Article 2 Fund: Eligibility Guidelines

The Article 2 Fund is administered by the Claims Conference, but is governed by eligibility criteria established by the German government. The Claims Conference encourages people who think that they may have a claim to apply. If you have any questions concerning your eligibility, please contact your local Claims Conference office.

Under this program, eligible applicants receive monthly payments of €336, paid in quarterly installments.

Eligibility under the Article 2 Fund is limited to Jewish Nazi victims who were persecuted as Jews and who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Were incarcerated in a concentration camp* or labor battalion during specific time periods as defined by the German Ministry of Finance on its website. ; or
  • Were imprisoned for at least 3 months in a ghetto as defined by the German Ministry of Finance; or
  • Were imprisoned for at least 3 months in certain “open ghettos” as defined by the German Ministry of Finance; or
  • Were in hiding for at least 4 months, under inhumane conditions, without access to the outside world in German Nazi occupied territory or Nazi satellite states (Nazi instigation); or
  • Lived illegally under false identity or with false papers for at least 4 months under inhumane conditions in German Nazi occupied territory or Nazi satellite states (Nazi instigation); or
  • Were a fetus during time that their mother suffered persecution as described above.

The German government and the Claims Conference have agreed that applications from Holocaust survivors who were in a concentration camp or a camp or labor battalion recognized by the German Ministry of Finance (see above), for a period of time less than 3 months, and do not receive an ongoing pension from the BEG, German Länderhärtefonds, Berlin PRVG, Austrian OpferfürsorgG, Israeli Ministry of Finance, Article 2 Fund or the Central and Eastern European Fund (CEEF), will be submitted by the Claims Conference for review by the Ministry of Finance to see whether those cases are cases of special hardship. Such survivors should contact the Claims Conference.

Other Eligibility Requirements

Geography

The Article 2 pension is available for all residents residing outside former communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Residents of either of these regions may be eligible for the Central and Eastern European Fund (“CEEF”).

Previous Compensation

If you receive a pension from one of the following programs, you are NOT eligible for an Article 2 pension:

  • The German Federal Indemnification Law (BEG); or
  • A Pension From the Israeli Ministry of Finance Under the Israeli Nazi Persecutions Disabled Persons Law 5717-1957; or
  • The Austrian Law Regarding Relief for Victims (OFG); or
  • The Law on Recognizing and Supporting People Persecuted by the Nazis For Political, Racial or Religious Reasons (PrVG); or
  • The Pension for Victims of the Nazi Regime in the Former GDR (VDN); or
  • The Central and Eastern European Fund (CEEF).

Income and Assets

The Article 2 pension is subject to income and asset limits set by the German government. The table below shows the current income limits and asset limits in USD, EUR, ILS, AUD and CAD. The limits for each currency are set by the German government according to a special exchange rate process, and do not necessarily reflect current exchange rates. For all other currencies not listed below, please see the Income and Asset Limits in Other Countries.

Currency Annual Income Limit Asset Limit
US Dollar (USD) $25,000 $500,000
Euro (EUR) € 21,079 € 422,205
Israeli Shekel (ILS) ₪114,816 ₪2,297,350
Australian Dollar (AUD) $34,201 $685,130
Canadian Dollar (CAD) $29,103 $583,010

When calculating whether the income limit has been met, the following criteria apply:

  • Only the net income after taxes should be taken into account.
  • Only the income of the applicant shall be taken into account (NOT the income of his/her spouse).
  • When determining whether the income limit is met, the following are also not considered income: governmental pensions, retirement plan payments (401(k)), company or employment pensions, disability or life insurance pensions.
    Full list of payments and pensions that do not count towards income.

Assets include, among other items, cash in the bank, the value of stocks and/or shares, any property the applicant owns, and the paid-up value of any life insurance policies. When calculating whether the asset limit has been met, the following criteria apply:

  • Only “net assets” are relevant, that is, any debts, mortgages or annual taxes on or related to a particular property should be deducted in determining its net asset value.
  • The value of the property in which an applicant resides should not be included as part of the assets calculation.
  • If an asset is jointly owned, only the value of the asset the applicant owns is relevant. For example, if an asset is jointly owned by an applicant and her or his spouse, the applicant should include only half the value of the asset.

Important Note: All applicants are urged to check the Claims Conference website regularly as amendments to the criteria and clarifications are posted as they become available.