Pension: Hardship fund for Eastern pensioners: More than 163,000 applications

More than 163,000 people have applied for the hardship fund for needy pensioners from the former GDR and the former Soviet Union.

Pension: Hardship fund for Eastern pensioners: More than 163,000 applications

More than 163,000 people have applied for the hardship fund for needy pensioners from the former GDR and the former Soviet Union. But so far only around 13,500 people in need have received money. The Federal Ministry of Social Affairs provided the figures at the request of the dpa shortly before the application deadline on January 31st. It involves one-off payments of at least 2,500 euros.

The fund is intended for people in need with certain pension entitlements from the GDR era that were not incorporated into the federal German system in 1991. This refers to additional pensions, for example for former employees of the Reichsbahn or Post Office, as well as claims for women who were divorced during the GDR era.

Late repatriates and so-called Jewish quota refugees from the former Soviet Union can also apply. The prerequisite for the one-off payment is need, i.e. a pension close to basic security.

When the fund was launched a year ago, the federal government assumed that there would be 180,000 to 190,000 people with legitimate claims, including 50,000 to 70,000 East German pensioners.

Of the applications processed, only just under 30 percent were approved

The ministry said 163,441 applications had been received by January 26, 2024. By then, 48,543 applications had been finally processed, but only 13,483 applications had been approved.

The federal government had budgeted 500 million euros for the fund, and the states were also able to participate. Then those in need from the respective federal state receive double the amount: 5,000 instead of 2,500 euros.

According to the Federal Ministry, around 35.7 million euros have been paid out so far. The ministry expects that there will be money left over, which will then go back to the state treasury: "Based on the applications currently received by the Hardship Fund Foundation office and not yet fully processed, the foundation's assets are unlikely to be exhausted," it said. There are no plans to extend the application deadline.

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