According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of people dependent on social assistance dropped in 2017 and, in particular, the number of recipients under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act declined sharply.
The number of people in Germany who depend on minimum social assistance (Sozialhilfe) has fallen. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden on Friday (20 October), around 7.6 million people received minimum social benefits at the end of 2017. That was 3.5 percent less than at the end of 2016.
The share of social assistance recipients in the population at the end of 2017 was 9.2 percent, the second successive year in which it will decline. At the end of 2016, just under 7.9 million people, or 9.5 percent of the population, received social security benefits.
At the end of 2017, almost 1.1 million people across Germany received basic support for people in old age with reduced earning capacity, 3.2 percent more than in the previous year. About 5.9 million people received basic security benefits for job-seekers or Hartz IV (down by 0.7 percent).
Standard benefits under the Asylum-Seekers Benefits Act were received by around 468,000 people. This corresponds to a decrease of 35.7 percent. As in the previous year, this was due in particular to the high number of completed or decided asylum procedures, the Federal Office said. The affected then no longer receive asylum-seeker benefits.
According to the Social Code, anyone living in Germany who falls on hard times should still be allowed to live in human dignity. Almost all social assistance benefits are legal entitlements. Anyone in need receives help which is tailored to their needs and takes their personal and financial circumstances into account.