Job centers are demanding almost 2.6 billion euros Hartz IV back
The authorities want more and more sums of money back from recipients of social benefits. There are two main reasons for this.
Dhe job centers initiated almost six million dunning procedures last year to reclaim Hartz IV benefits that had been paid too much. This emerges from a response from the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs to a request from the AfD parliamentary group. As the editorial network Germany (RND) reports, there were 5.7 million cases in which reminders were sent and a total of 2.59 billion euros in Hartz IV benefits were reclaimed. In the area of unemployment benefit I, there were 705,000 dunning procedures and reclaims totaling around 485 million euros.
The job centers ask those affected to refund their money in various cases. This can be the case if the income situation has improved through own income or if new people have joined the household and contribute to the common income. Even if benefits have been paid provisionally, they can be reclaimed if it turns out that there was no entitlement at all. According to the information, the federal government has no data on how many cases the dunning procedure ultimately turned into enforcement proceedings.
The number of procedures for reclaiming unemployment benefit I and Hartz IV benefits has barely increased in recent years. However, the sums claimed have increased significantly: from around 1.8 billion euros in 2015 to a good 3 billion euros in 2018.