Social welfare


Country Report: Social welfare Last updated: 19/04/23


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In general, the law provides access to social welfare for beneficiaries of international protection and does not make any distinction between refugees and subsidiary protection beneficiaries.[1] Therefore, beneficiaries of international protection are entitled to attendance to persons in active and retired age, limited public health care and unemployment benefit, amongst other entitlements e.g. family allowances, sickness and maternity benefits.[2] Social welfare is provided to beneficiaries under the same conditions and on the same level as for nationals.

Local governments usually limit housing application and allocation systems to long-term local residents.[3] Such conditions certainly present difficulties for beneficiaries of international protection who have just received protection. Furthermore, the job seeker benefit requires at least 365 days of coverage (being employed or self-employed) in the last three years which is hardly the case for beneficiaries of international protection right after being granted international protection status. Social assistance is provided by either the competent district government office or the local governments.

As to managing social welfare issues, difficulties mainly stem from the general slowness and tardiness of the administration system and from the language barriers owing to the lack of interpreter provided to refugees or persons with subsidiary protection at place.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many became unemployed (see section on Access to the labour market). The unemployment benefit is available for a maximum of 90 days (equals to the amount of 60% of the last payment). The application form for unemployment benefit, available only in Hungarian, is not easy to fill in, therefore people in need must have requested the help of NGOs, such as Kalunba.




[1] Ministry of Human Resources, Tájékoztató a szociális ellátásokról, 2017, available in Hungarian at:

[2] For a summary, see US Social Security Administration, Social Security Programs Throughout the World; Europe 2018, September 2018, available at:

[3] Pósfai, Zs., Szabó, L., Policy Analysis and Proposal for the Improvement of the Housing of Beneficiaries of Internaitonal Protection in Hungary, Social Integration of Beneficiaries of International Protection in Hungary – NIEM Policy Briefs, Institute of Public Affairs (Poland) and Menedék – Hungarian Association for Migrants, 2021, available at, 6.

Table of contents

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