During the process of applying for asylum

In order to receive financial support, you need to register at the ZEA (Zentrale Erstaufnahme, Central Initial Reception Centre), Harburger Poststraße 1 or Bargkoppelstieg, open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 8 am - 3 pm and Friday 8 am - 2 pm. You must register here and provide your fingerprints on your first visit. From this date onwards (and even retroactively), you will receive financial support.

While receiving financial support, you must remain available at all times and always have your valid residency permit with you when you visit the authorities. If you lose your BÜMA (Certificate Confirming Asylum Seeker Status) please visit Harburger Poststraße 1 or Bargkoppelstieg. If you lose your Aufenthaltsgestattung (temporary residence permit) or your Duldung (temporary suspension of deportation), please go to the Ausländerbehörde (Immigration Services), located at Amsinckstraße 28.

Accommodation and food
Your accommodation (ZEA) will provide a package which contains bed linen, sanitary products and clothes, as well as breakfast, lunch and an evening meal. For special nutritional needs, please get in touch with the social management team at your accommodation. As a resident at a ZEA, you will also be given a HVV travel ticket for all public transport in Hamburg.

You will get your allowance once a month. It may take several weeks from the date of your arrival until the first payment can be made. The first point of contact for any questions regarding this is the social management team at your accommodation. They will be able to tell you about the consultation hours for the Innenbehörde (Ministry of the Interior) offices in your district and can arrange appointments if needed. The Innenbehörde may also invite you directly to attend an appointment. Do not miss any appointments!
For families, only one person can receive the allowance for all members of a family. Young people over the age of 16 may request to have their allowance paid directly to them. As a general rule, everyone over the age of 18 receives their own allowance.

You can ask your social management team for the address of your “Zahlstelle” or “Kasse” (pay desk) from your social management team. In individual cases, this money may also be paid out at the accommodation itself. You will always need to present your valid BÜMA, Aufenthaltsgestattung or Duldung and your Leistungsbescheid (Benefits Entitlement) at the pay desk.

Bank account
Once you have made an official application for asylum at the BAMF and have received an Aufenthaltsgestattung, you can open an account at any bank you choose and then change the payment method.

Moving accommodation during the asylum procedure
If, due to special circumstances, you move from the ZEA into a Folgeunterkunft (secondary accommodation) or private apartment during the asylum procedure, another district office will be responsible for you. You will receive slightly more money, but will have to provide food for yourself and pay your rent independently. You can find the address of the relevant office here: www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/ by searching for “Grundsicherungs- und Sozialleistungen” followed by your new address.
You must present your Mutterpass (pregnancy record booklet) from your doctor to the social management team at your accommodation in order to receive vouchers for special things needed during pregnancy. You can choose which shop to spend these vouchers in. However, a voucher is only valid in a single shop.
Upon completion of the asylum process

Positive decision
Take the papers notifying you of the recognition of your status as a refugee to the Innenbehörde offices in your district as quickly as possible and ask for your asylum seeker benefits to be stopped. You should also hand in your AOK health insurance card. From the beginning of the next month the Jobcenter team.arbeit.hamburg is responsible for providing you with support.

You can find the address of your local Jobcenter here: www.hamburg.de/behoerdenfinder/. Search for “Arbeitslosengeld II, für Personen über 25 Jahre” (if you are over 25) or “Arbeitslosengeld II, für Personen unter 25 Jahre” (if you are under 25) and then enter your address. You will need the following documents for your registration:
  • the “Einstellungsbescheid” (order to stop benefits)
  • the papers from the BAMF notifying you of the recognition of your refugee status
  • your Aufenthaltsgestattung or your electronic residence permit (eAT)
You will receive help filling in the application form to receive Arbeitslosengeld II (unemployment benefit). During this process, you must also choose a new health insurance scheme. Maternity/paternity pay and child benefits must be applied for separately.

Application for asylum is declined
You will receive a Duldung, valid for a limited period of time. You continue to be entitled to the same amount of monthly allowance until your voluntary departure or deportation. In some cases, a starting allowance may be awarded to help with the costs of returning to your home country.

The Ausländerbehörde, Amsinckstraße 28 will give you a special appointment for receiving this payment.

Legal advice

For legal questions about your entitlement to benefits, payments already made or if you wish to protest any rulings, please contact:

Öffentliche Rechtsauskunft (ÖRA)
Dammtorstraße 14, +49 40 428433072, only by appointment, by phone: Monday to Friday 7 am to 7 pm, www.hamburg.de/oera/

For further information, legal advice may be recommended to you there. You can also consult any lawyer directly, however, this will usually result in higher costs.

Last Updated: 12.06.2016

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