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Reductions in benefits for asylum seekers in collective accommodation unconstitutional

The across-the-board reduction in benefits for single asylum seekers who live in shared accommodation violates the fundamental right to a decent subsistence level.

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Reductions in benefits for asylum seekers in collective accommodation unconstitutional

The across-the-board reduction in benefits for single asylum seekers who live in shared accommodation violates the fundamental right to a decent subsistence level. The legislature cannot simply assume that these people need less money than if they lived alone, the Federal Constitutional Court said on Thursday in Karlsruhe.

Since September 2019, those affected had received ten percent fewer living expenses than single asylum seekers in their own apartment - currently 330 instead of 367 euros, just as much as people in a marriage or cohabitation. (Az. 1 BvL 3/21)

A man from Sri Lanka who lives in communal accommodation in North Rhine-Westphalia complained to the social court in Düsseldorf. He argued that he did not cook or do housework with the other residents and therefore did not save any money. The Social Court held the regulation itself to be unconstitutional. It therefore suspended the proceedings and obtained the opinion of the Federal Constitutional Court.

This now explained that it was not apparent that savings could actually be made regularly in collective accommodation because the residents worked together. Benefit notifications that are not yet final must therefore be recalculated retrospectively from September 2019.

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