Persons of foreign nationality who do not have permanent residence in Germany and therefore do not have a claim to either social benefits (Sozialhilfe according to SGB XII) or to the basic provision (Grundsicherung) for job seekers (SGB II, also known as "Hartz IV") can receive benefits according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (AsylbLG).
The AsylbLG is a law to stipulate the minimum subsistence for asylum seekers. Independent of the SGB XII regulations, it provides for slightly lower benefits compared to social benefits.
The group of persons who are entitled to benefits according to this law is – contrary to the slightly confusing name of the law – not limited to asylum seekers only, but applies also to people from foreign countries (outside of a current procedure for granting the right of asylum) who for example only possess an exceptional leave to remain/short-term permit (Duldung) or another residence permit, as specified in § 1 AsylbLG.
Beneficiaries who are entitled to AsylbLG receive standard benefits (Grundleistungen) for food, housing and heating, clothing, health care and hygiene, consumer and convenience items for the household, and personal needs of daily life to secure their living for the first 15 months after entry. These are given in part as non-monetary provisions and in part as cash benefits.
After that period beneficiaries may receive benefits which correspond to social benefits.
From the first day of benefit receipt, children, teenagers and young adolescents are entitled to use all benefits regarding education (Bildungs- und Teilhabepaket) such as school excursion, private lessons, or lunch.
For medical or dental treatment necessary for the therapy of acute illness or pain, treatment vouchers (Krankenbehandlungsscheine) are handed out by the Social Services Department.
Documents to bring along:
- Documentation of entitlement of residence (passport, exceptional leave to remain, residence permit, others)
- Registration from the regulatory administration
- Income statements
In case of questions regarding housing, the Division Urban Redevelopment and Habitation (Stadterneuerung und Wohnen) is responsible.
In the Municipal Social Services (Kommunaler Sozialdienst), advice is offered to asylum seekers who are living on their own, that is, who are not housed in a collective accommodation, and for unaccompanied underage asylum seekers (minors).