1. Acknowledgement of receipt „Empfangsbestätigung“
Over and over we hear and experience that people hand in papers, requests and applications (i.e. follow-up application) at the Jobcenter. Anyway the Jobcenter tells us, that they cannot find the papers. What can we do? Best is to hand in everything in copy and ask Jobcenter to stamp it and put a date on it.
2. Agreement on integration „Eingliederungsvereinbarung“
If you apply for Jobcenter money, you directly get a so-called „Eingliederungsvereinbarung“ (EGV). This is a contract which fixes your obligations and rights in contact with Jobcenter. What is interesting is, that Jobcenter can cut your money, if you do not stick to the rules „agreed“ on in this. Further often measures are mentioned in there, which are to your disadvantage, as 1€-Jobs or application-trainings. You do not have to sign the „Eingliederungsvereinbarung“ directly. Even though the placement officer („Arbeitsvermittler“) tries to push you to signing it, you have the right to take this contract home and talk to a counselling place about it. Just if you refuse completly to sign in, they can give it to you as an administrative decision. Anyway this is not so bad. Contrary it is better because we can file an objection then.
If a decision of Jobcenter is wrong (to little money, refusal of moving etc.), you can file an objection or appeal to court. Before you can try to talk to other officials in Jobcenter i.e. team-bosses or complaints-point to make some pressure and find a solution faster. But be careful: Don’t wait to long. Better appeal to court in short time using „urgent complaint“ (Eilklage). In the case of successfull negotiations you can withdraw your objection. Objections always have to stick to deadlines. This deadlines you can find on your letters from Jobcenter.
4. Only go together to Jobcenter!
If you have to go to Jobcenter, it’s best to take some companionship with you. The person accompanying you is important, because it is possible that the officials in Jobcenter act differently when confronted with two or more people. Also your companionship can testify if discriminative or offensive behaviour took place. We often experience that the Jobcenter acts differentely. To accompany another person you do not need to be professional in knowing the social law but just know some basics for going together. Basta! Sometimes offers workshops for doing the companionship.
5. Right to living also for poor people – We do not move!
Now and then, people are requested to decrease their rent. The Jobcenter sends a letter saying that you reached the level of rent possible in Berlin. This demand note also claims that you should find a cheaper flat within the next 6 months. Or you can negotiate with your landlord to decrease the rent. If you cannot find a flat and the landlord of course sticks to the high renting costs, Jobcenter wants to cut the money for rent after 6 months. The levels of renting costs for Berlin can be found in WAV. But this WAV rules are stated as invalid by the social court. This means, that you can get a higher rent when making an appeal to social court. The WAV you can find here and see the prices for renting and heating costs: http://www.berlin.de/sen/soziales/berliner-sozialrecht/land/rv/wav.html
The fear of losing the flat and common environment causes a lot of insecurity for people also concerning their rights and needs in Jobcenter.
The legal fight – appeal to court – doesn’t substitute the political one. If you have increasing rent or modernisation announcements, do not sign anything and talk to your neigbours and go to a counselling place!
If you want or have to move in the end, all costs necessary can be given by Jobcenter i.e. car for moving, renovation and cartons).