Current Beneficiaries’ FAQs
Current beneficiaries of Claims Conference programs
1. I currently receive a pension. Am I eligible for any other payments?
Here is a quick chart of program compatibility:
|Claims Conference Fund||Can also receve German gov't Ghetto Fund (BADV) or Ghetto Pension (ZRBG)||Can also receive German gov't reparation pension (BEG) or Austrian pension (OFG)|
|Hardship Fund||No - different eligibility guidelines||No|
If you receive the Claims Conference Article 2 or CEEF pension (monthly payments sent every three months) and worked in a Nazi ghetto, YOU CAN also receive German government Social Security Payments (known as ZRBG or Ghetto Pension) and Ghetto Fund Payment (known as BADV).
YOU CANNOT receive ANY Claims Conference-administered funds if you receive a reparations pension from Germany or Austria.
2. I currently receive a pension. Can I apply for an increase in the monthly amount?
It depends on the pension and the program.
Claims Conference payments are funded and regulated by the German government. Increases in the monthly amount of payments under the Article 2 Fund and CEEF are subject to negotiation with the German government. These negotiations are pursued by the Claims Conference on a regular basis but are non-negotiable on an individual level.
Under certain circumstances, recipients of ongoing BEG payments from Germany can apply for increases due to deterioration in a health condition which the German government accepts as originally caused by Nazi persecution. You must contact the relevant German office to determine eligibility. If you are unable to contact Germany directly, you can consult your local German consulate.
3. Why was the amount of my Claims Conference payment different (lower/higher) from previous payments?
The amount of the compensation is set by the German government. It is a fixed Euro amount. Currency exchange fluctuations between the Euro and other currencies will affect the amount of compensation payments received when the Euro is converted into local currencies.
4. My relative (or friend) is getting more money than me. Why?
It depends on the program. For example, programs administered directly by the German government do not have a fixed, negotiated amount. Compensation payments or Social Security awards are calculated on the basis of each claimant’s specific persecution history or work history and differ accordingly. Holocaust-related payments to Israeli Holocaust survivors from the Israeli Ministry of Finance differ from payments distributed through the Claims Conference’s German government funds. All Claims Conference funds are paid at the same amount. The only variance will be the currency.
5. When are payments through the Article 2 and CEE Funds sent?
Pension payments through the Claims Conference Article 2 Fund and the Central & Eastern European Fund are sent four times a year, in quarterly distributions covering three months of compensation, in advance.
The quarterly distributions for the Article 2 Fund are sent in January (for January, February and March; April (for April, May and June); July (for July, August and September); and October (for October, November and December).
The quarterly distributions through the Central & Eastern European Fund (CEEF) are sent in February (for February, March and April); May (for May, June and July); August (for August, September and October); and November (for November, December and January).
6. I did not receive my latest pension payment.
First, please check your bank account and call your bank.
Then, check the type of payment you receive in order to contact the pertinent program administration.
If you receive a payment every three months through the Claims Conference Article 2 or Central & Eastern European Funds, and your bank confirms that you did not receive the payment, please contact us.
ONLY if you receive a payment every month from the Claims Conference because your Article 2 claim has been switched from quarterly distributions to monthly distributions, please contact us at 646-485-2123 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you receive a payment from the German government (NOT the Claims Conference) every month, you must contact the competent German Compensation office or Social Security office. For assistance with this and other programs for Holocaust survivors, you can also contact your local Help Center or social service agency.
7. How can I determine the type of payment being sent?
Is the payment sent from Germany every month? If yes, it likely comes from one of two programs administered through the German government: BEG federal compensation for persecution (“Wiedergutmachung”) or German Social Security for work in a ghetto. For all matters related to these programs, contact the appropriate German government office.
Claims Conference Article 2 and Central and Eastern European Fund payments are sent quarterly (every three months).
8. Have you received my Life Certificate? When will you send the next Life Certificate?
We send annual Life Certificates in late April. The processing time for Life Certificates is approximately two to three months. Please contact us in late summer if you need to check if we have received your Life Certificate.
9. I moved. How do I inform you of my new address?
We cannot accept address changes over the telephone. Only the claimant’s own signature serves to authorize a change of address. Please send us a letter with your old and new addresses, signature, claim number, and date of birth. This letter may be mailed, faxed, or emailed as a .pdf attachment. The signature does not need notarization. Alternatively, you can contact us and we will send you our address change form.
For German government programs not administered by the Claims Conference, you must inform the competent office in Germany.
10. I changed my bank or bank account number. How can I give you the new account information?
Please contact the Claims Conference to receive an official “Bank Change” form. For German government programs that are not administered by the Claims Conference, you must inform the competent office in Germany.
11. My relative/friend/client was receiving a pension and has passed away. What should I do?
In accordance with German government guidelines, Claims Conference pensions are not transferable to other individuals and cease to be distributed after the beneficiary passes away. We require a copy of the claimant’s death certificate for our records, which may be mailed or faxed to the appropriate office.
For German government programs that are not administered by the Claims Conference, you should inform the competent office in Germany as the claimant’s survivor may be eligible for reduced benefits.
12. I have been receiving compensation through the Claims Conference for many years and have recently received a letter asking me to provide more biographical information. What should I do?
Please fill out this questionnaire of 16 questions and mail it back to the address indicated on the letter. If you have further questions, you may call +1-646-485-2123 or email us at email@example.com.
13. I live in the United States and am applying for additional social services, such as Medicaid, and I need a letter from the Claims Conference explaining that I receive a pension or having received payments in the past as a Nazi victim.
We will be happy to send you this letter. You must MAIL your request to our New York office:
1359 Broadway, Room 2000
Attn: Survivor Services Department
New York, NY 10018
We can only accept requests for payout information by mail, which must be signed by claimant or Power of Attorney holder.
PLEASE NOTE: The information presented herein is intended for information purposes only and solely as a general guide. The information is not intended as legal advice. It is a summary of specific issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the programs and policies of the agencies or governments mentioned. The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individuals seeking specific information on a program are urged to contact the relevant program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. While the Claims Conference provides information on a general basis to various help and assistance centers, each help and assistance center is solely responsible for the advice provided by it. To the best of our knowledge the information is correct as of the date of this document and this information may change subsequent to the said date – April 26, 2012