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Compensation programmes improved
Following negotiations with the German government, the Claims Conference announced a series of improvements in compensation programmes that they administer. These changes affect applicants to the Article II and the Hardship Funds.
Additionally, there is now no deadline for applications to the Ghetto Fund, which makes a one-time payment of €2,000 (approximately £1,650) to people who worked in Nazi controlled ghettos.
Article II Fund
With effect from 1 January 2012, the minimum time period for persecution (interned in a ghetto, in hiding or living under false identity) is reduced to 12 months. The Claims Conference is re-examining applications that were not eligible on the basis of the applicant not meeting the 18-month minimum criteria. The Fund makes monthly payments of €300 (approximately £250) and it is thought that this change will make an extra 8,000 survivors eligible for pensions.
Additionally, survivors aged 75 and over who were in a ghetto for less than 12 months but a minimum of three months will be entitled to a special monthly pension of €240 (approximately £200). It is thought that this change will benefit survivors of the Budapest ghetto as well as child survivors hidden in France, Belgium, Italy and Greece, and that an additional 3,500 survivors will become eligible as they reach age 75 over the coming years.
Also coming into force in 2012 is a widening of entitlement to the Hardship Fund, which now extends to Jewish victims of Nazism who live in Western Europe, provided they have never received any compensation for their suffering.
The Fund provides a one-time payment of €2,556 (approximately £2,100) to certain Jewish victims of Nazism, including many from former Soviet bloc countries who emigrated to the West after 1969, which was the application deadline for the West German Indemnification Laws (BEG).
Application forms and further guidance are available from AJR Head Office and from the Claims Conference website at http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=compensation