TV-contribution: Many do not have to pay

Many refugees who live in their own apartment are receiving mail from the public broadcaster’s contribution center these weeks. In it, they are asked to register for the broadcasting fees (formerly GEZ contribution). This is in accordance with German law, and the details can be found at It is important to respond to the letter quickly, because there is a possibility to be exempted from the fees if, for example, you receive social benefits.
Asylum seekers, persons entitled to asylum, as well as refugees from Ukraine who live in Germany on the basis of §24 of the Residence Act and live in their own apartment are exempt from broadcasting fees. This is the result of a press release from the Beitragszentrale. The same applies to recipients of unemployment benefit II, basic security or BAföG. All protection seekers, who live in a community accommodation, do not have to pay anything. However, anyone who is asked to pay by the central contribution office must do something. They must either pay or apply for an exemption. For refugees with their own apartment, it can be somewhat complicated to behave correctly in individual cases: If they are contacted by the contribution office, they must fill out the response form—also online—and return it. If this does not happen, it is better to contact the contribution center yourself and indicate the apartment, confirms an employee of the press office on request. Then one receives a number and can be released so from the fees. This application can also be made online. However, all those who have a job have to pay the fees.
The fee is 18.36 euros per month and must be paid by every household, regardless of how many radios and TV sets are present. It is also collected if residents neither listen to the radio nor watch TV. These contributions are used to finance public television such as ARD or ZDF and radio such as SWR. This is to ensure that the aforementioned media report independently of interests of the state or the economy. The contribution is only levied once for each apartment, so it does not depend on the number of residents.
Further information, also in English, Ukrainian and other languages is available at:


Beim Fernsehen. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Mostafa Elyasian.




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