Hartz IV becomes citizens’ allowance: The traffic light coalition wants to get away from the old system of basic security. Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil (SPD) is proposing a new regulation that will leave benefit recipients more of their previous acquis – and rely on trust between benefit recipients and job centers.

The so-called citizen money planned by the traffic light is to be linked to less strict conditions than the previous Hartz IV. Federal Minister of Social Affairs Hubertus Heil (SPD) presented details on Wednesday in Berlin. A corresponding draft law from his house to replace Hartz IV with citizen income in the coming year is therefore ready and will now first be voted on within the government. According to the minister, the law will come into force on January 1st. The Bundestag and Bundesrat must agree beforehand.

Heil is determined to push through an increase – he has in mind an increase of around 40 to 50 euros. His argument: the current system of calculation lags behind the galloping inflation. So far, however, he has encountered resistance from the FDP. The minister wants to set the exact amount on the basis of calculations that are not yet available.

Heil’s draft stipulates that job seekers conclude a cooperation plan with the job centers. At the beginning there is a six-month “trust period” during which those affected are not threatened with any cuts in benefits.

That changes after the six months. Then there is a risk of cuts in benefits – for example if the recipient of the citizen’s allowance does not apply for an offered position. However, there will be strict limits: unlike in the past, the cuts should not be higher for young people than for older people, and cuts in the cost of accommodation are also excluded. Heil follows the guidelines of the Federal Constitutional Court.

The so-called switching priority does not apply. So far, the vocational training of an unemployed person has often failed because he primarily has to accept a temporary job. Incentives for further training are also introduced. The existing further training bonus will be given an unlimited period of time, and a monthly further training allowance of 150 euros will also be paid.

In the first two years, the job centers do not check whether an apartment is appropriate. People who are unemployed and have to look for a new job shouldn’t also have to worry about their apartment, is Heil’s reasoning.

In the first 24 months, benefits are granted if there is no “significant wealth”. Here the limit of 60,000 euros applies to the actual beneficiary and 30,000 euros for each additional person in the benefit community.

The long-term savings are increased to 15,000 euros. In addition, it is no longer checked whether one’s own car or one’s own apartment is appropriate.

The allowances for income from school and student jobs and for trainees increase to 520 euros.

Yes, but there is a minimum limit of 50 euros. Only when higher amounts are involved do the job centers demand back money that the beneficiary received wrongly.

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