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The amount of benefits and assistance to refugees in Germany - how much are refugees paid in Germany and other European countries?

On this page you will find out what benefits and in what amount the asylum seekers (refugees) in Germany receive, as well as find a comparative table of the benefits amount for refugees in Europe. See information on obtaining a refugee status on an individual page of our website.


§ Assistance and various welfare transfers to refugees by the government in Germany

Germany is a country with a highly developed social system. Asylbewerber asylum seekers and Asylberechtigte - persons, who have received the status of refugees, as well as citizens of the country, have various statutory rights to receive financial support and various benefits. The main law governing the provision of material support to refugees in Germany is called Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz (AsylbLG). The following main types of assistance and financial support are provided to refugees in Germany:

§ Pocket money, support and subsidies in refugee camps (Grundleistungen)

In-kind benefits, free services in refugee camps

Asylum seekers in Germany, after registering in a refugee camp, are entitled to cover the necessary needs for food, housing, heating, clothing, personal hygiene and various household items. All these needs can be met in the refugee camp or the camps provide support. This assistance can be rendered in the form of providing the things they need for permanent use or rent, or in the form of commodity coupons for their purchase.

In addition, if necessary, and at the request of refugees, the state provides financial or material support to pregnant women, at the birth of a child, assistance to people with severe diseases and disabilities, as well as to children and youth for the purchase of school supplies, travel to study and in some other cases.

A monthly out-of-pocket expenses amount (notwendiger persönlicher Bedarf) for a single adult in a refugee camp in Germany: EUR 153

Pocket money in refugee camps

In addition to in-kind payments, refugees living in camps or refugee centers receive from the state pocket money for daily necessities (Bargeldbedarf, Taschengeld). This money is provided for personal needs, for travel, participation in the cultural life of the society, spending free time, etc.

The amount of pocket money for daily needs is defined in Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz §3 with changes in amounts since 2020.

Table 1: Pocket money (notwendiger persönlicher Bedarf) paid to refugees in refugee camps (as of 2020)

Life situation Benefit amount, in euros Benefit amount, in US dollars *
Single 153.00 178.32
Cohabiting spouses, partners 139.00 162.00
Adults without their own housing (living with family or in hospital) 122.00 142.19
Youth, from 14 to 17 years old 80.00 93.24
Children from 6 to 13 years old 99.00 115.38
Children under 5 years old 86.00 100.23

§ Benefits for refugees living outside refugee camps in Germany

Refugees living outside refugee camps, in lieu of in-kind payments, are paid subsistence allowances and pocket money (notwendiger Bedarf + notwendiger persönlicher Bedarf). The amounts of these payments are defined in Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz §3, with changes in amounts since 2020.

A monthly allowance for needs and out-of-pocket expenses (notwendiger Bedarf + notwendiger persönlicher Bedarf) for a single adult outside a refugee camp in Germany: EUR 351.00

Table 2: Benefits (for basic necessities and out-of-pocket expenses combined) paid to refugees living outside refugee camps

Life situation Benefit amount, in euros Benefit amount, in US dollars *
Single 351.00 409.09
Cohabiting spouses, partners 316.00 368.30
Adults without their own housing (living with family or in hospital) 280.00 326.34
Youth, from 14 to 17 years old 280.00 326.34
Children from 6 to 13 years old 273.00 318.18
Children under 5 years old 218.00 254.08

In addition to the subsistence allowance, refugees are paid the cost of rent and heating, as well as a one-off allowance for household items and furniture.

After 15 months of stay in Germany refugees begin to receive social assistance: the amount of social assistance, of basic allowance in Germany

§ The amount of benefits to refugees in Europe

Different countries in Europe pay different amounts of refugee benefits. The table below shows the amounts received by refugees in refugee camps, centers per adult. These amounts may significantly vary depending on the number of people living together, age and other conditions. Full data can be obtained on the website of the Asylum Information Database, see the link in the Useful Links section, below on the page, or by clicking on the name of the country in the table, thus moving on to a detailed description.

Table 3: Allowance in refugee camps in Europe, per adult per month

Country Pocket money, in euros Benefit amount (1), in euros Benefit amount (2), in euros
Austria 40.00 215.00 365.00
Belgium 32.00 244.00 940.00
Germany 153.00 198.00 351.00
Greece - 90.00 -
Spain 52.00 - -
Italy 75.00 - -
France - 204.00 -
Sweden 69.00 204.00 -

§ Assistance to refugees from various organizations in Germany

In addition to the government agencies responsible for helping refugees, various charitable organizations in Germany also provide assistance and support to refugees. These include the following organizations:

DRK - German Red Cross Engaged in accommodation, material support and counseling of refugees, as well as other assistance projects. Read more...
Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V. - humanitarian non-governmental organization Assistance in professional integration, language courses, employment for refugees. Read more...
Aktion Deutschland Hilft - An alliance of German relief organizations Consultations and various support for refugees: language courses, leisure, employment, etc. Read more...
Brot für die Welt - Church relief organization Refugee assistance organization. Read more...
Other organizations
  • Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO)
  • ADRA Deutschland e.V.
  • CARE Deutschland-Luxemburg e.V.
  • Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe
  • Malteser Hilfsdienst
  • Islamic Relief
  • World Vision Deutschland
  • Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle der Juden in Deutschland
  • Paritätischer Gesamtverband
  • arche noVa
  • Freunde der Erziehungskunst
  • HelpAge
  • LandsAid
  • SODI

Footnotes:

* The EUR exchange rate in the tables is taken as of 19 october 2021 and amounts to 1.17 USD or 0.84 GBP at the European Central Bank exchange rate. The EUR, USD and GBR exchange rates in Germany


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