Germany's highest court says benefits for asylum seekers, unchanged in 19 years, too low

The Associated Press
Associated Press

BERLIN - Germany's highest court has ruled that the benefits the country pays to asylum seekers, which haven't been changed in nearly two decades, are too low and called for a substantial increase.

The Federal constitutional Court ruled Wednesday that the money paid to immigrants awaiting asylum decisions is "evidently insufficient" to satisfy legal requirements for people to live at a "humane subsistence level."

Adult asylum seekers receive some €224 ($275) per month plus free housing and basic healthcare. That figure hasn't changed since 1993 — despite a roughly 30 per cent increase in prices — and compares with the €374 per month that the long-term unemployed currently receive in Germany.

The court ordered the government to produce new legislation providing for substantially higher benefits. It put the figure at €336 per month.