Victim Compensation Act (OEG) to be completely abolished on 1. January 2024!

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From January 2024, the law on social compensation will be gradually and comprehensively revised.
From 1. January 2024, the previous laws on social compensation (Victim Compensation Act - OEG) will be repealed and SGB XIV will become the sole legal basis for all claims in the area of social compensation. This new regulation represents a fundamental change and unifies all claims and benefits in this area under one roof.

What will change for victims' compensation in 2024?

From 1. January 2024, it will be easier for people who have suffered physical injury as a result of an act of violence to claim compensation. People who have suffered mental harm as a result of violence will also be entitled to compensation.

Who is eligible for compensation?

In principle, all victims of violence and terrorism, as well as their relatives and survivors, are entitled to compensation.

Explicitly new from 1. January 2024:

  • The law provides for case management. Victims are to be accompanied and supported during the proceedings. Case management is also intended to clarify the need for help. 
  • Serious acts of psychological violence are eligible. This includes, for example, human trafficking and serious stalking. (Previously, these cases were not covered).
  • So-called shock damages are standardised by law. Compensation is paid to people who witness a crime or find the victim and suffer damage to their health as a result.
  • If they suffer damage to their health as a result of learning of the victim's death or serious injury, they are entitled to compensation if they had a close emotional relationship with the victim.
  • Benefits for victims and survivors have been consolidated and significantly increased. Victims with a degree of disability (GdS) of 30 or 40 will receive monthly payments of 400 euros. With a GdS of 50 or 60, the monthly payment is as much as 800 euros. For severely disabled persons, the amount is increased by a further 20 per cent.
  • In addition to the compensation payment, the injured party is also entitled to compensation for occupational disability, which is not deducted from the total payment. 
  • Widows and widowers receive a monthly compensation payment of € 1.055,00. The parental pension is reduced, but is designed to be  independent of income, so that more surviving parents will be eligible.
  • Victims and widows and widowers can apply for a lump sum instead of receiving regular payments over five years. This lump sum payment for widows and widowers is ten times the annual amount of the compensation - i.e. a total of € 126.600,00. This one-off payment covers all claims to monthly compensation payments.
  • Criminal charges are no longer mentioned in the law as a prerequisite for the granting of benefits. However, benefits may be refused in whole or in part if the injured party does not make an appropriate contribution to clarifying the facts of the case. 
  • In the case of offences committed abroad, victims are also entitled to support if their stay was intended to last up to one year and was for the purpose of attending school, university, vocational training or voluntary service. In all other cases, the six-month time limit remains in force - i.e. the stay must have been planned for a maximum of six months.
Foto(s): © RAin Dr. Anja Riemann-Uwer, LL. M.

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