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Social and healthcare benefits

In Germany, if you are not working then you get money from the state. This money is known as social benefits. The exact amount of money varies. It depends which law applies to you and the money you get.
With a BÜMA, Aufenthaltsgestattung, an Ankunftsnachweis or a Duldung you get benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz).
With an Aufenthaltserlaubnis you get benefits according to Volume II of the Social Insurance Code ("Leistungen nach dem Sozialgesetz SGB II"). You have to apply for the benefits at the Job Center. You can apply for the benefits when you get your positive decision notice (Anerkennungsbescheid). Aufenthaltserlaubnis, you will also be given a health insurance card (Krankenversichertenkarte) for medical treatment.
Ask a migration adivce centre (Migrationsberatungs-Stelle).

How much money do I get?

- In the reception centre
In the reception centre you only get a small amount of money (54 Euro). You get a bed and food in the reception centre. The 54 Euro will be given to you either in cash or on a chip card. Anything you buy will be subtracted from the balance on you chip card. If you cannot pay for things with the chip card, you can complain to the Regierungspräsidium. Ask an advice office to help you.

- in the local accomodation after the reception centre
You get money for food, drinks, clothes, shoes and hygiene items. You also get money from free-time activities, public transport and telephones. A single person gets 354 Euro per month. The exact amount you get changes from year to year. Married couples and families get more. You do not always get all of this money in cash. Sometimes you will get part of the money as benefits in kind (Sachleistung). You think that you are not getting enough money? Ask an advice office.
After 15 months in Germany, you get a bit more money.
If you are working and earning money, you get less money from the Sozialamt.

Medical care

If you are sick, you can go to a doctor. For this, you need a Krankenschein. Ask social services where you can get a medical certificate.
If you have an accident or need treatment quickly, you can go directly to a doctor or to a hospital.
Some treatments have to be applied for in advance. Ask social services how to go about doing this. Not all treatments are paid for. If your treatment is denied and you are unhappy with this decision, you can make an objection.
After 18 months in Germany, you will get a health insurance card. Once you have the health insurance card, you don't need medical certificates any more.
In Germany, you can also go to a psychologist (Psychologe / Psychologin). There are psychologists who treat many refugees. Sometimes they work together in centres. These centres are called „BafF-Zentren“. The BafF website provides a list of all BafF centres in Germany.

Other benefits

The law mentions the term„sonstige Leistungen“ (“other benefits”). If something is not paid to you, you can try making an application with the Sozialamt. The application may be rejected. Ask an advice office.

Reduction of benefits

The Sozialamt can reduce the amount of money you get. The Sozialamt must have a reason to do so. The Sozialamt must send you a letter with the reason. You can object to the reduction of your money. Ask an advice office-Stelle.

More information

You can find more information on the website of ProAsyl. The information is in german and english.