Have you been in a situation where your loved one needs 24-hour care that is financially challenging? The good news is that you are eligible for subsidies. These will relieve you to some extent of the costs associated with home care. How much can you get if you live in Germany?

Contributions to care

If your parent is unable to function on their own due to illness or age, you are considering a suitable solution to help them. The most ideal choice is24-hour care. If you prefer a caregiveremployed through an agency via posting model, this will be the cheapest of all possible options (compared to hiring a freelance caregiver or employing them on your own). However, this type of care in Germany will cost you between €2,000 and €3,000 per month. The allowances provided to your relatives who are dependent on care can make things easier.

Care allowance

You can draw the care allowance in the form of benefits from the long-term care insurance fund(Pflegekasse), which is set up by health insurance companies in Germany. It is a legal entitlement for people with health insurance. The so-called ‘Pflegegeld’ is paid according to the degree of dependence (Pflegegrad). It ranges from EUR 316 to EUR 901 per month. These grades are divided into five categories according to the severity of the person’s condition. Although patients in the first tier are not entitled to the care allowance, they can benefit from other allowances.

The nursing allowance can be used to cover thecaregiver’s salary as it is not ring-fenced. This means that the decision is yours as a direct relative and you decide what you use it for. There is another benefit – the objective care allowance(Pflegesachleistung). However, this is intended to remunerate care staff with medical education. Therefore, they are not to be confused. If your family member requires care, ask the insurance company to determine the level of dependency. You are entitled to the care allowance if you are cared for at home. And they must have paid contributions for at least two years in the last ten years to the long-term care social fund, which is part of the health insurance fund. The allowance can also be used if you use daily care services and combine it with objective care benefits.

level of care monthly amountannual amount
2316 €3 792 €
3545 €6 540 €
4728 €8 736 €
5901 €10 812 €
Amount of the care allowance

How do I apply for care allowance?

You can apply for care benefits before your parent is recognised as dependent. Send a written request in the form of a letter or mail to your insurance company. You can also do it by phone (but you won’t have a confirmation) or in person. It should be requested by the person in need of care, but if this is not possible, the person’s mentor will do so. You will then visit a doctor who will come to your home within 14 days of your application to assess your level of need. You then wait 25 working days, by this time they have to issue the report. If your application is refused, you have the right to appeal within a month of the refusal or even to ask for a reconsideration of the classification in which your relative has been placed.

This contribution can be sent directly to the carer´s account. In this case, a note should be included in the application. Otherwise, it is transferred to the person receiving care. Entitlement to the care allowance starts on the date it was claimed for, so it will be paid retrospectively for the period between the date the claim was made and the date it is approved.

Check ups

You must take into account the reduction of contribution to care if your relative has to be admitted to hospital or needs to undergo rehabilitation. In this case, the benefit is paid for the first four weeks. If your caregiver drops out for a short period of time and the person you care for goes into a care home for that time, you won’t lose your benefit. You will receive it at a rate of 50% for a maximum of eight weeks. Thereafter, the entitlement will expire if the use of care at home is not resumed.

In order for this allowance to last, regular consultations of the patient’s condition with the doctor are necessary. If it falls within 2. 3rd degree of dependency, a consultation is held every six months. If it is included in 4. grade 5, checks must be carried out every three months. If you ignore these deadlines, your relative risks losing their care benefits. You have to arrange these check ups yourself, the insurance company will not remind you.

Other contributions

From the first stage of dependency onwards, you are entitled to a relief service (Entlastungsleistungen) of €125 per month (€1,500 per year). It is designed to support you in everyday life. It is not paid directly into the account of the person using the service. Evidence of Long Term Care Insurance Fund services must be provided. It will be reimbursed as follows. Only 50% of people in Germany in need of care benefit from this relief contribution. It can be used for, among other things (domestic help – cleaning, cooking, day and night care, residential care), for 24-hour care expenses. It is not necessary to apply for this allowance. All you need to do is provide the confirmation from the service providers. Unspent contributions from the previous year may be used up within six months of the following calendar year. Benefits for 2022 will therefore expire after 30 June. 2023.

House adaptation subsidy

In addition, other contributions are available to facilitate and improve the patient’s life. For example, a subsidy of €4,000 for the remodelling or adaptation of housing to adapt the home to the patient’s requirements. The grant can be used to modify a bathroom (building a barrier-free shower) or a lift to ensure a smooth transfer of a patient suffering from mobility problems. So-called platform lifts or lifts in the form of a chairlift are used to take the patient up and down from the stairs. Their implementation starts at 3,800 euros. The entitlement to this aid also applies to a patient classified in the first degree of dependence. If there are several people in the household requiring care, a maximum subsidy of up to €16,000 can be applied for. It is paid per person and is provided to patients who are in home care.

Toiletries or emergency over the phone

There is also an allowance of 40 euros per month for disinfectants, gloves, face masks or protective bed pads. You don’t need a prescription for them, just recognition of dependency and use of home care. They can be obtained in two ways – by ordering a free package or by purchasing it, which will be additionally reimbursed by your insurance company. There is also a home emergency call in case of an emergency (the senior sends a signal to a relative or caregiver so that they can arrange help in case of a fall, heart attack, etc.), which is covered by the insurance fund at a cost of EUR 25,50 per month for running and EUR 10,49 for installation. Calls can be made via landline, mobile and special watches.

If you are looking for a reliable caregiver, in Atena we have plenty of staff from Central and Eastern European countries who are eager to work and have the language skills and experience.

Do you have experience with using the care allowance?