A legal definition of the term "social benefits" is found in Article 11 of Book 1 of the Social Code (SGB I). According to this definition, social benefits are services, benefits in kind and cash benefits provided on the basis of the provisions of the Social Code and the laws referenced in Article 68 SGB I. Article 11 SGB I also includes personal assistance and support with upbringing as relevant services.
Articles 18–29 SGB I list the different types of social benefits and the institutions responsible for their provision:
The Asylum Seeker Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz/AsylbLG) is not included in the SGB I catalogue and thus does not constitute a formal element of social law. However, the scope of services it covers means it forms part of substantive social law. AsylbLG is an independent law regulating the substantive services for service beneficiaries. Government spending on AsylbLG services was just under €4.9bn (gross) in 2018.
In 2021 social benefits accounted for 32.5% of GDP. Total social benefits in 2021 amounted to €1,161.5bn.
Social security systems:
Assistance and welfare benefits: