Refugees in Berlin are to get access to social benefits through the job centers as quickly as possible, Senator Katja Kipping announced on Tuesday. For the Ukrainian refugees, this is a great step forward, Kipping said. The Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act will no longer apply to them. Instead, they can claim better benefits under the Social Code. "We are doing everything we can to ensure that benefits are distributed as normal," the senator for labor, social affairs and integration assured. "The job centers and the social welfare offices are already coordinating closely."
Refugees to receive social benefits quickly
Berlin is preparing for a system change: From June 1st onwards, Ukrainian refugees will be looked after by the job centers.
Successful negotiations for the state of Berlin
The switch to job centers was a negotiating success for the state of Berlin in discussions with the federal government, Kipping said. "We were the first to push for this." Under the new legal requirements, refugees from Ukraine will in future be required to undergo identification services from the age of 14.
New requirements for applications for social benefits
According to the Senate, this also applies to the more than 20,000 people who have already received a residence permit for two years from the State Office of Immigration, but have not yet been processed for identification. In total, there are three different groups: Ukrainian refugees who receive a residence permit from the State Office for Immigration (LEA) by the end of May can simply receive social benefits from the job centers from the beginning of June, and subsequent identification service treatment is to be possible until the end of October.
Registration becomes necessary for access to social benefits
In contrast, Ukrainian refugees who have submitted an application online to the State Office for Immigration but do not have an appointment for a residence permit at the LEA by the end of May must first undergo identification services. And thirdly, all those arriving in Berlin from the end of May onwards must first register at the arrival center in Tegel and undergo identification services when they are distributed to Berlin.
Kipping promotes registration
Kipping admitted that there is still often uncertainty on the subject of registration. Those who do not meet the conditions set by the Senate may end up in another federal state after registration, the Left Party politician conceded. But one would have health insurance and also a work permit. "That means you can enjoy all the labor protection standards that exist in Germany," Kipping said. "And if you can't find a job, you are entitled to social benefits."