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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Energy: Relaxation for the account: First students get 200 euros

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After a long wait, the first students and technical students can look forward to the energy price flat rate of 200 euros. Today, some will start paying out as part of a test phase.

Half a year after the announcement of the 200-euro energy price flat rate for students and technical students, the money will be transferred for the first affected as of today. The German Press Agency learned this from the Federal Ministry of Education and the Digital Ministry in Saxony-Anhalt. “The first applicants will soon have the one-off payment in their account,” said Federal Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) of the dpa.

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A test phase of the corresponding application platform on the Internet with universities and technical schools in several federal states was reportedly successful. “The test phase was technically successful,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s Digital Minister Lydia Hüskens (FDP). Around 12,800 applicants received their approval notices. Today the federal government will instruct the energy price flat rate.

Approximately 3.5 million affected

Since Saxony-Anhalt was in charge of setting up the digital student loan, the federal and state governments had also entrusted the state with the technical implementation of the application platform for the energy price flat rate. Since last week, students and technical students from several educational institutions have been able to apply for the money as part of a test.

“The pilot phase shows that the joint application platform works smoothly and that the one-off payment can be applied for quickly and easily,” said Stark-Watzinger. According to the information, the average effort required to apply for the 200 euros was around three minutes. According to their own statements, both politicians assume that, as planned, the application platform will be open to all around 3.5 million people affected from next Wednesday. They are usually informed about the details of registration and application by their educational institutions.

delay in implementation

Everyone who is enrolled at a university on December 1, 2022 or who was in a technical college at that time is entitled to the money. A domicile or “habitual residence” in Germany on this date is a prerequisite. At technical schools, for example, educators, technicians or business economists are trained. Part-time students, participants in dual studies, foreign students and those who are currently taking a semester off should also benefit from the payment. The energy price flat rate should neither be taxed nor offset against any social benefits.

The traffic light coalition had already agreed on the special payment last September. The practical implementation turned out to be difficult and dragged on for more than half a year. A quick transfer of the 200 euros was thwarted, among other things, by the fact that the account details of all the students and technical students concerned were not available centrally.

Criticism of the sluggish process

The federal and state governments repeatedly came into conflict when attempting to build an application platform on which those affected could identify themselves securely and unambiguously and on which personal and account data available at the educational institutions were brought together. It was about data protection, responsibilities and technical details.

Student representatives and the opposition in the Bundestag had criticized the slow process. Recently there has also been criticism that all those affected have to create a user account with the federal government, a so-called BundID account, in order to clearly identify themselves when applying. It has now been clarified that the online function of the identity card or an “Elster certificate”, as used for online tax returns, is not absolutely necessary, but that a simple BundID account with a username and password can also be created .

Source: Stern

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