Hartz IV Sanctions against pregnant women Normally?

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Three other pregnant women were cut the Hartz IV rule set to zero

Only last week it became known that a young Hartz IV beneficiary from Braunschweig was sanctioned despite the fact that she was pregnant. The job center cut the woman's full salary for a total of three months because she refused to take up a one-euro job. After an intervention at the responsible social court, the sanction was suspended.

What appears to be an exceptional case of official zeal, however, seems to be almost a reality in Germany. According to information from the unemployed forum Germany (ELO), three other cases of sanctions against pregnant women have become known. In all three cases, the authorities reduced unemployment benefit II standard benefits completely. In all cases, the additional requirement for pregnant women was reduced to zero by sanction. Those affected should only avail themselves of food vouchers to provide themselves with food. Too little not to endanger the health of the child, as the unemployed forum warns. Because the vouchers do not reflect the full Hartz IV standard rate, but only the portion for food. These vouchers are usually issued once a week.

Are you pregnant? In Passau, one of those affected was stripped of all of the standard services and housing costs. In this case too, the woman refused to start a one-euro job. However, the woman is expecting her child in the next six weeks and is therefore considered a pregnant woman. The affected person does not want to take the measure in order not to endanger the health of their child. And indeed, according to the guidelines of the Heidelberg University Hospital, pregnant women are not allowed to work in so-called canteen kitchens and are subject to a ban on employment. Nevertheless, the authority maintains the sanctions. Apparently there it is assumed that even very pregnant women can do physically difficult work.

In spite of hospitalization, benefit reductions In Berlin, a pregnant woman's Hartz IV was reduced to zero, although it was known that the recipient was inpatient treatment due to an acute psychosis. The service provider suspended the sanction only two days ago. In the meantime, however, the woman has already lost her apartment because she could no longer bear the rental costs.

Delayed follow-up sickness report In the Passau region, a Hartz IV beneficiary had taken sick leave during the pregnancy. Only once had the young woman forgotten to submit a follow-up illness report on time. Immediately afterwards, the woman's complete cover was blocked. Shortly thereafter, the person concerned filed an objection, the result of which has been waiting for months. The woman is expecting her child at the end of February. Nevertheless, the job center maintains the sanctions. In the meantime, the unemployed group interfered in the case and hired a lawyer. Here too, an urgent complaint to the social court is intended to lift the sanctions. In this case too, the initiative is expecting a positive outcome. Finally, the Braunschweig Social Court had objected to a pregnant woman's benefit being cut, and had prompted the social welfare agency to give in.

5500 complaints from affected women
As the Caritas Association informed the Diocese of Münster, a survey at the Caritas pregnancy advice centers showed that over 5500 complaints from pregnant women were received in the first three months of 2010 alone. In all cases, the women had complained about the job center's work with the authorities. In all cases, the counseling centers had to take action to help women in need. (sb)

Also read:
Additional contribution no particular hardship at Hartz IV
Job centers have to reimburse contributions for private health insurance
Hartz IV: 13 health insurance companies charge an additional contribution

Image: Matthias Balzer / pixelio.de

Author and source information

Video: A Message for Women: Taking Back Your Pregnancy Rights. Renee Coover. TEDxOakParkWomen

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