Recipients of unemployment benefit II (ALG II, “Hartz IV”) must report an immediate bonus paid out by their new energy provider to the job center as income. That decided that Bundessozialgericht (BSG) in Kassel recently. This means that the man has to be prepared for a one-off reduction in state aid.
Hartz IV recipients wanted to lower their electricity costs by switching provider
The judges pronounced their verdict in a procedure that a married Hartz IV recipient from the Märkisches Kreis had tried. The website “gegen-hartz.de” reported about it first. Because the man has to pay his electricity costs from the so-called control reserve, he wanted to reduce his costs by changing the electricity provider. The new energy supplier rewarded the change and paid the Hartz IV recipient an immediate bonus of 242 euros.
Job center reduced Hartz IV reference
The job center contacted the man and determined: The bonus was to be assessed as income and had to be largely offset against the Hartz IV benefit.
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The Hartz IV recipients then moved to the Dortmund Social Court. The judges rejected his complaint, but allowed the jump revision to the BSG. But the top social judges also agreed with the job center.
The reason: The instant bonus is an amount of money that the plaintiff was free to use (Ref .: B 4 AS 14/20 R). Therefore, the judges said that the instant bonus would generate income to be taken into account.
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