GENERICO.ruEconomicsIn Hamburg, refugees began to be given special cards instead of money

In Hamburg, refugees began to be given special cards instead of money

Asylum seekers left without cash for the first time

Hamburg has become the first German state to introduce payment cards for asylum seekers. The cards will initially be issued to newly arrived refugees at initial reception centers, the city's Department of Social Welfare announced. According to German media reports, this is a pilot project for the nationwide introduction of such a payment card.

Asylum seekers left without cash for the first time

Pilot projects similar to the Hamburg “social card” are already being implemented in several German states. Asylum seekers in the city will now be able to receive their social benefits using a debit card. This is the first time this practice has been used in the country. It is noted that the card cannot be used online or abroad.

Newly arrived refugees eligible for social benefits in Hamburg will now receive a special prepaid card called a “social card”. Benefit recipients will no longer have to visit government agencies or cash registers.

Each adult will receive a monthly transfer of 185 euros to the card, which can be used to purchase and pay for everyday goods. Benefits for children will also be credited to the parent's card.

We would like to remind you that such measures were decided to be introduced in November after the German chancellors decided to introduce a payment card for asylum seekers.

At the end of January 2024, 14 of Germany's 16 federal states, including Hamburg, agreed on a joint format for introducing such a card. The two remaining states, Bavaria and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, also intend to introduce a migrant card, but will follow their own standards. The move is partly aimed at preventing refugees from transferring welfare benefits to relatives or friends in their home country, an issue that has been raised by some German politicians. It also aims to optimize the distribution of benefits and reduce the administrative burden on local authorities.

«Social card» can be used at all stores and service providers that accept card payments. It can also be used via a mobile phone application. However, it cannot be used to pay for purchases abroad or in online stores.

In addition, with a debit card, cash withdrawals of up to 50 euros per month per adult plus 10 euros per child are possible.

Pilot projects similar to the Hamburg “social card” are already being implemented at the municipal level in several German states. But according to the Hamburg Senate, nationwide implementation is not expected until summer 2024.

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