Citizen’s income 2022: from when? Amount, rules, penalties

Citizen’s Income 2022: What is planned and who can access the benefit?

Looking for a place in the labor market: the citizen's income is intended to make it easier to return to work

Needy people in Germany are entitled to a new benefit in the form of the citizen’s income (Burgergeld). However, this support is linked to conditions and obligations. We clarify.

Not everything, but a little new makes the first traffic light coalition in the federation. From 2022 onwards, another term will enter the language with the citizen’s income. This is to step to the place of the past unemployment pay II, better admits under Hartz IV, and to needy ones be available. This social, national assistance, which SPD , Greens and FDP had written down already longer in their party programs, is to represent a basic income.

Citizen’s Income: Above all, attention is paid to the neediness of the applicants

However, the payment is subject to certain conditions. Most important is the neediness, it is said. The citizen money is to be able to be referred in the connection of achievements in the context of the unemployment pay I. In addition, it should apply that the assets and the type of housing only become important for the payment after a reference period of two years.

Specifically, there are three requirements: The earning capacity, the residence in Germany and the need for assistance. This means that people who are at least 15 years old, but still below the standard age limit, are entitled to it. People are considered fit for work if they are not unable to work at least three hours a day under the usual conditions of the general labor market for the foreseeable future due to illness or disability. So regardless of the exact professional task. Whether someone is fit for work is decided by the pension insurance.

Entitled are however also persons, who live with an employable benefit-entitled in a community. Examples are spouses, partners and children. In this way, citizens who are not capable of working can also be entitled to the benefit – however, simpler conditions then apply.

Further applies that the citizen’s income claimant must have his usual place of residence in Germany. And this brings us to the need for assistance: this is understood to mean that the persons can not or not sufficiently ensure their livelihood from the income or assets to be considered and also no help, for example, from relatives or carriers of other social benefits – here are called housing allowance or child supplement – is in prospect.

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It is pointed out that people who are gainfully employed can be classified as needing help. The same applies to recipients of unemployment benefit I.

Citizen’s allowance is not paid for long hospital or rehabilitation stays

You are not entitled to the benefit if the person is "out of the time and place area" without prior consultation with the contact person in the competent authority and therefore cannot take up a mediated job. Empty go out also citizens, who are accommodated "in a (full) stationary mechanism", explain the portal "". Here, prisoners are mentioned as examples or people who are cared for in a hospital for a longer period of time – in these cases, however, the citizen’s income can be granted under adjusted conditions. Exceptions are rehabilitation or hospital stays of presumably less than six months, the same applies to freedmen.

Modified, simplified requirements apply to persons who are of statutory retirement age or who are foreseeably incapacitated for work for more than six months. This is also true if someone receives an old-age pension, a miners’ compensation benefit or a similar public-law benefit that is sufficient to cover their living expenses.

The above rules apply not only to German citizens, but also for foreigners. However, they are not entitled if they do not have a domicile or habitual residence in the Federal Republic – such as tourists or seasonal workers -, do not have a work permit and cannot obtain one, do not pursue gainful employment or the right of residence was granted exclusively for the purpose of seeking work – in this case, family members are also not entitled to receive it.

On the other hand, recognized asylum seekers are entitled to the benefit. Likewise, foreigners who are legally able to pursue employment subject to approval by the Employment Agency. For foreign family members, there is a blocking period for the first three months of residence in Germany – unless they have a residence title for international law, humanitarian or political reasons.

Application for citizen’s allowance informal and also digitally possible

The Citizen’s Income is hoped to enable beneficiaries to participate in society and to respect the dignity of each individual. It is also a matter of getting sustainable integration into the labor market underway. In today’s times especially important: It should be uncomplicated and also digitally accessible.

It is true that the citizen’s allowance is granted only on application. This claim must be filed with the competent authority – i.e., usually the municipality, the city council or the local authority. Important is the usual place of residence, in case of homelessness the actual residence counts.

An informal application is to be sufficient, for example by E-Mail or over the appropriate Internet side of the authority just like verbally in the office. The portal "" gives here the tip to use a registered letter to be able to prove the exact date of the application. It should be noted, however, that only a very limited retroactive effect applies, which is why the citizen’s allowance should be applied for in good time. The decision will then be served by notice, there is an appeal period of one month.

As a rule, the citizen’s income is granted for six months to one year. If the benefit is to be claimed for a longer period, a follow-up application is necessary. If the benefit is not drawn for a full month, payment is made on a daily basis, always assuming 30 days of the month.

The sum is transferred to the account specified in the application. However, payment by check can also be demanded, but then the additional costs may be deducted.

Citizen’s Income to cover the cost of living, housing and persons living in a community

This benefit includes a part to cover the cost of living, a part for the cost of housing and a part that takes into account the other persons living with the applicant in a claim community. The amount of the citizen’s allowance depends on the income and asset situation.

With the citizen’s income, the federal government is also pursuing the goal of building a relationship of trust between citizens and the administration. For this purpose, the strengths and developmental needs of the people are to be brought into focus by means of a competence determination procedure. Here also by soft skills one speaks.

In a participation agreement, the offers and measures thus determined are recorded for six months. After six months, it is possible to supplement these and adapt them to the new situation. In the meantime, the recipient of the citizen’s income may have taken part in training courses and improved his or her skills. The participation agreement also specifies the citizen’s obligations to cooperate.

Supported persons who are capable of working are expected to accept any job if it is reasonable to do so. This means that the person must be physically, mentally or emotionally capable, the exercise must not endanger the upbringing of their child or the child of their partner and must not be incompatible with the care of a relative. No other important reason may stand in the way of the activity. In general, the Citizen’s Income recipient must prove that there are reasons why it is unreasonable to work.

Furthermore, as mentioned above, there is a duty to cooperate. This refers not only to the applicant, but also to certain third groups of people named in the law. This includes citizens who are dependent on the applicant – if they do not fulfill their obligation to cooperate and provide information to the job center, this can result in a fine or claims for damages can be asserted.

Sanctions are also possible against the recipient of the citizen’s benefit in the event of breach of duty under certain conditions. Called a reduction in cash benefits.

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) spoke in the Rheinische Post a "fundamental change of course in social policy, a major social reform". The new system is "more geared to getting people out of unemployment in the long term". His promise is: "We say: ‘If you slide into the citizen’s income, we will support you with all means to get out of unemployment in the long term, and you don’t have to worry about losing your apartment for the time being.’"

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