Kinder Sculpture

 

Jul 2011 Journal

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Claims Conference obtains increase in Homecare funding

Following their annual negotiations with the German government, the Claims Conference has announced a substantial increase in funding for Homecare, a programme assisting with the costs of home-based care and enabling Holocaust survivors and refugees to live in dignity in their own homes for as long as possible.

The Claims Conference obtained a multi-year commitment for Homecare and medical funding. For 2012, the German government will provide euros 126.7 million ($177 million); in 2013, euros 136.7 million ($191 million); and in 2014, euros 140 million ($196 million) for vital Homecare and medical services for Jewish Holocaust victims living around the world. This totals euros 403 million (approximately $564 million). The amount for 2012 is a 15 per cent increase over the euros 110 million negotiated for 2011.

This long-term agreement is vital to addressing the growing social welfare needs of ageing Holocaust victims and will provide them and the agencies which care for them with the certainty that funding will be available to meet the anticipated growing demand over the next few years.

In addition to the new arrangements for Homecare, the Claims Conference obtained an increase – from euros 291 to euros 300 – in the monthly payments from the Article II Fund, a programme which provides compensation to some 51, 400 Holocaust survivors who were in concentration camps or ghettos or lived under a false identity. In total, the Claims Conference obtained an additional euros 8.3 million (approximately $11.7 million) in annual pension payments.

The criteria for Article II payments currently stipulate that incarceration in a ghetto had to have been for at least 18 months in order to meet eligibility requirements for payment. In a further significant development, the German government agreed to review on a case-by-case basis the claims from survivors who were in a ghetto for less than 18 months to determine if, when reviewing the totality of their persecution and other factors, they represent cases of special hardship.

Speaking at the conclusion of the discussions, Claims Conference Vice-President Greg Schneider said: ‘With these increased funds, the Claims Conference can provide more hours of Homecare, addressing the most basic needs of these ageing and frail victims of Nazism. We can enable more survivors to remain in their own homes, living in familiar surroundings while getting the services they need and deserve.’

Michael Newman

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