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Regular disbursement of extraordinary economic assistance for November starts today
The technical requirements for the regular disbursement of extraordinary economic assistance payments for the month of November (also known as November Assistance) are now in place. This means that the Länder can now start implementing the programme and disburse the assistance.
The application process for November Assistance was opened on 25 November 2020 already, with disbursement of advance payments starting on 27 November to ensure that those eligible received assistance as quickly as possible. There has been great demand for the advance payments. More than €1.3 in advance payments has been disbursed under the November Assistance Programme thus far. An additional €643 million in advance payments has been disbursed under the December Assistance Programme since the beginning of January. The procedure for disbursing advance payments was implemented in a coordinated effort by the Federal Government and the Länder in the shortest time possible, with disbursement handled by the Federal Cash Office. The regular November Assistance payments will be disbursed by the competent Länder authorities. A list of these can be found here (in German).
The November Assistance Programme targets businesses, the self-employed and associations and institutions which were considerably affected by the closures in November. In order to help these quickly and in a non-bureaucratic manner, advance payments have been granted since the end of November. The maximum amount of these payments was initially €10,000 and was later increased to €50,000.
The application process for extraordinary economic assistance for the month of December, which seamlessly continues the November Assistance, was opened on 22 December 2020 (for own-account workers applying directly) and 23 December 2020 (for applications by ‘auditing third parties’ ). Initially, advance payments will be available; these have been granted since 5 January 2021.
Here is an overview of the essential information on extraordinary economic assistance for the month of November:
Applications can be made by companies directly or indirectly affected by the temporary closures in November.
The November Assistance Programme will in principle provide pro rata grants of up to 75% of the turnover in November 2019 based on the number of days of closure in November 2020. European State aid law allows for subsidies of up to a current total of €1 million to be paid, without the claimant having to provide specific evidence of a loss. To the extent that the companies’ scope under State aid law allows – i.e. taking into account the aid they have already been granted – the vast majority of companies will thus be able to be paid a grant of up to 75% of their turnover for the same month in the preceding year.
In line with European State aid rules, additional grants of between €1 million and €4 million can be granted under the federal framework for assistance for fixed costs. This means that applicants applying for a grant of one to four million euros can receive 75% of their turnover for the same month of the preceding year if they have incurred losses of a certain amount. There is far-reaching flexibility for claiming losses (for example, all months in which a business has incurred losses since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 are counted, if these amount to more than 30% of its turnover in a given month. For more information on losses, please click here) (in German). In addition, the Federal Government is working with the European Commission to ensure that the maximum amounts applying for small amount of compatible aid and aid for fixed costs under the Temporary Framework are significantly increased. On the subject of grants exceeding €4 million, further coordination with the European Commission is taking place to obtain separate approval based on the provisions on compensation for damage under EU State aid law.
Applications can be filed via a single IT platform for the whole of Germany (www.ueberbrueckungshilfe-unternehmen.de) (in German). Applications can be submitted by tax consultants, auditors or other third parties. Own-account workers applying for a grant of less than €5,000 can submit their applications directly using their ELSTER certificate.
A detailed FAQ section and information on applications for November and December Assistance can be found here (in German).
A detailed FAQ section on issues relating to State aid law can be here (in German).