FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - German Disability Benefits

 

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GERMANY DISABILITY BENEFITS Disability Q & A

Web site: http://www.bundesregierung.de/
E-Mail: InternetPost@bundesregierung.de
Call: +49 (0)180 272 00 00
Hours: Mondays to Thursdays 8 am to 4.30 pm, Fridays from 8 am to 3 pm.

This page provides the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about Germany Disability Benefits. Click on the questions below to learn the answers. Contact us if you have any questions.

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What's The Definition of "Disabled"?

ANSWER: You are considered "disabled" if you:

  • are unable to perform own or suited occupation (Berufsunfähigkeit)
  • had a compulsory contribution period of three years within the last five years before disability occurred and completed qualifying period of five years

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What Is Occupational Disability?

ANSWER: At least 50% disabled in capacity to carry out own profession, or any other reasonable occupation.

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What Qualifies As A Disability?

ANSWER: Full reduction in earning capacity (unable to work more than 3 hours a day in any form of employment) or partial reduction in earning capacity (unable to work at least 6 hours a day in any form of employment: for insured persons born before January 2, 1961, unable to work at least 6 hours a day in former occupation). Total of 5 years of contributions and 36 months of compulsory contributions out of last 5 years.

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What Are Permanent Disability Benefits?

ANSWER: The total of individual earnings points (individual's annual earnings divided by the average earnings of all contributors multiplied by the entry factor), multiplied by the pension factor of 1.0 and the pension value. The pension value is the monthly benefit amount for 1 year's average covered earnings, adjusted for changes in wages. From January 1, 2002, to June 30, 2002, the value is €25.31 (E - €22.06). Periods of incapacity for work, unemployment, and schooling after age 17 are also taken into account. The normal entry factor is 1.0 and increases or decreases depending on the age at which the pension is drawn.

For low-income workers with 35 years of coverage, the value of compulsory contributions paid before 1991 is increased to 1.5 times the value, up to a maximum of 75% of the value of contribution for average earnings of all insured persons.

For persons with 25 years of coverage, the value of compulsory contributions paid after 1992 while caring for a child under age 10 is increased to 1.5 times the value, up to the value of contribution for average earnings of all insured.

For early retirement, the entry factor (1.0) is reduced by 0.003 for every calendar month a pension is drawn before age 65.

For deferred retirement, the entry factor (1.0) is increased by 0.005 for every calendar month a pension is drawn after age 65.

Benefits are adjusted annually on July 1 for changes in the pension value in proportion to changes in earnings and the contribution rate.

If disability occurs before age 60, the period from the beginning of the reduction in earning capacity up to age 60 is taken fully into account for the purpose of calculating the pension (for a transitional period until 2004, a shorter time after age 55 is taken into account).

Pension factor for full reduction in earning capacity equals 1.0; for partial reduction, pension factor is 0.5.

The normal entry factor (1.0) is reduced by 0.003 for every calendar month a pension is drawn before age 63 (maximum reduction is 0.108).

Benefits are adjusted annually on July 1 for changes in the pension value in proportion to changes in earnings and the contribution rate.

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What Are The Permanent Disability Benefits For A Work Injury?

ANSWER: Pension is 66.6% of last year's earnings if 100% disabled (full pension). Partial disability pension if loss of earning capacity is 20% or more: percentage of full pension corresponding to loss of earning capacity.

Supplement For Severely Disabled: 10% of basic pension if loss of earning capacity is 50% or more and person is receiving another pension.

Constant-Attendance Supplement: €286 to €1,143 a month (E - €246 to €983).

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What Is The Sickness and Maternity Coverage?

ANSWER: Compulsory insurance for all wage and salary earners earning up to €40,500 a year; pensioners, students, and persons with disabilities under certain conditions; apprentices and beneficiaries of unemployment benefits.

Special systems for miners, artists, public employees, and self-employed farmers. Voluntary insurance in particular for persons whose compulsory insurance ends, subject to certain conditions.

Long-term care for all persons covered by the statutory sickness insurance scheme and some special groups subject to certain conditions. Persons with private sickness insurance must buy equivalent private coverage for long-term care.

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What Are The Sickness and Maternity Benefits?

ANSWER:

Sickness Benefit: Sickness funds pay 70% of gross earnings (up to a maximum of 90% of net earnings) for up to 78 weeks in 3 years for the same illness.

If child is ill, sickness benefit is paid up to 10 working days per child but no longer than 25 days per insured person in each calendar year. If single parent, benefit is payable for 20 working days per child up to 50 days in calendar year.

Maternity Benefit: For female fund members with an employment contract, 100% of net earnings (up to €13 per day from sickness fund, remainder paid by employer) is payable 6 weeks before and 8 weeks after expected date of birth; other members receive the same amount as for sickness benefit.

Lump-sum payment of €77 payable per birth if insured is not eligible for maternity benefit.

Long-Term Care: Carer's allowance is payable in cases in which the insured organize care provision for themselves (for example, care provided by relatives). Allowance is €205, €410, or €665 per month depending on the degree and frequency of care required.

Possibility of combining carer's allowance with benefits in kind (see home care benefits in section on Worker's Medical Benefits, below) provided by professional care workers (carer's allowance decreases in proportion to claimed in-kind benefits).

Social Security of Carers: Contributions paid to old-age pension insurance by long-term care funds on behalf of unpaid relatives who provide care for at least 14 hours a week for a person needing care at home and who are not employed for more than 30 hours a week. The paid contributions depend on the level of care required. Work injury insurance while providing care. After termination of care, carers have right to cost-of-living allowance in order to facilitate their return to employment.

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What Is The Supplementary Income Limit For Disability Pension?

ANSWER:

Pre January 2001

  • Introduced in January 1996
  • Pension reduced to 1/3 or 1/2 dependent on additional income
  • 2002 limit for supplementary income = € 325 per Month

Post January 1st 2001

  • All insured persons insured in statutory pension scheme lost occupational disability (Berufsunfähigkeit) protection if below 40
  • Replaced by 2 Tier system

Tier 1

  • Pension due to inability to work (Voll Erwerbsminderung)
  • Full reduction of work capacity means "unable to be active for three hours a day in the general workplace due to health reasons."
  • Contribution rules as for pre 2001

Tier 2 (As Tier 1 but)

  • Pension due to partial loss of earning capacity (Teilweise Erwerbsminderung)
  • A partial loss is where a person, for health reasons, "is able to work more than 3 hours but less than 6 hours a day on the general work market."

For Both Tiers (& previous BU benefit)

  • For general waiting period, following taken into account:
    • contribution periods (compulsory and voluntary contributions)
    • child-rearing periods
    • periods of marginal employment with contributions paid by the employer
    • periods of compensation (e.g. military service, wartime imprisonment)
  • Waiting period completed if reduction of earning capacity due to accident at work or injuries incurred during military or community service
  • Temporary Claim Acceptance

Transitional phase

  • For those over 40 allowing partial occupational disability benefit and Tier 2 benefits if work fewer than 6 hours

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How Much Are German State Disability Pensions?

ANSWER: Average Pension = €8,850 pa. (Volle EM € 9,000 Teilweise EM €6,750)

  • Male = €9,700 pa. (Volle EM €10,000 Teilweise EM €7,200)
  • Female = €7,800 pa. (Volle EM €7,900 Teilweise EM €5,300)
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