The community of needs (BG) is a legal concept of social assistance in Germany.
In German law, it was incorporated into the newly regulated Second Book of the Social Code (SGB II) in 2005 when the basic security for job seekers was reformed. The construct of the community of needs is based on the political decision that people who have special personal or kinship relationships with one another and who live in a common household should support each other materially in emergencies and cover their livelihood needs together.
The basic security granted, which is intended to cover needs to the extent necessary to lead a decent and existence-assured life, is subordinate to other aids. This means that the state demands solidarity based on partnership and does not intervene as long as partners can help themselves. Spouse and partner subsidiarity denotes the priority of solidarity among partners over welfare state aid. It does not matter whether the credited amount actually benefits the destitute person, this does not result in a legal claim between the partners. Family support is only owed among spouses, but not among cohabitants. Transfer payments within families and marriage-like partnerships are assumed to be factual and are therefore taken into account when calculating the basic security in order to avoid disadvantage for those who have no one to support them.
In maintenance law, the need community of a maintenance debtor is also taken into account when determining his deductible: if he saves costs for the apartment or general lifestyle through joint household management, he may be assigned a lower deductible. Conversely, living together also has an effect: if the person entitled to maintenance lives with a third party in a consolidated community, the right to maintenance is forfeited in accordance with § 1579 BGB.