Applying for benefits under the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz)
As a foreigner, you can apply for benefits under the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) under certain conditions.
The following benefits are possible:
- Basic benefits in order to cover the necessary requirements concerning food and drink, accommodation, heating, clothes, healthcare and household durables and perishables, as well as to cover personal requirements of daily life.
- Benefits in case of acute illness, pregnancy and birth
- Other benefits
You receive these benefits from the competent body in the form of benefits in kind and cash.
Restrictions may apply, for example if
- you can be shown to be required to leave and have travelled to Germany in order to receive benefits under the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz),
- you can be shown to be required to leave and, despite a fixed departure date and a fixed opportunity to depart, have not left the Federal Republic of Germany or
- you can be shown to be required to leave and measures which terminate the stay in Germany cannot be enforced for reasons for which you are responsible.
The entitlement to benefits ceases
- when you leave Germany or
- at the end of the month in which the entitlement to benefits ceases or
- at the end of the month in which you are recognised as being entitled to asylum.
During the time of the initial reception:
- The competent regional council for your initial reception institution
During the temporary accommodation / subsequent accommodation
- If you live in an urban district, the city council
- Otherwise, the district office responsible for the place of residence
You are a foreigner, your whereabouts is located in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and you fulfil one of the following prerequisites:
- You have an approval for residency as an asylum seeker
- You wish to enter via an airport and you are not permitted to enter or are not yet permitted to enter
- You have a residency permit expressly named in § 1 Number 3 of the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) for humanitarian or international legal reasons
- You possess a tolerance in accordance with § 60a of the German Residency Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz)
- You can be shown to be required to leave, also if deportation has not yet been threatened or is no longer enforceable
- You are a marital spouse, civil partner or child of a person entitled to benefits
- You have lodged a subsequent or second application for recognition as a politically persecuted person
In addition, you must use up your own income and assets which you have available before you can claim benefits This also applies if you have claims against other persons who could cover your living costs
Note: If you turn down a job offer without good reasons despite being able to work, you are not entitled to benefits under the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz).
The claim to benefits in accordance with the German Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) takes effect once the benefits authority becomes aware of the presence of the requirements for the claim. As a rule, benefits are granted following the submission of an application to the competent authority.
- Valid passport and proof of foreigner status (for example approval, tolerance)
- Proof concerning any income at the time of the application (for example payslip)
- Proof of assets
The competent authority may request additional documents.
The competent body will not grant the benefits until it becomes aware of the presence of the requirements for the claim and not retrospectively. Therefore, you should contact the competent body as soon as possible.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Integrationsministerium released it on 27.10.2015. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.