Fall in lawsuits and slight increase appeals concerning Basic Income

•    Number of lawsuits fell again in 2023; slight increase in appeals
•    Appeals rate in Jobcenters operated as joint institutions approximately 1.7 percent


10 Jan 2024 | Press release no.4

In 2023, 47,934 lawsuits and 425,359 appeals were filed. This was 2,959 lawsuits fewer than in 2022 (50,893) and 21,503 more appeals than in 2022 (403,856).

In particular, the number of lawsuits regarding cancellation and reimbursement, other grounds (which include, among others, offsetting, transfers to third parties and participation) and general needs / additional needs continued to fall. In the case of appeals, a slight increase was recorded after several years in which these fell, especially due to other reasons, conditions for access according to Book Two of the German Social Code (SGB II) and reductions in benefits. This was also due to an increase in the number of benefit communities by 40,000 to 2,897,000.

The number of lawsuits and appeals in response to reductions in benefits remained low and below the 2020 level. While some 3,927 lawsuits and 39,894 appeals were filed before the pandemic in 2019, the number fell to 274 lawsuits and 4,678 appeals last year. However, the Jobcenters also implemented significantly fewer reductions in benefits in 2023 because the legal requirements changed with the introduction of the Citizen’s Benefit.

Rate of appeals and lawsuits in Jobcenters operated as joint institutions low

The rates of appeal and lawsuit can only be determined for the 301 joint institutions – i.e. the Jobcenters for which the BA and the municipal district are jointly responsible. In 2023, these Jobcenters issued 21.7 million benefit decisions, in response to which 365,482 appeals and 38,648 lawsuits were filed. The rate of appeals increased from 1.5 percent in 2022 to 1.7 percent in 2023, while the rate of lawsuits remained at 0.2 percent. The rate is an approximate value, as several appeals can be filed against the same decision.

Resolved appeals and lawsuits

Last year, the Jobcenters issued decisions on 419,552 appeals. Almost two thirds of the decided appeals were rejected or withdrawn by customers. In 138,470 appeals the decision was changed, most frequently because required documents which hadn’t been provided before were subsequently submitted (62,123). The incorrect application of the legislation was found to have occurred in 40,158 appeals.

60,057 lawsuits were decided in the courts. Of these, some 65 per cent were dismissed or withdrawn by the claimant and some 35 per cent resulted in a new decision.

Wichtig:Notes for editors
Jobcenters can be operated in two different formats. At 300 Jobcenters, known as “joint institutions”, the BA and the respective municipality work together and operate the Jobcenter jointly. The legislator has also allowed approximately 100 municipal districts to operate the Jobcenters independently (known as “Jobcenters under municipal responsibility”). The BA has no involvement in these Jobcenters.

The figures published in this press release are published for both types of institution, as the Jobcenters operated by the municipalities also provide the BA with data regarding appeals and lawsuits according to defined criteria. The only exception is the paragraph on the rates of appeals and lawsuits: The BA is only aware of the number of benefit decisions which have been issued by the joint institutions. For this reason, the calculated rates only take account of the appeals and lawsuits which have been received by the Jobcenters which are operated jointly.

Statistical information on appeals and lawsuits in the internet (available in German)