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Federal Constitutional Court: Karlsruhe stops cuts for single asylum seekers

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Asylum seekers who live alone in collective accommodation have received less money in recent years. This is justified with possible savings. Unrealistic, according to the Federal Constitutional Court.

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Single asylum seekers should no longer have their social benefits reduced by a flat rate of ten percent because they live in a refugee home. According to the Federal Constitutional Court, there is no indication that savings would or could actually be achieved there through joint management. The “special needs level” introduced on September 1, 2019 violates the fundamental right to guarantee a decent subsistence level. (Az. 1 BvL 3/21)

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The CDU/CSU and SPD federal government at the time was of the opinion that communal management could “be expected” in the collective accommodation. Savings effects exist, for example, when eating, “by buying groceries or at least the basic kitchen needs together in larger quantities and using them together in the communal kitchens,” as the explanatory statement states. The sentence has therefore been shortened – in line with that for people who are married or living with a partner.

The specific case involved a man from Sri Lanka, born in 1982, who has been living in shared accommodation near Düsseldorf since 2014. For him, there is a provision in the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act that applies to all people who have been legally resident in Germany for at least 18 months. The Karlsruhe decision therefore directly affects only this group.

Those affected will receive more money retrospectively from September 2019

According to the Constitutional Court, all those affected whose decisions are not yet final at this time will receive more money retrospectively from September 2019. This is the case if someone has lodged an objection or complained. In all other cases, the decision for future benefits must be taken into account.

The procedure was initiated by the Society for Freedom Rights (GFF). In order to have the regulation checked in Karlsruhe, she had drawn up a template, which a judge at the Düsseldorf Social Court had used here. There the man from Sri Lanka is complaining about higher benefits for several months in 2019 and 2020.

People in collective accommodation currently receive 330 euros a month. Other single asylum seekers are entitled to 367 euros.

Source: Stern

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