Forms and levels of material reception conditions


Country Report: Forms and levels of material reception conditions Last updated: 11/04/24


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According to the law, reception conditions include accommodation, food, social assistance, health insurance and health care and psychological assistance. These rights, however, can be enjoyed only by asylum seekers accommodated in the reception centres. Asylum seekers who have either opted on their own will to live outside reception centres or to whom the accommodation is refused (see Reduction or Withdrawal of Reception Conditions) do not have access to food or psychological assistance. Access to the basic health care is otherwise ensured as health insurance is in principle covered by the state budget to all asylum seekers regardless of their place of residence.

From February 2015, the SAR ceased the provision of the monthly financial allowance to asylum seekers accommodated in reception centres, under the pretext that food was to be provided in reception centres three times a day.[1] In 2023, three meals per day were thus distributed to all asylum seekers accommodated in reception centres. The food distribution to adults is provided once a day, while for unaccompanied children the food is distributed three times a day in order to prevent the excess meals to be taken from them by the adults. Since 2017, the food has been delivered by catering services and the quality, but also quantity of the food became one of the most common complaints from asylum seekers, accommodated in reception centres, along with poor hygiene and dismal living conditions. (see Conditions in reception facilities)

The cessation of the monthly financial allowance is in contradiction with the law, as the LAR does not condition its provision depending on whether food is provided or not. These two material rights are regulated separately under the law. The cessation of the monthly financial allowance was appealed by several NGOs before the court.[2] However, the Supreme administrative court rejected the appeal on the basis of a lack of legitimate interest in the case and suggested that appeals on an individual basis could be admissible. Notwithstanding, the appeals against the cessation of the financial allowance cannot be validly submitted, since the 14-day time limit for appealing the decision by any asylum seeker would be long expired, as it is counted from its issue date of the SAR’s order.




[1] SAR, Order No 31-310, 31 March 2015, issued by the Chairperson Nikola Kazakov.

[2] Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants, and Council of Refugee Women.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation