The level of disability is a unit of measure that indicates the severity of a disability on a scale of 20 to 100. The higher the value, the greater the disability.
There are almost eight million people in Germany who are considered severely disabled, and the number is growing due to the increasing average age of the German society. The degree of disability is assessed and assigned by the Social Security office (Versorgungsamt) according to very precise rules which are known as “principles of health care”.
In the case of a disability equal to or greater than 50 a person is classified as severely disabled. This happens in the presence of severe, congenital, chronic, or highly inflammatory diseases. Generally, an illness is said to be serious if the person who suffers from it must undergo medical treatment at least once every three months or when he or she must be constantly treated. In the event that a person has two or more different disabilities, their level will not be summed, but the Social Security office will decide which level to certify, taking into consideration the general situation.
It is important to remember that the word disability refers not only to physical disabilities but also to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Depression, brain dysfunction, learning disabilities, addictions, partial or profound deafness and blindness, migraines, and dementia are also considered severe disabilities.
Severely disabled persons are given an identification card that can indicate, through a letter, the disease they suffer from. This card is provided by the Versorgungsamt, after a careful valuation. Appropriate recent medical documentation must be produced, that includes reports and results of diagnostic tests. The card allows you to obtain financial aid, additional leave, protection against dismissal and fiscal benefits.