entitled to a GEZ exemption is long. However, having an entitlement does not automatically mean that you are exempt from the obligation to pay contributions. To do this, you must submit an application. Who does this specifically concern:

If you want to be exempted, you have to meet certain requirements. People who receive certain social benefits such as basic security in old age, benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, BAföG or vocational training allowance do not have to pay broadcasting fees. Deaf-blind people and those with special care are also exempt from payment.

Important: On the other hand, people who receive unemployment benefit I, housing benefit or transitional benefit have no fundamental right to exemption. An exemption from ALG-I receipt is only possible if a social authority certifies that there is a need. If ALG II is paid in addition, an application for exemption is possible.

Where can I find the application for exemption?

All applications and forms can be found online at The respective application can also be filled out there according to the applicable category. The form must then be printed out and sent by post.

Please note: In order for the application to be approved, various forms of evidence must be attached, such as confirmation from the authorities or the service provider and/or the social benefits notice. Finally, the exemption applies, insofar as the application has been approved, from the time the application is submitted. An exemption can even apply retrospectively for up to three years.

I am not entitled to an exemption: can I apply for a reduction?

Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Although the reduced contribution is only EUR 6.12 per month instead of EUR 18.36, reductions are only intended for people with physical disabilities. Blind or significantly visually impaired people with a degree of disability of at least 60 can apply for a reduction, as can people who are deaf or who cannot communicate adequately without hearing aids. In addition, people with a degree of disability of at least 80 can also claim the reduced tariff.

However, an application is also required here, which can also be filled out online at The following evidence must also be attached for this purpose:

  • Confirmation from the authority or the service provider
  • Social Security Notice
  • severely handicapped pass


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