BEG - hardship compensation

At the time of the first version of the Federal German Restitution Law it was already apparent that life processes were not always adequately covered by legal regulations and, as a consequence, directive measures were called for to alleviate hardship through the possible given generous application and interpretation of the law text in practice. In so far as this is concerned there are also rulings which empower the Federal German Government to approve global agreements with foreign groups of persons (§ 239 Federal German Civil Code [BGB]) or to subvention public welfare groups (§ 148a Federal German Restitution Law [BEG]) as well as hardship restitu-tion rulings for individual applications.

Today, since the expiry of the application date hardship restitution benefits in accor-dance with the Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] on the 31st December 1969 only still have any practical significance in so far as these can be granted in accor-dance with §§ 171 or 165 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] and come under restitution benefits.

1) Hardship restitution benefits in accordance with § 171 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG]:

In accordance with the general hardship restitution ruling, persons who fulfil the gen-eral conditions for claims under §§ 4 or 150 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] and the damage suffered by them was caused by reasons of persecution as laid down in § 1 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] were granted hardship restitution in so far as funds not stipulated for special purposes were not otherwise deemed for other purposes. The provided benefits were more especially once only and regular assistance for subsistence but also assistance for undergoing health treatment, pro-curement of household effects, building up an existence or for vocational training and the procurement of living quarters this which could be granted to some extent in the form of loans in such cases.

Regular assistance for subsistence could then be granted when the claimant was not in the position to earn his living by other income or from his own assets but however, to be considered in this case was that the assistance could be deemed only for the purpose of contributing to the costs of living. Unlike the pensions in accordance with the Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] the amount of regular assistance cannot be linked with civil servant salaries; as a consequence any adjustment to changed costs of living can only be granted individually upon application.

2) Hardship restitution in accordance with § 165 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG]:

Unlike the general hardship ruling under § 171 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] special hardship restitution in accordance with § 165 Federal German Restitu-tion Law [BEG] makes a legal claim possible for hardship restitution benefits for those groups of persons comprising stateless and refugees in the sense of the Ge-neva Convention and accordingly conform with Art. I Paragraph 14 of the Hague Treaty the aim of which was to create compensation for the limitation of the statutes period for claims filed by stateless people and refugees. According to this the perse-cuted person is to be granted reasonable compensation for hardship should the compensation granted to him not be adequate to cover his costs of living but with due consideration to his assets and other income.

The amount of the benefits has to be determined by the compensation authorities in accordance with compulsory measures. Such benefits could comprise either one-time payments or reoccurring payments. To be considered when determining same are more especially the personal and economic situation of the persecuted person.

To ensure the same treatment for all claimants so-called regulation amounts were determined for current hardship restitution benefits in accordance with § 165 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] and so-called regular benefits have been laid down and any deviation from which is only possible in the case of special circumstances. As a consequence single suffers from persecution become EURO 220.00 per month as a general rule; married persecuted couples receive 330.00 EURO per month. These regular amounts cannot be linked with the salaries of civil servants but are adjusted to the rising costs of living as and when necessary without an individual ap-plication having to be made.

3) Legal sequences in the case of the death of a recipient of regular hardship assistance:

Regular hardship restitution benefits, as maximum personal restitution benefits can-not be claimed by heirs and can stop upon the death of the beneficiary. There are no claims given to surviving persons to either the pension or assistance given under such benefits after the death of a recipient.

However, for the surviving spouse there is a special ruling applicable for assistance in accordance with § 165 Federal German Restitution Law [BEG] whereby such persons can be granted hardship restitution benefits to the amount of the sum valid for single persecuted persons should the partner fulfil the personal conditions for claims and these are determined – at least by interpretation - that the application was made by the deceased partner to the marriage at that time at least also for the surviving partner to the marriage.