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Are you a self-employed artist?  Are you part of the Kunstlersozialkasse?  Here is a link to the FAQ page for this German agency.   The application form is available in German and in English and isn’t complicated.  You just need to make money as an artist and be able to prove it with receipts. Here is the site in German and a PDF in English.

  • What Preconditions to enjoy the benefits of the Artists’ social security Insurance scheme?  Here are the preconditions for joining the KSK:
  1.  All members must work professionally as self employed/freelance artists/writers for the purpose of earning a living.  To know what is considered an artists for the purpose of the program, one must look at how the law defines an artist.  If there is some vagueness as to whether the label artists qualifies, the agency will look to whether the person is considered as an artist in their professional circles (professional recognition, exhibitions, associations).   The term publicist usually is referring to writers, authors and journalists.
  2. The artistic activity of the artist must be their main occupation.  If the artist’s artistic work is only part time or a side job, they may not be able to participate in the program.
  3. Income from the artist’s work must be above the limited for compulsory social insurance (3900 Euros).  The artist’s income may be lower for the first three years of their artistic professional work.  You can fail to reach the limit twice in a six year period and still remain covered.
  4. The artist can be the only one on the program.  If the artists becomes an employer than they no longer need protection under this program.
  • What Insurance Coverage is Provided?  Pension Insurance, Health Insurance, Long-term nursing care insurance NOTE: What most writers do not know is that they can apply for sick pay in case of incapacity to work, after a qualifying period of six weeks or maybe even earlier in the event that extra insurance premiums have been paid.*
  • Calculation of Contributions – Contribution is calculated based on income and 50% of the contribution rates for the various required insurances.  The current level is about 19% from the income of professional work and payments are payable on a monthly basis.*
  • What does an artist need to do to be accepted? Download the application form and submit it to the KSK along with your evidence such as contracts, documents, critiques, newspaper clippings etc.
  • What will the Artists Social Security Insurance Fund (KSK) Do? The fund will check to make sure that all the requirements are met and they will let the artist know in writing the amount of contributions payable.  The fund will also send annual questionnaires on expected income from the artist which will be used to adjust payable contributions.
  • What will happen if you don’t register with KSK?  The insurance for an artist remains dormant and no benefits can be claimed.  Basically the artists who do not register lose out on a benefit they are legally entitled.  Insurance begins at the moment the artist registers with the fund.  There is no retrospective insurance coverage and KSK will not look for contributions for any period before the artists has applied to the fund.
  • Private Insurance? You can take private insurance but there is no exemption in respect to the pension insurance.
  • Is it a disadvantage to belong to the KSK? Companies that are required to pay the artists’ social levy regardless to whether the artist is insured.

For more information please check out the website or email the fun at  auskunft@kuenstlersozialkasse.de

Written by Emmy Horstkamp

Hi, my name is Emmy and I live in Munich, Germany. If you want to know about art me visit my art page www.emmyhorstkamp.com or visit me in Munich, Germany