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War in Ukraine: Association of municipalities fears chaos among authorities because of Hartz IV aid for Ukrainians


From June 1st, people who have fled Ukraine are entitled to higher social benefits. But the head of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities warns of an “enormous administrative burden”. The planning was poorly coordinated.

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Two panels light up at Berlin Central Station to welcome refugees from Ukraine

Photo: Carsten Koall / dpa

Ukrainians who had to leave their homeland because of the Russian attacks are entitled to basic state security in Germany from June 1st.

The Federal Council passed the corresponding law on Friday.

But now the managing director of the Association of Towns and Municipalities has spoken out with criticism of the project.

The innovation was "prepared without sufficient consultation with practice," said Gerd Landsberg, who heads the association, of the "Augsburger Allgemeine".

He spoke of an "enormous administrative burden" for the municipalities, and there was a risk of chaos among the authorities.

»Many unanswered questions«

As a bureaucratic obstacle, Landsberg mentioned above all that the refugees had to be issued special papers.

The job centers did not have sufficiently forgery-proof documents from the Bundesdruckerei, so-called "fictional certificates".

This allows foreigners in Germany to prove that they have a provisional right of residence.

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However, for refugees who are not yet fully registered, these certificates are a prerequisite for switching to basic security.

So far, war refugees have received lower benefits under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act.

"In view of the many unanswered questions, more time should have been taken for the process and the experts from the field involved earlier," Landsberg told the newspaper.

The domestic policy spokesman for the Union parliamentary group, Alexander Throm, was also critical.

In the "Augsburger Allgemeine" he spoke of a "failure by the federal government".

According to the federal government, the problem of fictional certificates has already been resolved with an interim solution.

The Federal Ministry of Labor said that in the job centers, in addition to formal fictional certificates, substitute certificates will also be recognized as proof of entitlement until October 31, 2022.

This is what the new “technical instructions from the Federal Employment Agency” provide.

In order for the replacement certificates to be recognised, they must have been issued by the immigration authorities before May 31 of this year and contain the same information as the legally required form.

“Sufficient forms” should be available from June

For the period from June 1, 2022, "sufficient forms for issuing 'real' fictional certificates would then be available," assured the Ministry of Labor with reference to corresponding information from the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

According to the Ministry of Labor, another requirement for receiving the new benefits is that the refugees are registered in the central register of foreigners.

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More than 700,000 refugees from Ukraine were recently registered in Germany.

All of these people could start receiving the higher welfare benefits from June – provided they make the claim.

In addition to higher financial benefits and better health care, the refugees will then also receive earlier support to integrate into the labor market.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior pointed out that some of the people registered as refugees may have already returned to Ukraine or traveled to other countries.


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-05-22

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