Significantly fewer appeals and complaints in the general social security system

• The number of appeals and complaints fell by almost a fifth in 2021 • Appeals rate in joint institutions amounts to approximately 1.6 percent

10 Jan 2022 | Press release no.3

In 2021, 413,600 appeals and 61,400 complaints were filed in the general social security system (Job Centres). There were therefore 97,800 fewer appeals and/or 17,700 fewer complaints than in 2020.

In particular, the number of appeals against termination and refund notices as well as income and assets saw a fall. There was also a fall in the number of appeals regarding the costs of accommodation, but this was somewhat lesser. With the onset of the pandemic, the legislator simplified access to general social security. For example, assets are no longer verified when not significant. The actual costs of accommodation are also recognised for a limited period of time, even if they are higher than the respective municipal guideline values.

The number of appeals against sanctions remains low, even though they increased slightly in comparison with 2020. While almost 40,000 appeals against sanctions were filed in 2019, their total number fell to 10,000 last year. Job Centres also had to issue fewer sanctions, however.

Lower rates of appeal and complaint in Job Centres with the involvement of the Federal Employment Agency (BA)

The rates of the appeals and complaints can only be determined for the 302 joint institutions – i.e. Job Centres for which the BA and the municipal district are jointly responsible. In 2021, these Job Centres issued 21.3 million benefit decisions, against which 348,700 appeals and 48,800 complaints were filed. The appeal rate is calculated to have fallen from 2.3 per cent in 2020 to 1.6 per cent, while the complaint rate fell by 0.1 points to 0.3 per cent. The rate is an approximate value, as several appeals can be filed against the same decision.

Resolved appeals and complaints

Last year, the Job Centres issued decisions on 439,800 appeals. Almost two thirds of the resolved appeals were rejected or withdrawn by customers. In 153,700 appeals the decision was changed, most frequently because necessary documents that had not been provided before were submitted (64,600). The incorrect application of the legislation was found to have occurred in 50,500 appeals.

77,700 complaints were decided in the courts. Of these, roughly 65 per cent were dismissed or withdrawn by the claimant and roughly 35 per cent resulted in a new decision. Most complaints are settled without a judgement – often because the beneficiaries submit necessary documents that they had not provided before during the proceedings.

Notes for editors

  • Job Centres can be operated in two different formats. At 302 Job Centres, known as “joint institutions”, the BA and the respective municipal district work together and operate the Job Centre jointly. In addition, the legislator has created the possibility for roughly 100 municipal districts to operate the Job Centres independently (known as “Job Centres under municipal responsibility”). The BA has no involvement in these Job Centres.
  • The figures published in this press release are published for both types of institutions, as the Job Centres that are run by the municipalities also provide the BA with data concerning appeals and complaints according to defined criteria. The only exception is the paragraph on the rate of the appeals and complaints: the BA only knows the number of benefit decisions that have been issued by the joint institutions. For this reason, the calculated rates only take account of the appeals and complaints which have been received by the Job Centres that are operated jointly.
  • Statistical information on Appeals and complaints in the internet.