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Help for people who have been harmed by unjust imprisonment

The Prisoner Assistance Act regulates financial compensation payments for persons of German nationality who, according to the World War II in the Soviet occupation zone (SBZ) or in the Soviet sector of Berlin or in the states of the Eastern Bloc were taken into custody for political reasons, as well as for their relatives and surviving dependents.

If a person suffers an injury while in custody, he or she receives care by analogy with the provisions of the Federal Supply Act. Survivors also receive benefits if the detention led to the death of the detainee.

Who should I contact?

Depending on the reason for the application, responsibility lies with:

  • Pension Office for the pension provided for under the HHG, the StrRehaG and the Act on the Revocation of Administrative Decisions in Accession Violation of the Rule of Law and the Subsequent Claims (VwRehaG) due to damage to health caused by detention or persecution
  • Local social assistance institution for compensation under the Act on the Compensation of Professional Disadvantages for Victims of Political Persecution in the Accession Area (BerRehaG)
  • Landkreis, the district-free city, the region of Hanover, the city of Göttingen and the large independent city
    • for capital compensation (liability compensation) under the StrRehaG,
    • for the special benefit according to § 17 a StrRehaG (so-called victim's pension)

Competent authority

The application for the granting of disability/survivors' benefits must be submitted to the State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family (§ 10 para. 1 HHG).

The addresses of the responsible branch offices can be found on the website of the Lower Saxony State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Family.


Health damage during imprisonment

Damage to health during detention.

Which documents are required?

Rehabilitation certificate

What are the fees?


What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

None for the application.

Any benefits will only be granted from the date of application.


Processing duration

Rarely under 12 months

Applications / forms

Forms are provided by the Länder. There is no online procedure, there is a written form requirement.


An objection may be lodged against the decision of the authority within one month of notification. The objection can be made against a refusal as well as because of the scope and amount of the services.

Technically approved by

Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Equality


The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
Address: Prinzenstraße 5, 30159 Hannover
Telephone: +49 511 12045-00
Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)