Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated January 8, 2017

  1. Who runs this site?
  2. Why was this site started?
  3. Who is eligible for this pension? 
  4. Why must all correspondence be in Polish?
  5. How do I begin the process of applying?
  6. How much is the payment?
  7. If I am rejected, can I appeal?
  8. Are widows or widowers of Holocaust survivors entitled to the pension?
  9. Can I use as evidence the fact that I receive money from Germany?
  10. Will Poland pay out money for restitution for property seized from Jews during the war?
  11. Is there a deadline for applying?

 

  1. Who runs this site?
    This site is wholly a volunteer project. Although it is not officially a non-profit, no one earns money from their involvement in this project. It is administered by a social worker who works professionally with Holocaust survivors for an agency in New York City, and is a collaboration between individual volunteer professional translators and translation agencies in the US, Poland and Australia. We are in regular contact with Polish government agencies who answer our questions, and with the Claims Conference, which updates us on recent developments. (top)
  2. Why was this site started?
    When it became clear that Polish Holocaust survivors, their families and social workers were stymied in their efforts to apply for the pension because of the requirement that all correspondence be carried out in Polish, an effort was launched to provide free translation services to streamline the process. (top)
  3. Who is eligible for this pension?
    The Polish government deems eligible anyone they consider to be a “victim of oppression”. Broadly, for Holocaust survivors, this category includes:

    *imprisonment in Nazi prisons, concentration and death camps
    *imprisonment in other penal institutions, where living conditions were similar to those of concentration camps
    *confinement to ghettos due to ethnic and racial reasons
    *compulsory exile and deportation to the former USSR

    Please note that excluded from these eligibility criteria are those who fled voluntarily from Poland, those who fought with Russian partisan groups, and those who hid in the forests or were given refuge by Poles. (top)

  4. Why must all correspondence be in Polish?
    The Law on the Polish Language of 7 October 1999 mandated that governmental bodies perform all public tasks in Polish. The Law states that the Polish language is an essential element of Polish national identity, which must be protected especially in an age of globalization. (top)
  5. How do I begin the process of applying?
    If an applicant or those assisting him have no background regarding the application, it might be worthwhile to read the overview of the process. The initial application, instructions and other pertinent information can be found here. (top)
  6. How much is it?
    The payment is broken up into three parts:
    The veteran’s benefit – 209.59 zł
    The energy allowance – 166.05 zł
    Compensatory allowance – 31.44 zł
    This is a total of 407.08 zł, which is equivalent (as of March 31, 2017) to approximately $103.05/month. The payment is made quarterly, on the 20th of the third month. Thus, payments of 1221.24 zł (407.08/month x 3 months) are made on March 20, June 20, September 20, and December 20. (top)
  7. If I am rejected, can I appeal?
    Yes. Please look at this section of the site for more information on appeals. (top)
  8. Are widows or widowers of Holocaust survivors entitled to the pension?
    As of December, 2016, the answer is yes, though we cannot say definitively that we have seen such a case. However, at least one widow’s application has been submitted and we are waiting on the results. (top)
  9. Can I use as evidence the fact that I receive money from Germany?
    Yes. When applying, you may include a copy of your BEG or Ghetto Pension proof of payment or life certificate to show that you have been recognized as being in a concentration camp or ghetto. (top)
  10. Will Poland pay out money for restitution for property seized from Jews during the war?
    This is an ongoing issue, and various politicians have been pushing for restitution for all Jews who lost their property during the war. But it remains unresolved as of yet. One slight exception is that the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) recently published a list of properties in Warsaw and the names of Holocaust survivors who may have owned them and who have previously filed a claim for them. It is possible for these individuals to get some redress. Please look at the WJRO Website for more information. (top)
  11. Is there a deadline for applying?
    No. Applications are being accepted continuously. (top)

Do you have more questions?  Feel free to contact us.