In the next episode of the RTZ-Zwei documentary “Poor Germany: Stamp or Job” the life of Chris, a beneficiary of Duisburg social benefits, is shown. As “Der Westen” reports, Chris earned 2,700 euros in one month through an illegal trick.

“Yeah… Yeah, sure, I got double that,” Chris says. He simply accepted a full-time job, but “annoyingly forgot” to inform the employment center about it.

Chris ignores office appointments if they take place before nine.

But even after realizing the fraud, he did nothing about it. Instead, he went to the employment office to find out where his money was, Chris says.

The fact that he had previously missed several office appointments because seven or eight was “too early” did not stop him from demanding his money.

Chris is not a representative.

While Chris supposedly makes his way in life, most recipients of citizen benefits have other concerns. According to data from the Labor Market and Vocational Training Research Institute (IAB), the frequency of refusal to work among social assistance recipients has decreased continuously since 2007.

In 2007, cuts were made in 183,430 cases due to refusal to work. In 2019 there were only 92,891. In the Corona year 2020, the number even fell to 18,392; However, due to Corona restrictions, fewer appointments were made in person, so the data cannot be easily compared with other years. In 2021, 52,000 cases were registered.

For the years 2022 and 2023 only fragmentary data is available so far, as there was a moratorium on sanctions until the full introduction of citizens' money on July 1, 2022. During this time there were very few benefit reductions because otherwise the administration would have been overloaded.

Often several cases belong to a single person.

As Merkur reports, many critics of citizen benefits make the mistake of equating cases of refusal to work with cases of citizen benefit recipients refusing to work.

In fact, these are often repeat offenders, so a large number of benefit reductions for refusal to work can be attributed to a single person.

In any case: the absolute figures speak against the prejudice of the lazy recipient of citizens' money. Of the 3.9 million beneficiaries of citizen benefits in 2023, 1.9 million will not be able to work.

Compared to the other 2 million recipients of citizen benefits, the number of cases of refusal to work – for example 52,000 in 2021 or 92,891 in 2007 – is very low: 2.6 or 4.6 percent.

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