Jobcenter: account queries of hartz iv recipients and data protection

Jobcenter: account queries of hartz iv recipients and data protection

After answering the question in an earlier post, when and in which way investigating authorities are allowed to access social data, we now want to clarify if and under which conditions the job center is allowed to obtain information about financial circumstances by means of an account inquiry.

The job center has information about my account – is that in compliance with data protection laws??

Not only since the 25. May 2018 is known: Data protection concerns everyone. This applies of course and in particular also in the social right. Whose service providers (z.B. Jobcenter, employment agencies, health insurance or pension insurance) process here every day on a large scale social data which according to the legal definition of § 67 paragraph 2 sentence 1 SGB X personal data (Article 4 no. 1 GDPR) and special categories of personal data (Article 9 GDPR).

This processing is permissible and thus lawful within the meaning of Article 6(1) lit. e DSGVO, if the knowledge of this data is necessary for the fulfillment of a task of the collecting body according to the Social Code, § 67a paragraph 1 sentence 2 SGB X.

Can the job center not simply ask me about my financial circumstances?

Also in the social data protection applies that social data are to be raised with the concerning (§ 67a paragraph 2 sentence 1 SGB X). This principle is flanked by the obligations of the person concerned to cooperate, for example if he wants to receive unemployment benefit II ("Hartz IV") (cf. § 60 SGB I). At the same time, § 67a para. 2 no. 2 a) SGB X, that the collection of social data is permissible also without cooperation of the person concerned with other persons or places, thus also credit institutes and/or banks, if

"a legal provision permits the collection from them or expressly requires the transfer to the collecting agency and there are no indications that overriding interests of the data subject that are worthy of protection are impaired."

In connection with unemployment benefit II, § 52 (1) no. 3 SGB II in conjunction with the Basic Security Data Reconciliation Ordinance (GrSiDAV) constitutes such a legal provision. According to this, a so-called. automated data comparison of benefit recipients with employee data (DaLEB) is permissible, among other things, if it is to be checked whether and which data have been transmitted to the Federal Central Tax Office in accordance with Section 45 d, Paragraph 1 and Section 45 e of the Income Tax Act (sog. account retrieval procedure). This means above all information about investment income. In this way, job centers can thus find out about, where Beneficiaries keep accounts.

In addition, further account information can be automatically transmitted to the job center by the Federal Central Tax Office (Bundeszentralamt fur Steuern) in accordance with Section 93 (8) of the German Fiscal Code (Abgabenordnung – AO). This information includes

  • Account number,
  • Date of opening and closing,
  • Name,
  • Date of birth and
  • Tax identification number of the holder (cf. § Section 24c KWG, Section 154 (2a) AO)

Account balance and turnover are therefore not Subject of the transmission.

How does the job center then know my account balance?

There are two possibilities for this:

  1. The data subject himself/herself may – upon request or as part of his/her application – have provided information about his/her income and financial circumstances, because, as described above, he/she is in principle obliged to cooperate.
  2. Or the job center will send a request directly to the bank. This is in accordance with § 60 paragraph 2 sentence 1 2. variant SGB II ("keep credit balances") is also obliged to provide information to the Jobcenter (so-called. account query).

Why is there an automated account retrieval despite the obligation to cooperate?

This question is justified and leaves room for interpretation. From his work as a lawyer, the author is aware that the job centers like to make intensive use of their authorization to obtain account information. The account query is thereby supported by its internal instruction situation, which provides for a monthly (cf. Technical information, 52.3) and so that without any reason Review of accounts provides.

Even non-benefit recipients can be affected by this if they live with benefit recipients in a community of need (§ 7 paragraph 3 SGB II). The job centers justify this with reference to an "obligation to combat abuse of benefits" and § 1 GrSiDAV, which contains an obligation to act (cf. Technical notes, 52.1, paragraph 1 a.E.). For a consideration with the interests of the concerning thus de facto no more area remains.

This approach certainly does not lead to more mutual acceptance among the parties involved and does not appear to be unobjectionable in terms of data protection law with regard to the principle of proportionality. The Federal Social Court (BSG) as the highest German social court does not share these reservations. The fundamental right to informational self-determination, which is expressed in the regulations on data protection discussed here, is admittedly affected because of the sometimes intensive encroachment on highly personal goods. However, this is necessary to combat abuse of benefits (cf. Judgment of 24. April 2015, case number B 4 AS 39/14 R. Rn.23 et seq.).

Sharp sword suddenly very blunt

Recipients of unemployment benefit II as well as members of their needs group will therefore have to continue to be prepared for the job centers to obtain information about their accounts and even request individual account balances directly from the credit institutions. The "sharp sword of data protection" in the form of the rights according to Article 12 ff. of the German Data Protection Act is available to the persons concerned. DSGVO to page. However, this proves to be significantly blunted due to the information and cooperation obligations in SGB II described above.

  • "Information requirements according to DSGVO"
  • "Applicant and employee data protection"
  • "Designing Microsoft 365 securely"

About the author

Dr. Data protection

The article was written by Dr. Data protection written. Our employees, these are usually lawyers with IT competence, publish contributions under this pseudonym. more→

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24 comments to this post

This is only fair if I receive benefits from everyone!
Only the proof of black assets is difficult to ask for.

Hello*,
only a small hint: the obligation to cooperate of third parties is not in § 61 SGB II but in § 60 SGB II.

Thank you, is changed.

Does the job center only obtain information about account balances, or can it inspect all account transactions (including transfers, direct debits, standing orders, etc.)?.)?

As shown in the article, the job center can not see the sales through its own access to the account. This requires a request to the credit institution or a request addressed to the beneficiary to submit the account statements. Depending on the direction of the Jobcenter’s claim to information, individual account movements may also be relevant, which should generally be the case for credit postings.

Hello, I would be very interested to know if in the case of an account query by the office also possible authorizations for third-party accounts become obvious?

Whether the requested credit institution to the requesting authority information about authorizations of other accounts at the same institution, is not known here and would incidentally also go beyond the scope of this blog.

Is the office allowed to request your data from the electricity company like eon? ? You always get the annual statement of accounts .

If I have understood this correctly, I must, whether I want to or not, give the job center or social welfare office my signature to the account query ?

No. As described in the article, the Jobcenter may under certain circumstances perform the account query without the assistance of the beneficiary. A signature is therefore not required.

Hello,
first once many thanks for this and further article and your work!
Are closed accounts also taken into account in the account retrieval procedure?? More concretely: After the soon completed studies it could happen that it will be necessary to apply for Hartz 4. Now the parents told me that there is a fixed account, which is in the name of the student, which will be extraordinarily closed at the end of the current month on the part of the bank. The money should go again (directly) to the parents. These want to create it further. Hartz 4 would be applied for in October at the earliest.

Your question requires a detailed examination of the factual and legal situation. Please understand that our blog is not the right place for this, especially since we are not allowed to give legal advice. We recommend consulting a lawyer.

Hello. First of all, thanks for the great advice on this site.

My questions are: What data does the bank transmit to the Jobcenter on a monthly basis, or exactly what information does the Jobcenter receive during the monthly data reconciliation process?? Only the account balance on a certain day and all incoming payments for the month (you could have too much) or all account movements. If one at Amazon or elsewhere z. B. also buys groceries online? Then you would not need to submit any more account statements if the job center receives MY monthly account statement in advance, on which EVERYTHING, i.e. all incoming and outgoing transactions, can be seen, just as I can see on the statement that I am supposed to submit.Then you do not need such a statement of account at all with monthly query.

Which information is precisely viewed by the job center every month?? Only the account balance and that every month once on the last z. B.? Or all account movements? Then you will receive everything MONTHLY. Then why do you still need statements of 3 months? They see then nevertheless whether someone has any irregularity or cheats. And could act then directly not approximately after one year with a Weiterbewilligungsantrag if again statements are to be submitted. What sense does that make and where is the data protection?. The bank can then send the statements to the job center on a monthly basis. Poor Germany.

As described in the article, because of the principle of direct collection, the data must first be collected from the person concerned if possible – for example, by submitting account statements. If this is not successful, the job center may obtain information itself to the extent explained above.

Thanks for the answer. BUT if a monthly data reconciliation with the bank is carried out, then the Jobcenter receives my account balance and account movements every month. Or not ? That would be my question. What is revealed quite exactly by the bank MONTHLY about my account? Since the data reconciliation takes place monthly with the bank. What information exactly is transmitted from the bank to the job center??You only have to submit bank statements for the initial application and the application for further approval.Thank you for an answer

Thank you for your inquiry, but it is beyond the scope of this blog article. We recommend that you contact a lawyer specializing in social law.

The Jobcenter carries out automatic data reconciliation with various authorities on a quarterly basis, u. A. with the Federal Central Tax Office. However, only investment income earned either on foreign accounts or on domestic accounts with an exemption order is reported there.

If these data should not agree with the data of the applicant the JC can place an account call procedure with the BZSt. The BZSt then retrieves all master data of all accounts of the applicant from a nationwide database and transmits them to the Jobcenter.

If accounts exist which are unknown to the JC, it is obligated to first obtain the necessary information from the applicant (e.g. the bank).B. bank statements). Only if the person does not fulfill his or her obligation to cooperate, the JC may contact the bank directly and obtain account balances and movements directly.

The account retrieval procedure can actually take place without the explicit consent of the applicant, resp. the consent is in the fine print of the negotiation agreement and is already provided at the time of this signature.

Now you can of course speculate how high the probability is that the JC will initiate such an account retrieval procedure. There are enough contributions and newspaper articles circulating on the Internet on this subject. Most refer to a small question of the FDP parliamentary group from April 2019 (Printed Matter 19/8658). However, it also states that of the 796 nationwide.600 proceedings initiated in 2018 just 9.155 carried out by the various job centers.

From an ‘intensive use’ as here in the article is suggested can with Germany-wide ca. 3 million need communities thus hardly the speech be.

Sources:
haufe.en/public-service/tvoed-office-professional/sauer-sgbii-52-automated-data-reconciliation-1-general_idesk_PI13994_HI2936899.html
lawyer-and-social-law.en/data-reconciliation-jobcenter-federal-central-office-taxes/
data protection center.en/social-data-protection/faq-social-office/#13
dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/19/091/1909177.read pdf

thank you for the detailed information.
I only have one question:

there is a certain period or. Until when can the JC retroactively request the account statements for verification from the person concerned?

The reason why the job centers do not or hardly ever make use of the account retrieval procedure is probably due to paragraph 31 of SGB II.
Which company forced to act economically would carry out such insanely cost-intensive checks, if the result is predictable anyway?
In the case of the Jobcenter, the sanction of the beneficiary in need of help is much more economical.

There is no data protection in Vaihingen/Enz, neither at the job center nor at the registration office. In the hallway or waiting room, you can hear everything.

[Deleted by the editors – please note our terms of use]

Question about blog text, quote:
"Even non-benefit recipients can be affected by this if they live with benefit recipients in a community of need (§ 7 paragraph 3 SGB II). The job centers justify this by referring to an "obligation to combat abuse of benefits" and § 1 GrSiDAV, which contains an obligation to act (cf. Professional notes, 52.1, paragraph 1 a.E.)."

Does this also apply to former benefit recipients (i.e. currently no longer), but who have moved out of the community of need and accordingly no longer receive any benefits (except for the child benefit transferred from the parents to live).

Thanks for an answer!

According to the wording of § 1 para. (1) GrSiDAV, all persons are included in the data matching "who have received benefits from an institution of basic security for jobseekers with the exception of the approved municipal institutions within the calendar quarter preceding the matching or, in the cases of Section 52 (1) sentence 3 of the Second Book of the Social Code, within the calendar month preceding the matching (matching period) or have lived in a community of need with persons who have received benefits according to the Second Book of the Social Code (matching cases)."In this respect, these could also be former benefit recipients who no longer belong to the community of need.

Of course, as a person in need of assistance, you no longer have any rights. Where would we get there? That poor people are treated as normal citizens? Work shyness belongs back in the penal code!

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