Care allowance and care degrees

An overview of everything you need to know about care allowance and care grades.

The care allowance provides financial support for people who care for relatives in need of care at home. This support makes it easier for caregivers to take over the care of their relatives or to hire a private caregiver. The amount of the care allowance is determined by so-called care degrees, which take into account the needs and severity of the caregiver. We would like to provide you with comprehensive information about care allowance and care degrees in today's article:

1. What is care allowance?
2. What is care advice?
3. who is entitled to care allowance?
4. care allowance for care degrees 1 to 5
5. assessment procedure for care degrees
6. How does the classification into a specific care degree come about?
7. Care allowance in case of prevention care or short-term care
8. How do you apply for care allowance?
9. Care allowance payment: When is care allowance transferred?
10. Care allowance for pension payments
11. Tax care allowance
12. Benefits of care allowance and what you should look out for
13. Marta will help you with your application and support you with any other issues

1. what is care allowance?

Care allowance is a state financial support for people who have a higher need for care measures or require more help due to their need for care. The amount of the care allowance is based on the degree of need for care and is calculated in five care levels, with a basic monthly care allowance paid at each level. From January 1, 2024, an increase of 5 percent in care allowance and care benefits in kind is planned.

Overview of care allowance by care level Care reform 2024

In addition, persons in need of care can receive monthly financial support for prevention care and care services, whereby the exact amounts depend on various factors and should be requested from a competent office. The care allowance is usually applied for at the care insurance fund, which is part of the statutory health insurance. Persons in need of care and their caregivers can also apply for the care allowance from their health insurance fund. In some cases, the social welfare office can help with care allowance administration. To ensure that all the necessary steps to apply for benefits from the health insurance fund or social welfare office are met, it is advisable to learn about the application procedures and requirements in advance. Marta offers the downloadable application form for long-term care benefits from the health insurance fund. After receiving the form, your health insurance company will contact you to discuss how to proceed. It is advisable to contact a care consultant to take full advantage of your entitlement to care allowance and to ensure that all relevant details are taken into account during the payment process.

2 What is long-term care counseling?

Long-term care counseling is advice for people who have relatives in need of long-term care or who are in need of long-term care themselves. This involves providing information about the need for long-term care, long-term care benefits, levels of care, and available assistance and services. A care advisor can help determine the best options for care and assist in applying for long-term care benefits. Long-term care counseling can be accessed anytime there is a need or questions about long-term care needs and financial assistance. It is advisable to contact a care advisor if:

you are unsure whether a need for care exists.
you want to find out about care allowance, degrees of care and other financial support options.
you want to find out about the different care options (e.g. home care, outpatient care, inpatient care, etc.).
You would like to find out about your rights and obligations as a caregiver.
You need support with applications, procedures and administration of care allowance or other benefits.

Care counseling can be obtained free of charge from care insurance funds, social services or care counseling centers. You can make contact by phone, online or in person by contacting the long-term care insurance fund, the social services office or a long-term care counseling center in your area, or by inquiring directly at a long-term care insurance fund. It is also possible to make an appointment directly for a personal consultation or to use a telephone consultation. Of course, marta can also support you in arranging a care consultation. We have a broad network of highly qualified care consultations about which we consistently receive positive feedback from families.‍‍
Rely on marta for expert assistance in arranging care consultations.

3. who is entitled to care allowance?

Since January 1, 2017, there are no longer care levels in Germany. Instead, the care level system has been replaced by the new care degree system. The new system aims to take better account of the needs of people with dementia or mental illnesses and enable more precise classification into the various care degrees. This is intended to take into account individual differences in care needs and ensure appropriate care. There are now five care levels (instead of the previous three care levels), ranging from care level 1 (slight impairment of independence) to care level 5 (most severe impairment of independence).

The previous care levels can be translated into the new care level system as follows:

Care level I Corresponds to a slight restriction of everyday competence Care degrees Care level 1 and 2
Care level II of a moderate corresponds to care level 3 to 5
Care level III of a severe impairment corresponds to care level 4 to 5

The care allowance is paid based on the classification into a specific care level. There are 5 care degrees based on the severity of the need for care. The higher the care degree, the higher the care allowance. The care degree is determined by a care need assessment, in which the physical, cognitive and mental abilities are checked.

Finally, it is worth considering alternative financing options to reduce the financial burden on family caregivers. In each federal state, there are special funds that support the financing of home help under certain conditions. There are also private foundation projects or other programs that people can take advantage of. With the right level of knowledge about application requirements, the amount of care allowance as well as alternative financing options, a lot of problems can be solved and thus the everyday life of caring relatives can be made much easier.

It is therefore always advisable to be well informed in advance and to examine and, if necessary, exhaust all available options. Because this can often already greatly reduce the financial burden of the care situation.

4. care allowance for care degree 1 to 5

The care degree is an important component of the care insurance. It determines whether and to what extent a person receives benefits from the long-term care insurance. The care degree is determined by an employee of the Medical Service of the Health Insurance (MDK). The MDK is an independent service provider for health and long-term care insurance that assesses the need for care and the degree of impairment of independence.

The classification into a care degree is made on the basis of the need for care in various areas, such as personal hygiene, mobility or nutrition. In Germany, there are a total of 5 care degrees, which differ in their severity. The degrees range from care degree 1 (low care need) to care degree 5 (most severe care need).

The care degree includes different benefits, including monthly payments to the person concerned. The monthly amount depends on the respective care degree. In addition, benefits in kind or outpatient assistance can also be applied for.

Overview of care levels, care requirements with examples

5.      Begutachtungsverfahren bei Pflegegraden

Wie bereits erwähnt wird das standardisierte Begutachtungsverfahren für Pflegegrade von einer sogenannten Pflegebedürftigkeits-Assessmentstelle (MDK) durchgeführt. Hierbei werden die körperlichen, kognitiven und psychischen Fähigkeiten der pflegebedürftigen Person bewertet, um den Pflegegrad zu ermitteln. Die Bewertung erfolgt anhand von Fragen, praktischen Tests und Beobachtungen und ist auf einem standardisierten Verfahren basiert, das für alle gleich ist. Ein standardisiertes Begutachtungsverfahren für die Pflegegrade beinhaltet in der Regel die folgenden Schritte:

Anamnese: Der Gutachter erfragt bei der pflegebedürftigen Person und eventuell bei Angehörigen Informationen über die Vorgeschichte, das aktuelle Gesundheitszustand und den Alltag.

Körperliche Untersuchung: Der Gutachter prüft die körperlichen Fähigkeiten, darunter Beweglichkeit, Koordination, körperliche Kraft und Schmerzen.

Überprüfung der kognitiven und psychischen Funktionen: Der Gutachter beurteilt die kognitiven und psychischen Funktionen, darunter Gedächtnis, Kommunikation und Verhaltensauffälligkeiten.

Bewertung der pflegerischen Anforderungen: Der Gutachter beurteilt die pflegerischen Anforderungen, die für den Alltag der pflegebedürftigen Person notwendig sind, darunter Körperpflege, Ernährung und Mobilität.

Zusammenfassung der Bewertung: Der Gutachter erstellt eine Zusammenfassung der Bewertung, die die Ergebnisse der Anamnese, der körperlichen Untersuchung, der Überprüfung der kognitiven und psychischen Funktionen sowie der Bewertung der pflegerischen Anforderungen enthält.

Diese Schritte dienen als Orientierung, die konkreten Verfahren und Kriterien können jedoch von Bundesland zu Bundesland und von Krankenkasse zu Krankenkasse unterschiedlich sein.

6.      Wie kommt die Einstufung in einen spezifischen Pflegegrad zustande?

Wie bereits erwähnt gibt es 5 verschiedene Pflegegrade. Die Einstufung in einen spezifischen Pflegegrad erfolgt auf Basis eines Punktesystems, das aufgrund eines differenzierten Fragenbogens ermittelt wird. Dieses basiert auf 6 Lebensbereichen (Modulen), zu denen ein Gutachter 64 Kriterien prüft, die dann unterschiedlich gewichtet in das Endresultat einfließen. Die 6 Lebensbereiche sind: „Mobilität“, „Kognitive & kommunikative Fähigkeiten“, „Verhaltensweisen und psychische Belastung“, „Selbstversorgung“, „Umgang mit Krankheits- & therapiebedingten Anforderungen“ sowie „Gestaltung des Alltagslebens“.

Am wichtigsten ist das Modul 4.: „Selbstversorgung“. Es fließt mit 40% in die Bewertung ein. Hierbei wird geprüft, ob die zu bewertende Person die grundlegenden Tätigkeiten zur Körperpflege bzw. der Versorgung des eigenen Körpers, ohne Hilfe ausführen kann. Hierzu zählen Waschen und Ankleiden genauso wie der Gang auf die Toilette.

Das zweitwichtigste Modul ist das Modul 5.: „Umgang mit Krankheits- & therapiebedingten Anforderungen“. Es fließt mit 20% in die finale Bewertung zur Pflegebedürftigkeit ein. In diesem Modul geht es um die selbständige Umsetzung ärztlich verordneter Maßnahmen. Ist eine vollständig eigenständige Umsetzung nicht gegeben, werden umso mehr Punkte vergeben, je häufiger Hilfe erforderlich ist.

Mit 15% fließt das Modul 6.: „Gestaltung des Alltagslebens und sozialer Kontakte“ in die Bewertung mit ein. Dieses Modul zielt darauf ab, zu prüfen, ob die zu bewertende Person in der Lage ist, Kontakt zu Freunden und der Familie allein zu pflegen bzw. aufrechtzuerhalten.

Die Module 2.: „Kognitive & kommunikative Fähigkeiten“ und 3. „Verhaltensweisen und psychische Belastung“ werden gesondert behandelt, da nur das Modul der beiden, das höher bewertet wird, zu 15% in das Endresultat einfließt.

In Modul 2. wird ausschließlich geprüft, ob die Person in der Lage ist zu kommunizieren und dann eine Transferleistung zu erbringen, d.h. ob sie die aufgenommenen Informationen verstehen und verarbeiten kann. Es wird getestet, ob Verwandte und Freunde erkannt werden und ob die pflegebedürftige Person sich eigenständig in ihrem Umfeld bewegen kann, ohne z.B. die Orientierung zu verlieren. Außerdem ist es wichtig, dass die zu bewertende Person realisiert, dass man bei Regen andere Kleidung anziehen muss als bei gutem Wetter und die geistige Fähigkeit zur Umsetzung und Problemlösung besitzt. Es geht in diesem Modul nicht darum, dass jemand körperlich in der Lage ist, die genannten Aufgaben zu erledigen, sondern um die geistigen Fähigkeiten.

Modul 3. zielt darauf ab zu prüfen, ob auffälliges Verhalten der zu bewertenden Person gegenüber sich selbst und anderen vorliegt. Ist die Person verwirrt und leidet unter Wahnvorstellungen? Ist sie gewalttätig? Falls diese oder andere Probleme auftreten, wird zusätzlich geprüft, ob es Muster gibt und wie häufig sie sich äußern. Wurden alle Module ausgewertet, werden die Punkte addiert und man kann anhand einer Tabelle analysieren, welchem Pflegegrad die zu bewertende Person zugeordnet werden muss.

Careful grading of care levels are critical to ensure individualized care.

7. care allowance for preventive care or short-term care

Care allowance is also paid for preventive care or short-term care. This is care that is provided by a person in his or her apartment or home when a caregiver is prevented from attending due to illness or in the case of short-term care. In this case, the amount of the care allowance depends on the duration of the care and the care level of the person in need of care. Special regulations apply to both forms of care, which are examined on a case-specific basis.

8. how to apply for care allowance?

In order to apply for care allowance, there are various documents that you need to submit. It is important that you have all the relevant documents before you go to the authorities. The following checklist can help you make sure your documents are complete:

Application form to care insurance fund/health insurance fund of the person in need of care(free download here at Marta)
Proof of care degree (e.g. Notification from the MDK)
Salary statements (if the person in need of care is employed)
Hospital and doctor's reports (to substantiate the need for care)
Possibly proof of existing care services (e.g. outpatient care)

Please note that the requirements may vary depending on the care insurance fund and the federal state. We recommend that you obtain information from the care insurance fund in advance. If you are unsure, the trained team of experts at marta will be happy to assist you.‍‍

9. care allowance payment: When is the care allowance transferred?

After applying for the care allowance, it can take a few weeks until it is paid out. The responsible long-term care insurance fund will inform you about the date of payment. Long-term care allowance is paid retroactively from the date of application, provided it has been approved. This means that the responsible long-term care insurance fund will pay the long-term care allowance retroactively for the period from the date of application to the date of approval.

The exact time of transfer of the care allowance varies depending on the responsible care insurance fund. It can be transferred at the beginning/end of the month or at another time during the month. Information on this can be obtained from the responsible long-term care insurance fund.
10. care allowance with pension payment

The care allowance is a social benefit provided by the care insurance to help with the costs of care. Its purpose is to relieve the burden on persons in need of care and their family caregivers.

Since it is a separate social benefit, the care allowance is not offset against the pension, but is an additional benefit. Other care benefits, such as care benefits in kind or care services, are also not offset against the pension.
11 Tax on care allowance

allowance is generally tax-free. However, it falls under the term "additional income" and may therefore be taxable under certain circumstances for certain income levels.

More detailed information on this can be obtained from the tax office or a tax advisor. It is important to note that the care allowance is not automatically reported to the tax office and you are therefore responsible for declaring it yourself on your annual tax return.‍

12. benefits of care allowance and what you should look out for

It is important to familiarize yourself with the framework of care allowance, as it represents significant financial support for the person in need of care and their family. A good understanding of the benefits and important factors of long-term care benefits will allow you to make informed decisions about whether to take advantage of them and how to make the most of them. These are the benefits of long-term care benefits:

Financial support for person in need of care and their family.
Covers some of the costs for person in need of care.
Eases the financial burden on family caregivers.
✔ May provide improved quality of life for persons in need of care, if applicable.

What should you look for when applying for long-term care benefits?

May be taxable at certain income levels.
May not be enough to cover all the costs of care.
May cause delays or misinformation if you apply incorrectly.
May cause complications if you have not been sufficiently informed about the terms and conditions.

It is important to inform yourself in detail about the terms and conditions of the care allowance in order to decide whether it makes sense for you or for people in your own care who need care.‍‍

13. marta helps you with your application and supports you with all other issues

We have tried to give you a comprehensive overview of care allowance and care degrees. However, if you are confused by the bureaucratic challenges, don't worry. Our all-round service is here to help you.

As your expert partner, we'll help you get organized so you can focus on choosing the best caregiver. Our specially tailored caregiver selection process ensures that your family member is in the best hands. With our assistance, you can avoid the stressful paperwork and rest assured that your family member is receiving the best care possible. Our team is always available to assist you with any bureaucratic issues regarding subsidies.


Find a caregiver now