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Old 05.03.2012, 19:27
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RAV & Benefits entitlement

I came here last summer from the UK with my (also British) husband with high hopes that the salary that came with his new role in Switzerland would be sufficient to support us, and put us in a comfortable position to start a family. With this in mind, I didn't look for a job before leaving the UK.

We were woefully under-prepared for the reality of living costs here, so have put baby-making plans on hold for a few more years. In the meantime, I've been looking for a job, but haven't had any luck so far.

I've learnt some basic German since being here (the lack of good German is a major contributing factor to the lack of job finding luck) and today took a trip to the RAV to try and find out a bit more about unemployment benefits. My bad German, and a lack of English speaking staff at the RAV means I've come away with lots of forms to fill in and a few unanswered questions, so I am hoping that someone out there can help me? I haven't been able to pin down the answers from the other threads on the subject.

1. Am I even entitled to claim RAV support (including German courses) and ALV benefits? Husband has worked here for 8 months, but I haven't worked a day yet. I did work in the UK and paid all my taxes.

2. As husband works, is there a cap on household income that would prevent me from being eligible to claim?

3. The RAV lady said I had to provide my AHV Ausweis, and I can get this from my Gemeindehaus. I think this is something to do with pensions, is that correct? Can I even get one of these if I haven't worked in Switzerland, so haven't paid any pension?

Any advice very much appreciated!
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Old 05.03.2012, 20:00
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

I can only help with question 3 unfortunately. I applied for my AHV at the Zurich SVA in preparation for starting work as a nanny so yes you can get your AHV number before you have a job.

Hope that helps
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Old 05.03.2012, 20:12
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

I thought you had to have worked in CH for 12 months out of the past 2 years to claim unemployment.

Last edited by Odile; 05.03.2012 at 20:27.
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Old 05.03.2012, 20:32
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

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1. Am I even entitled to claim RAV support (including German courses) and ALV benefits? Husband has worked here for 8 months, but I haven't worked a day yet. I did work in the UK and paid all my taxes.

2. As husband works, is there a cap on household income that would prevent me from being eligible to claim?

3. The RAV lady said I had to provide my AHV Ausweis, and I can get this from my Gemeindehaus. I think this is something to do with pensions, is that correct? Can I even get one of these if I haven't worked in Switzerland, so haven't paid any pension?
1. No, as Odile says, you have to have worked and paid contributions for 12 months before you can claim any benefit. It would just be too easy to abuse the system if this wasn't the case.

2. There is no cap on income; however, in the event that your husband needed to claim at some point, there is a cap on how much unemployment benefit you can receive - it works out at about 100,000 CHF a year maximum (can't remember the exact figure), no matter how high his previous salary was.
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Old 05.03.2012, 21:12
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

You can transfer your UK unemployment here. I think it's only for 3 months though and I don't know if there is a time limit for doing this. I hope at the RAV they know how to do this as it's not easy to find info on this.

It's still worth it to register with the RAV even if you don't get any money. They may help you with German classes. It's not guaranteed. And depending on your skills/job/qualifications they may have something listed there. These tend to be more blue collar jobs. You never know. There could be something that fits you.

At the very least your councilor can have a look at your CV and give you some tips.

You'll have to apply for your AVS number. Look here for your AVS office.
http://www.ahv-iv.info/andere/00271/...x.html?lang=de

There is a household income cap on social welfare money but not on unemployment.
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Old 05.03.2012, 21:26
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

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I thought you had to have worked in CH for 12 months out of the past 2 years to claim unemployment.
No, work in the EU is counted, so work time in the UK will count.
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Old 05.03.2012, 22:00
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

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No, work in the EU is counted, so work time in the UK will count.
I learned something there, good to know.
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Old 06.03.2012, 08:25
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

Thanks all. I'm hoping that I can at least get on a German course. If I can access UK unemployment benefits also, then that's a huge plus!

Off to google translate (AND good old fashioned dictionary!) to complete the forms now then.

I'll post updates to share how I get on with the entire process.
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Old 09.03.2012, 17:27
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

Hello,

I was going through this thread as I also need information about RAV.I was working in India before I moved to Switzerland with my husband who is working in Switzerland. Since then I am looking for a job in switzerland but nothing clicked till date. am I eligible to register to RAV. Ofcourse I dont expect to claim any financial benifits. But the only reason I want to register is if I can get some help in looking for a job. Let me know if anyone has idea if I can approach RAV.
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Old 09.03.2012, 19:38
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

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Hello,
Let me know if anyone has idea if I can approach RAV.
I don't think you will get any money, however they may be able to help you find a job, just go and ask, no appointment necessary.
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Old 10.03.2012, 10:49
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

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Hello,

I was working in India before I moved to Switzerland with my husband who is working in Switzerland. Of course I dont expect to claim any financial benifits. But the only reason I want to register is if I can get some help in looking for a job. Let me know if anyone has idea if I can approach RAV.
Yes, you can go to RAV and they can possibly help you with finding a job but you wont get any money, as you stated yourself.
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Old 10.03.2012, 21:21
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

Thanks a lot all for the reply
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Old 20.04.2012, 14:48
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Re: RAV & Benefits entitlement

I am an American with a B permit and I have been married to my Swiss Husband for 8 years. I have only lived in Switzerland for 1 year. I went to RAV as well to see if I was entitled to any benefits, specifically German classes or assistance with “Swissifying” my CV.

It was a long process, and I got a big “NO” at the end. I did not qualify for any sort of assistance because:

  • I have never worked in Switzerland. Typically, 1 year of full-time employment qualifies you for RAV assistance.
  • I have a B permit and I'm not from the EU. Even though I have been married to a Swiss citizen for almost a decade, I have only lived in Switzerland for a year. With only a B permit and not being an EU citizen, my options for assistance are more limited than if I had a C permit.
  • I am a native English speaker with a University degree. I was told there is a high demand for well-educated native English speakers in the area, so I should have no problem finding a job that does not require me to speak German.
  • I speak and understand German too well. I took a placement test for RAV and placed at the B1.1 level despite never having any formal German training. Even though RAV itself said that it will pay for German courses through the end of the B2 level, they again stressed that they did not want to offer me any assistance with language courses because I am a native English speaker. Because my husband is Swiss, they felt that he can help me overcome any language barriers I may encounter.
  • I should know what I am doing. When I asked if there was any course through RAV or coaching I could receive from a RAV counselor on my CV, I was told that they didn’t have anything that would help me as professional and what ever I did in the US would work well here. Most of their materials and courses are geared towards blue collar workers.

I understand the reasons why I was denied. Even though it seems a bit harsh, I found my RAV counselor I spoke with to be very kind and wanting to help. She just had her hands tied from the restrictions placed on her.

If you were to ask my advice on if you should go to RAV and ask for assistance, I would say to go and ask. There’s no harm in trying. Just do not to get your hopes up.

At minimum, getting together all of the paperwork they ask of you is something you will have to do anyway when you search for a job or find a new one.
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