Update on Germany’s Ghetto Pension

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This post is for historical informational purposes only. Please do not refer to this post for information pertaining to current Claims Conference programs. Visit What We Do for current program guidelines and information. Thank you.

March 14, 2007

The Claims Conference has been holding meetings with German officials regarding the Ghetto Pension issue. The Claims Conference highlighted the massive rejection rate arising out of the 2002 legislation (61,000 denials out of 70,000 applications). We are pressing the issue very strongly with the German government. Updates will be posted on this website.

Background on the subject follows:

Since 1997, the German government has been awarding old age pensions to Holocaust survivors based upon work performed for some form of remuneration in Polish ghettos similar to Lodz during World War II. In 2002 Germany enacted supplemental legislation covering this wartime situation. This is the pension commonly known as the Ghetto Pension, or ZRBG in its German acronym.

Since enactment of the new law, the Claims Conference in conjunction with U.S. and Israeli officials has been actively engaged in pressing the German authorities to resolve certain problems in the implementation of this pension. The Claims Conference has also held regular meetings with parliamentarians from the different parties in the German Bundestag to brief them on the issues involved.

Our efforts to ensure that this legislation and other German social insurance programs may benefit as many survivors as possible are ongoing.

The Claims Conference is not involved in the administration, implementation or processing of social insurance pensions for the German government or its social security institutions.

Please see “Overview on German Pensions for Work in Ghettos” for more information.

Other programs of relevance to Holocaust survivors within the German Social Insurance system may be found under “Overview on Payments for Child Rearing.”

The information presented herein is intended for information purposes only and solely as a general guide. The information is not intended as legal advice. It is a summary of specific issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the programs and policies of the agencies mentioned. The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individual situations differ and recipients are urged to seek individual advice. Individuals seeking specific information on a program are urged to contact the relevant program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. To the best of our knowledge the information is correct as of the date of this document and this information may change subsequent to the said date: March 2007