If you have an employment contract which is limited in time, you should register as "job-seeker" ("arbeitsuchend") with the Employment Agency ("Argentur für Arbeit") at least 3 months before your employment ends.
You should do this promptly in person, by telephone or online. In the event that you have registered too late as a job-seeker, your entitlement to unemployment benefits may be blocked for a certain period of time.
Register as a job-seeker here.
Depending on your residence permit, you may be able to extend it for the purpose of looking for a job and, if necessary, receive unemployment benefits during this time. It is recommended to contact the employment agency in your area about 2 weeks before you become unemployed. Normally, you have to do this personally (but due to the current situation you are asked to call). You must also submit your application for unemployment benefits.
The unemployment registration is a prerequisite for being able to receive unemployment benefits. The money will be retroactively paid to you monthly.
The basis for calculating your entitlement to unemployment benefits is your gross income for the last 12 months. This amount is divided by 365 - the result is your gross income per day.
The duration, i.e. how long you can receive unemployment benefits, depends on two factors. First, it depends on how long you were subject to compulsory insurance, and second, on how old you are.
There are special rules if you have worked abroad in the meantime.
Click here to download all the important forms.