Citizens receiving Bürgergeld are often asked to sign waivers by employment offices. These waivers often contain clauses that can deny citizens the services to which they are entitled.
A waiver is a written statement in which a beneficiary explicitly renounces social assistance to which he or she is entitled. Under Section §46 Abs1 SGB I, this renunciation is valid and legal. However, it should be noted that this waiver may have serious long-term consequences.
Let’s take an example of a fair-sounding rule. Let’s assume that a beneficiary has been offered a new job, which increases his monthly income by 150 euros from his previous entitlement.
“Congratulations on getting a new job! Now you don’t need our financial support, our wishes come true please, sign here, it will be a guarantee to save you time and effort in preparing papers as well as in avoiding possible problems with our payments…”
Thus, the individual signed the waiver and waived his right to receive additional support of at least 150 euros.
You can also find out more about the different types of cost of living assistance in Germany and who is eligible.
It is important to note that a waiver is not effective for any person receiving social assistance. If it is signed in error, it becomes invalid under section §46 Abs2 SGB I, and the individual’s legitimate rights remain protected. Therefore, no one should sign a waiver without careful thought and consideration.
But why should you avoid signing a waiver?
First and foremost, you will lose your legal rights.
You may be denied social support that you are entitled to based on your income, and you may face financial problems and payment disputes later, and you may be required to pay money to the public office based on a waiver declaration.
If you are asked to sign a waiver, it is important to refuse and seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer or a social association.
The effect of refusing to sign a waiver
If you do not sign the waiver, the Department of Labor may issue a decision to approve or deny your claim, based on your new income status (as in the previous example).
This gives you the opportunity to appeal this decision by filing an objection or a request for review.
By contrast, if you sign a waiver, you will lose that legal protection and it will be very difficult to rescind the waiver except for the future by reapplying for assistance.
In addition, you will lose the right to claim any legal rights that you may be entitled to, such as the right to claim unpaid wages if they are delayed by your employer.
In case of signing a release by mistake, you should act quickly and revoke it without delay. You can use the following text as a model for a release revocation letter:
Have a good day.
I, [Your Name], am hereby notified that I have previously made a waiver of certain rights, but based on my current knowledge of my legal rights and based on new investigations, I hereby revoke this waiver immediately.
I need the social support that is due to me under the current systems and laws, and I consider that it is my right to benefit from it.
Thank you very much for your understanding and cooperation.
To conclude, it is important to emphasize that a waiver is not effective unless there is awareness of the rights that are legally enshrined, which are often unknown to affected individuals. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance when needed.
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