LSG Essen secures funding for Hartz IV recipients
If Hartz IV recipients flee domestic violence to a women's shelter, this must also be possible in foreign institutions. If the women there are given psychosocial support for integration into the labor market, the municipality in which they live must fundamentally reimburse the costs for this, the State Social Court (LSG) North Rhine-Westphalia decided in a judgment published on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (file number: L 6 AS 1315/15). The Essen judges thus secured the financing of women's shelters.
Specifically, it was about so-called municipal integration services. According to the legal provisions, the municipalities are responsible for this and are intended to promote integration into the labor market. They include debt counseling and addiction counseling, psychosocial care and the care of children or the home care of relatives. The contact centers for these municipal integration services are often the job centers. The local cost bearer can then be reimbursed by the municipality of the residence of the needy.
The legal dispute now decided was about an unemployment benefit II beneficiary who fled with her three children to her partner in a women's shelter outside of her home because of domestic violence in early 2011. In total, the wife and children spent 114 days in the facility. There they were not only given a roof over their heads, they were also given psychosocial care.
In line with the concept of the women's shelter association, the woman was offered crisis intervention, discussions on how to deal with experiences of violence and the separation situation, or support in finding accommodation and dealing with the authorities. The voluntary offers should help to promote integration into the labor market.
The job center had paid the women's shelter the costs for this in the decisive legal dispute. The authority requested reimbursement from the woman's place of residence for psychosocial care. In total, it was about 2,846 euros.
The local authority declined the payment. The costs are not reimbursable. The daily rate for psychosocial care per woman in need of € 24.75, demanded by the women's shelter, is too high. In this way, one would co-finance the general personnel costs of the women's shelter inadmissibly. It is also not possible to influence the amount of childcare costs. Because the women's shelter is located outside and not where the woman lives.
In its judgment of November 24, 2016, the LSG made it clear that the costs of psychosocial care must be reimbursed. Psychosocial care means not only psychiatric or psychotherapeutic interventions, but also low-threshold offers that stabilize those affected in their psychological and social situation and promote reintegration into work. The care concept of the women's shelter lives up to this claim.
Nor is it apparent that the daily flat rate subsidizes the general staff costs of the women's shelter in an inadmissible manner.
According to the LSG decision, women must also be able to seek protection from their partner in women's shelters outside of their place of residence. It is irrelevant that a municipality has no influence on the care rates there, according to the LSG. On the one hand, it can build up a sufficient regional structure for women seeking refuge, on the other hand, it must be assumed that other municipalities will not negotiate excessive daily rates for women's shelters there. After all, these municipalities are also committed to the principle of economy.
Because of their fundamental importance, the Essen judges approved the appeal to the Federal Social Court in Kassel.
In another case, the Munich Social Court had ruled that women's shelters can demand reimbursement for accommodation and care even if the facility is underutilized (judgment of June 22, 2016, ref .: S 52 AS 538/13; JurAgentur- Notification dated September 5, 2016).
On April 9, 2014, the Braunschweig Social Court also clarified that job centers also had to pay for double accommodation expenses, one for the women's shelter and one for the previous apartment, for which rental payments are still due (file number: S 49 AS 185/12, JurAgentur announcement of September 12, 2014). fle / mwo