For (future) employees with disabilities, chronic-somatic or chronic-psychological illnesses, it can be useful to have a degree of disability officially determined and thus legally recognized. After this, they may be able to obtain a severely disabled person's ID card or obtain equal status.
Such a determination entitles employees to claim support and Disadvantage compensation, depending on the recognized degree of disability.
An application for the determination of a disability is not only considered for people with mobility and sensory impairments, such as visual and hearing impairments. Both chronic-somatic and chronic-psychological illnesses can be recognized as disabilities, depending on the type and extent of the social participation restriction!
In the application for a determination, information on the health situation, medical treatments and inpatient hospital or rehab stays as well as the treating physicians are provided and supported by reports of findings. The documents submitted are assessed by the pension office on the basis of the Versorgungsmedizin-Verordnung (VersMedV).
The assessment is always carried out on a case-by-case basis and evaluates existing restrictions on social participation. The result of the assessment procedure is either a degree of disability (GdB) or notification that the criteria for a disability are not met.
Frequently, there are also several functional impairments for one staff, people. In this case, a total GdB is determined and stated in the assessment notice.
It is possible that a review period is specified in the assessment notice, at which time it will be assessed whether the determined disability still exists in this form. This period is usually no longer than five years. For example, in the case of cancer, a so-called cure probation period of usually two to five years can be defined. After this period, the GdB is reassessed and adjusted if necessary.
Depending on the type of handicap, the severely handicapped person's ID card can also be marked with a symbol that entitles him or her to various Disadvantage compensations.
The degree of disability is awarded in increments of 10.
With a GdB of 20, 30 or 40, the person concerned is considered disabled under social law.
With a GdB of 50 - 100, the social-legal status as severely disabled takes effect and a severely disabled person's card is issued according to SchwbAnV.
People with a degree of disability of 30 or 40 can be treated in the same way as severely disabled people under social law, provided that their disability specifically impairs their participation in working life.
Trainees can also be placed on an equal footing for a limited period of time without an officially recognized disability.
An objection may be lodged in writing within one month against each assessment notice. The objection must be substantiated.
A new determination of the previous GdB can be obtained with an amendment application, e.g. if the previous disability has significantly worsened. An amendment application always involves the risk that the previous GdB will be reduced.
The employer is not involved in the application for the determination of a disability. The only people who have knowledge of the application are the treatment providers involved, the pension office and any counseling centers that may be involved, such as the SBV. The latter is subject to a special duty of confidentiality. In most cases, the employer does not have to be informed about the degree of disability.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule (link to Disclose disability). Depending on the type and severity of a disability, it may be necessary to inform the employer about job-relevant symptoms if the disability restricts the performance of job-related tasks. In this regard, the SBC provides confidential and competent advice.
The aim of legal equality is to secure or obtain a suitable job. By means of an equality according to §151 SGB IX, the regulations of the law for severely disabled persons are applied to people with a GdB below 50, with a few exceptions, in order to compensate for competitive disadvantages on the general labor market caused by disabilities.
In concrete terms, equality has positive effects for employees: Job seekers and employees with equal rights have a more extensive entitlement to support and assistance services. Employees enjoy special protection against dismissal for severely disabled people.
Eligible to apply are people
As a rule, disabled employees with special protection against dismissal, such as civil servants in the public sector, cannot apply for equality. An application can only be considered under special circumstances, e.g. if incapacity or early retirement endanger the job.
A special form of equalization may be applied to adolescents and young adults undergoing Vocational training at university. Trainees with a GdB below 30 or even without an official determination of a GdB can be equalized and claim academic achievements for participation in working life from the Integration Office, e.g. wage cost subsidies for the employer. Disadvantage compensation above and beyond this is generally not granted without an official determination of a disability.
Unlike in the case of an application for a declaratory decision, the employer can take note of an application for equal treatment. The application procedure requires the employment agency to obtain statements from the employer, the Staff Council and the representative body for severely disabled employees. As a result, the employer can obtain approval of the employee's application data, such as the recognized degree of disability.
The employment agency can only obtain opinions with the consent of the employee making the application. If consent is refused, the application can be rejected due to "lack of cooperation".
Employees should therefore seek advice from the SBV or Staff Council in good time and clarify whether the employer's opinion can be waived in individual cases.
The determined degree of disability initially says nothing about the performance of the employee at his or her workplace, but formalizes existing functional impairments in interaction with environmental barriers.
For example, a blind staff member with a GdB of 100 cannot display any serious limitations in his or her ability to work at a workplace equipped for the visually impaired. In contrast, a person suffering from multiple sclerosis with a GdB of 50 may be subject to more severe limitations in performance due to an episodic course of the disease. Nevertheless, very good work results can be recorded during symptom-free phases and phases of illness can thus be compensated for.
The extent to which a disabled person can participate in working life always depends on the interaction of environmental factors, functional impairment and its compensatory possibilities, and the specific field of activity. A disability per se says nothing about the quality of the work results!