lady painting

 

Social Services

The AJR’s team of dedicated social care workers attend to the day-to-day needs of those of our members requiring support, guidance and clarification on a wide range of social, welfare and care needs.

As part of their nationwide programme of home visits, social care workers assess members’ needs and, where appropriate, eligibility for a number of financial support schemes, designed to enable members to continue to live with dignity in their own homes for as long as possible.

On behalf of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, the AJR administers emergency social, welfare and care funds, which can be used to pay for a number of services and essential items including dental treatment and specialist clothing as well as urgent house repairs, recuperative convalescence and respite breaks and homecare packages.

These funds are negotiated by the Claims Conference from the German and Austrian governments and from various international compensation programmes. The most prominent of these was the $1.25 billion Swiss Banks Settlement in 1998 but others include the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) and the Foundation: Remembrance, Responsibility and Future created primarily to pay ex-gratia awards to former slave and forced labourers.

These monies are reserved exclusively for onward distribution by recognised agencies – in Britain, the AJR is the custodian of these funds – to Jewish Nazi victims.

Specifically:

Homecare

The AJR administers the Homecare programme on behalf of the UK Umbrella Group agencies (AJR, Jewish Care, North London Bikur Cholim, Bikur Cholim D’Satmar and Agudas Israel Community Services).

Homecare is financed by the German Government. The objective of the scheme is to assist clients to live in their homes for as long as possible.

Homecare is assessed according to the client’s functional capacity by the social worker completing a series of point scoring questions. Those scoring more than the limits on each category of need are entitled to care as follows:

High functional capacity – 4 hours per week limit
Medium functional capacity – 10 hours per week limit
Low functional Capacity – 25 hours per week limit

These limits are subject to any uncharged local authority input which must be deducted.

Clients must not have income (excluding pension income) exceeding £10,000 or assets (not including their home or vehicle) exceeding £50,000

Homecare funded from the German Government is available only to 1st generation clients. From the AJR’s own monies, extra Homecare can be granted in cases of exceptional need and to 2nd generation clients at the discretion of the AJR trustees.

Emergency Fund

The Claims Conference established the Holocaust Survivor Emergency Fund with money endowed by the German government, the Swiss Banks Settlement, the German Foundation and the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC).

In the UK, awards of up to £2,000 annually are available. (exceptionally £2,500)

The Fund can be used to pay for a number of services and needy items including dental treatment and specialist clothing as well as urgent house repairs and hearing aids and medical consultations. A more exhaustive list is available through the Umbrella Group organisations.

Financial eligibility is limited to individuals whose annual income is below: 1 person £10,000 or a couple (£14,000). Assets: few or no assets, excluding a car.

The Austrian Holocaust Survivors Emergency Assistance Programme (AHSEAP)

The AHSEAP provides financial assistance to Austrian Holocaust survivors with low incomes who require urgent medical attention or essential welfare services.

The Programme is endowed with money from the Austrian government.

Awards from the AHSEAP are capped, with eligible applicants receiving up to approximately £10,000 in any twelve-month period for medical needs, including financing the cost of wheelchairs, the installation of appliances for the housebound disabled and grants to cover the cost of dental care and hearing aids. Assistance to buy into the Austrian social security pension scheme can also be given.

Eligibility is restricted to Austrian Holocaust survivors and refugees (including spouses of Austrian nationals) who live on low incomes (under £11,000 for one person or £15,000 for a couple) and who have limited capital holdings (£31,250).

The Hungarian Government Scheme

Following the exhaustion of the Hungarian Gold Train Settlement, see below, the Hungarian government has taken over the commitment to funding the programme. In 2011 and going forward the UK receives $20,000 for allocation to Hungarian survivors who meet the criteria which are the same as for the Emergency Fund.

The Hungarian Gold Train Settlement concerns the 24 box cars containing the personal property and possessions of Hungarian Nazi victims that was being transferred to Germany in January 1945. It is alleged that the US soldiers who intercepted the train stole the loot.

By way of reparation, the US government endowed a $25.5m compensation fund, of which $21m is allocated to fund social services programmes to benefit the most needy of Hungarian Nazi victims to be distributed over three years. The principal beneficiaries will be communities of Hungarian survivors in Canada, the US, Hungary and Israel.

In his statement in September 2005, the judge presiding over the case recommended that $500,000 from the Settlement be set aside for the “collection of documents and artefacts relating to the Gold Train” for educational and archival purposes. The remaining monies, not exceeding $4m, will be consumed in lawyers’ fees and expenses. Further information is available at www.HungarianGoldTrain.org

For the first three years 2008-2010 the UK received $18,000 for distribution to Hungarians with limited means, along the lines of the Emergency Fund and AHSEA programmes.

To speak, in confidence, to a social worker please call us on 020 8385 3070.