Instruction: Obtaining disability benefits in Germany

Step-by-step instructions for obtaining disability benefits in Germany, getting an ID card for persons with disability, useful web links.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Step-by-step instructions for obtaining disability benefits in Germany:

1. Identify the local Versorgungsamt or Sozialamt responsible for handling disability applications. You can find information about these institutions on their official websites or through search engines.

2. Fill out the corresponding form (Erstantrag or Änderungsantrag) depending on whether you are applying for disability benefits for the first time or reporting a change in your health condition. You can search on Google for "Schwerbehindertenausweis beantragen [name of your city]" to find the appropriate authority and form.

3. Attach the necessary documents, such as medical reports, doctor's certificates, and passport-sized photos (if required). If you already have relevant documents in German, attach copies of them.

4. Submit your application by regular mail or through an online system if available. Make sure to keep the case number (Zeichen) provided in the notification of receipt of your application.

5. Wait for a response letter, which will contain information about the further steps and the processing timeframe for your application. The process usually takes several months.

6. Provide any missing documents if requested by your doctors or institutions.

7. The decision will be communicated to you in written form. If you receive a positive outcome, you will be issued a Schwerbehindertenausweis (disability ID card).

8. If you are in a hospital, SPZ (special pedagogical center), hospice, nursing home, or similar institution, seek assistance from the medical staff in submitting your application.

9. If you have doubts about whether you qualify for a Schwerbehindertenausweis, still submit an application. In the worst case, you may be denied.

10. Remember that the application and procedure are free of charge for you.

The disability ID card (Schwerbehindertenausweis) is a bank card-sized document with a photograph of the holder (children under a certain age may not require a photo). It contains information about the degree of disability, special marks (Merkzeichen), issue date, and expiration date.

The card is issued for a period of 5 years, except for individuals with severe and irreversible health impairments who may receive an unlimited validity ID card.

There are two versions of the ID card: green (standard) and green-orange (entitles the holder to free public transportation when accompanied by special marks).

In Germany, individuals with severe disabilities can apply for the corresponding ID card. Ukrainian disability ID cards are not valid in Germany.

Additional information can be found on the websites of Versorgungsamt, Sozialamt, and other official resources mentioned in the provided links.

You can find information about all Versorgungsamt offices in Germany through this link:

For additional information, visit:

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