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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act


If you do not have German citizenship and do not belong to an EU member state and are staying in Germany, you can receive benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act under certain conditions. These are the so-called basic benefits, benefits in the event of illness, pregnancy and childbirth as well as other benefits.

The basic benefits are intended to cover the necessary needs to secure your livelihood. This means, for example, food, accommodation, heating, clothing, personal hygiene and household goods. In addition, benefits for necessary personal needs are possible, which are intended to ensure participation in social life.

Pregnancy and childbirth benefits also cover additional needs for expectant mothers. This can be, for example, maternity clothing or initial baby equipment (e.g. diapers and a diaper bag).

Healthcare benefits are intended to ensure your healthcare if you are not insured with a health insurance fund. Health care is treatment by a doctor if you are acutely ill or suffering from pain. You can also receive the necessary vaccinations (e.g. against influenza) and medically necessary check-ups. Preventive check-ups are regular examinations to detect and treat illnesses at an early stage.

Other benefits are aimed in particular at special cases. These can be special benefits to ensure subsistence or for children's needs, for example school supplies and integration assistance for disabled children. Integration assistance helps people to participate in community life. Benefits for certain interpreter costs and costs for obtaining a passport are also possible.

The benefits are possible if your available income and assets have been used up or are insufficient and you do not receive benefits under SGB II/SGB XII. If you do not live alone, the income of family members with whom you live will be taken into account. In this context, family members are your partner or spouse and (underage) children.

Benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act can be provided in cash or in kind. Depending on your living situation and the place where you are staying, the type and amount of benefits granted may vary. In addition to payment in cash or in kind, payment is also possible in the form of vouchers or in other ways.

The costs of accommodation and heating are usually taken into account by the responsible institution when calculating your entitlement. Whether support is provided in the form of cash or non-cash benefits depends on the circumstances of your individual case. The amount of benefits granted is regularly adjusted and is graduated according to age and housing situation.

  • You come from a third country and are not a national of an EU country.
  • You are staying in Germany.
  • You meet one of the following criteria
    • You have a residence permit in accordance with the Asylum Act.
    • You wish to enter the country via an airport and entry is not (yet) permitted.
    • You have a residence permit in accordance with §§ 23 (1), 24, or 25 (4) sentence 1 AufenthG.
    • You have a residence permit in accordance with § 25 (5) AufenthG, provided that the decision on the suspension of your deportation was made less than 18 months ago.
    • You have a tolerated stay permit according to § 60a AufenthG.
    • Your tolerated stay has expired.
    • You are the spouse, partner or minor child of the above-mentioned persons.
    • You are submitting a subsequent application in accordance with § 71 AsylG or a second application in accordance with § 71a AsylG.
    • You have applied for a residence permit but have not yet received a decision from the immigration authority.
  • You have exhausted the income and assets at your disposal or these are not sufficient to cover your living expenses.
  • You are not entitled to basic security benefits for jobseekers (SGB II) or to assistance with living expenses or basic security benefits in accordance with the Twelfth Book of the German Social Code (SGB XII).
  • You are not entitled to statutory health insurance (e.g. family insurance).

If you apply to a local authority, you must have your habitual residence in this local authority or be assigned to it.

  • Completed application form
  • Proof of current residence (e.g. passport, residence permit, tolerated stay permit)
  • Proof of assets (e.g. account statements for accounts and investments in Germany and abroad, vehicles, jewelry, real estate)
  • Proof of income of all family members in the household (e.g. payslips, pension statements, child benefit, BAföG, maintenance advance)
  • Proof of health and long-term care insurance, if applicable
  • Proof of benefits, if applicable
    • Mother's passport
    • School certificate
    • Cost estimates
    • In the case of administrative obligations to cooperate: Notifications and requests from the immigration authorities
  • If applicable, proof of insurance and travel expenses (for employment)
  • If applicable, proof of previous social benefits (termination notice from the job center, employment notices from other municipalities)
  • If applicable, rental agreement and proof of current rent, heating costs and electricity
  • If applicable, marriage certificate, divorce decree, proof of spousal support

If applicable Proof of access rights (for parents living separately in Germany)

free of charge

You can receive the benefits if the authority recognizes your need for help.

The deadlines set by the competent authority for the submission of documents must be adhered to. If you are unable to do so for understandable reasons, you must apply for an extension of the deadline. Otherwise, the competent authority may refuse to grant you the benefit due to non-compliance with your statutory obligations to cooperate.

This also applies to the appeal deadlines, i.e. if you do not agree with the decision - not only with the rejection decision, but also with the approval decision (amount of the resulting benefit entitlement).

Social welfare office (district or independent city)

Benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act can be applied for informally. It is advisable to arrange a personal appointment for advice with your responsible office. Please take all the necessary documents with you to the appointment.

  • You submit the application to your local office or via the online portal.
  • You submit the required documents.
  • The competent authority checks your application and calculates your requirements.
  • The competent authority decides on your application and informs you of the result. You will receive a corresponding notification from your competent authority.
  • If your application is approved, you will receive a notification of approval. If it is rejected, you will receive a rejection notice.
  • In both cases, the notification will contain the reasons for the decision. It also contains information about the possibility of appealing against the decision. It also contains information on the deadline within which you can lodge an appeal.
  • The notice of approval contains the amount of the benefit to be paid and the start date of payment. From the date stated, the benefits to which you are entitled will generally be made available to you by the competent institution at the beginning of the month. Payment may vary depending on the individual case, for example by bank transfer, cash payment, payment order for offsetting, cash card, cashier's check or vouchers.
  • For healthcare benefits: Depending on your competent authority, you will receive either a treatment certificate or an electronic health card.
    • Treatment certificate: You present the treatment certificate to your doctor within the deadline and receive treatment. If you require further healthcare services, you will usually have to submit a new application. You can obtain further information on benefits and the treatment certificate from your health insurance provider.
    • Electronic health card: You present the health card to your doctor and receive treatment. If you need health services again, you can visit the doctor directly and do not need a new application.

Please note: You are obliged to inform your competent authority immediately of any changes to your personal and financial circumstances.

You are obliged to inform your competent authority immediately of any changes in your personal and financial circumstances. If you fail to do so, the payment of benefits may be stopped.

Failure to report the commencement of gainful employment correctly, completely or on time is an administrative offense. This can be punished with a fine of up to 5,000 euros.

§§ 3 ff. Asylum Seekers Benefits Act

Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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