Employment offices and employment agencies rely on your cooperation and reliability in paying citizens' money and other financial aid to Ukrainian refugees; Otherwise, many things will go wrong, as a case from Schleswig-Holstein shows.

Shortly after the outbreak of war in Ukraine in the spring of 2022, a mother and her son stayed there with a host family. The host mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, accompanied the two on official visits. The citizen's money ran out immediately and soon a daycare center and soon an apartment became available, she reports.

A few months later, the husband also moved to Schleswig-Holstein and the family was expecting a second child. When she was born, the four of them received state benefits of around 3,200 euros per month, which consisted of citizens' money, rent subsidies and heating subsidies.

40,000 euros of citizen money, even though the family lived in Ukraine

In early 2023, when it became clear that the war would last a long time, but that western Ukraine had been relatively spared until then, the Ukrainian family initially decided to return to their homeland. But with the arrival of winter 2023, they had to return to Schleswig-Holstein.

The firstborn, who is now six years old, did not need a daycare, but a school. The Ukrainians again turned to their former foster mother, but when they tried to enroll them in school, it turned out that the family had continued to receive support from Germany during their almost year-long absence.

Around 40,000 euros were spent, although the four did not live as refugees in Germany, but among compatriots in their homeland.

German foster mother feels “exploited”, employment office wants to investigate fraud

The host mother, angry, has stopped supporting her. She feels “exploited” and she wants to know that the case is not an exception, but is circulating among Ukrainian refugees as advice on how to get money. The responsible employment office of the district is trying to clarify the matter.

No one wants to talk because the fact that one side has taken advantage of the other and the other has also lost control makes everyone nervous.

Only at the employment office does the foster mother discover that it is often “extremely difficult” to determine the whereabouts of Ukrainians. And that there is no automatic comparison between the daycare or school and the authorities that pay citizens' money.

That's why no one at the employment office found out that the Ukrainian's son had not gone to kindergarten for almost a year.

The Federal Employment Agency confirms that it is possible to exploit the system in this way

The Federal Employment Agency, responsible for financial support for Ukrainian refugees, is not aware of the specific case, but confirms that it is possible to exploit the system in this way.

A spokeswoman clarifies that Ukrainian refugees are regularly invited to the employment office, like any other person entitled to benefits. But: “The employment offices decide on the spot the specific interval at their discretion.”

Is there an exchange between nurseries and schools, on the one hand, and funding bodies, on the other, to check children's attendance? The answer is, as a general rule, no, as this must be done as part of care.

The fact that this has not happened in Schleswig-Holstein is due to the total overload of the employment offices. Currently, around 700,000 Ukrainian refugees receive citizenship benefits in Germany. Local employment offices and employment agencies were not prepared for this avalanche. The authorities' supervisors are overwhelmed.

It is not possible to have an overview of the financial circumstances of Ukrainian applicants.

For example, it is not possible to obtain an overview of the financial situation of Ukrainian applicants.

It is common for recipients of German citizen benefits to disclose their financial circumstances when applying for citizen benefits. They are not allowed to have more than 40,000 euros, otherwise there is nothing.

This test is requested of Ukrainians, but “it is not really possible,” reports Steffi Ebert, director of the employment office in Schmalkalden-Meiningen, Thuringia.

“Income and assets are controlled according to legal regulations. This requires the information provided by the applicant. The evidence is verified. However, we can only take income and assets in the country of origin as a basis if so indicated.” An inspection abroad? In Ukraine? None.

The original of this article “A Ukrainian family lived in their homeland and received 40,000 euros in money from citizens” comes from The European.