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Authorities had no information: Ukrainian family resided in their home country and received 40,000 Euros of citizen’s benefits

When it comes to the disbursement of citizen’s benefits and other financial aid for Ukrainian refugees, job centers and employment agencies rely on their cooperation and trustworthiness; otherwise, many things can go wrong, as a case from Schleswig-Holstein now demonstrates.

Shortly after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in the spring of 2022, a mother and her son found shelter with a host family. The host mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, accompanied them to authorities. According to her, the citizen’s benefits were promptly provided, a daycare place and soon an apartment were available.

A few months later, the husband also moved to Schleswig-Holstein. The family was expecting a second child. When the child was born, the four received state benefits totaling around 3200 Euros per month, consisting of citizen’s benefits, rent subsidy, and heating cost assistance.

40,000 Euros of citizen’s benefits, even though the family lived in Ukraine

In early 2023, as it became apparent that the war would last a long time, but Western Ukraine had been relatively spared until then, the Ukrainian family initially decided to return to their homeland. However, with the onset of winter in 2023, they commuted back to Schleswig-Holstein.

The now six-year-old firstborn needed not a daycare place, but a spot in school. Once again, the Ukrainians turned to the former host mother, but the attempt to enroll in school revealed that the family had continued to receive support from Germany during their almost one-year absence.

Around 40,000 Euros had been disbursed, although the four had been living in their homeland, not as refugees in Germany.

German host mother feels “exploited”; job center aims to uncover fraud

The host mother has since indignantly withdrawn her support. She feels “exploited” and claims to have heard that the case is not an exception, but rather a tip circulating among Ukrainian refugees on how to obtain money. The responsible job center in the district is trying to clarify the matter.

No one wants to discuss it, as the fact that one side exploited the other, but the other also lost control, makes everyone nervous.

Only at the job center does the host mother learn that it is often “extremely difficult” to determine the whereabouts of the Ukrainians. And that an automatic check between daycare or school and the authorities disbursing citizen’s benefits is not provided for.

Therefore, no one at the job center knew that the Ukrainian child was not in daycare for almost a year.

Federal Employment Agency confirms that it is possible to exploit the system

The Federal Employment Agency, responsible for the financial support of Ukrainian refugees, is not familiar with the specific case, but confirms that it is possible to exploit the system in this way.

Ukrainian refugees, like all other eligible recipients, are regularly invited to the job center, a spokeswoman clarifies. However, “the job centers decide on the specific interval at their own discretion on-site”.

Is there an exchange between daycares and schools on one side and the funding bodies on the other to verify the presence of children? Typically not, according to the response, as this should take place within the framework of care.

That this did not happen in Schleswig-Holstein is due to the complete overload of the job centers. Currently, around 700,000 Ukrainian refugees receive citizen’s benefits in Germany. The job centers and employment agencies were not prepared for this onslaught.

Nicht ausreichend vor Ort vorbereitet sind. Die Betreuer in den Behörden sind überfordert.

Überblick über Vermögensverhältnisse ukrainischer Antragsteller nicht möglich

Es ist beispielsweise unmöglich, sich einen Einblick in die Vermögensverhältnisse der ukrainischen Antragsteller zu verschaffen.

Deutsche Bürger, die Bürgergeld erhalten, müssen normalerweise ihre Vermögensverhältnisse offenlegen, und sie dürfen nicht mehr als 40.000 Euro besitzen.

Bei Ukrainern wird dieser Nachweis zwar verlangt, aber eine Kontrolle ist “praktisch nicht möglich”, sagt Steffi Ebert, die Leiterin des Job-Centers im thüringischen Schmalkalden-Meiningen.

„Einkommen und Vermögen werden gemäß den gesetzlichen Bestimmungen geprüft. Dazu sind die Angaben der Antragstellenden erforderlich. Nachweise werden überprüft. Einkommen und Vermögen im Heimatland können wir allerdings nur berücksichtigen, wenn dies angegeben wird.“ Eine Nachprüfung im Ausland? In der Ukraine? Fehlanzeige.

Das Original zu diesem Beitrag “Ukrainische Familie lebte in der Heimat und kassierte 40.000 Euro Bürgergeld” stammt von The European.

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