Care allowance 2017: benefits for care at home

Caring for a relative at home not only costs a lot of time, but sometimes also a lot of nerves. Above all, the financial burden is a big problem for many, which they cannot solve without further help. Although a place in a nursing home is still significantly more expensive in most cases, the pension of most people is still far from sufficient to cover the costs incurred. The questions that many caring family members ask themselves revolve around the financing of home care: What costs are covered by long-term care insurance?? How much is the care allowance 2017? What happens if I fall ill myself or go on vacation?? How much money is due and how can I claim it?? Does the nursing care insurance also pay for 24h care? We would like to cover these and other questions extensively on this page to give you valuable tips on how to get the most out of your situation.

Care allowance 2017: you can, depending on the care grade, get up to 901, – euros care allowance for care at home; © uschi dreiucker /

Care allowance for home care

If your relative suffers from limited everyday competence, you are entitled to payments from the care insurance fund, the so-called care allowance. How high the respective rate is depends on the care degree (formerly care level) in which the person in need of care was classified. The assessment is carried out by an employee of the Medical Service of the Health Insurance Fund. This assessor comes to the home of your family member in need of care for the purpose and checks which everyday tasks can still be managed by yourself and where the person needs additional help. Before the Nursing Care Strengthening Act II, under which this new regulation was introduced at the beginning of 2017, the yardstick was still the need for assistance in minutes. Now the focus is on the person himself and his remaining physical and cognitive abilities.

The person to be cared for can decide for themselves who should provide the care and to what extent. Depending on whether they are cared for by family or friends or by professional caregivers in the home environment, the contribution from the nursing care insurance funds varies. In the case of privately organized home care, the care allowance per month is between 316 and 901 euros.

Benefits in kind from the nursing care insurance fund

Apart from the care allowance 2017, you can also receive support in the form of care benefits in kind. In this context, the long-term care insurance fund covers the costs of services provided in the home environment by an outpatient care service. This includes nursing assistance in the areas of basic care, nutrition, mobility, as well as support with household tasks. These benefits are also graded according to the level of care:

Care degree 1 0 Euro

Care level 2 724 Euro

Care degree 3 1.363 euros

Nursing degree 4 1.693 euros

Care level 5 2.095 euros

If you don't use the full amount of long-term care benefits you're entitled to, you can use up to 40 percent of the amount for other care or respite services as well. This includes, for example, hourly care for the elderly, which can considerably relieve the burden on caring relatives.

Combination benefit: combine care allowance and benefits in kind

If a person in need of care wants to be cared for by family members or friends as well as by professional caregivers, they can also apply for care allowance and benefits in kind as a combination benefit. In this case, your entitlement to care allowance is reduced on a percentage basis depending on the extent of the benefits in kind received. So if you only use 50 percent of the scope of possible benefits in kind, you can have 50 percent of the care allowance paid out to you. Specifically, using the example of a senior citizen with care degree 4, this would mean that if you receive 80 percent of the benefits in kind (i.e. 1.354.40 euros), a payment of 20 percent of the care allowance (i.e. 145.60 euros) is possible. But beware: once you have opted for this combination benefit, you are bound to it for six months. Only in exceptional cases can the respective distribution be changed, for example, if the need changes at short notice due to an acute deterioration of the health condition in a high degree.

Preventive care and short-term care for periods of absence

Even if you live in the same house and are not (or no longer) employed, you cannot be available around the clock all year round for your relative in need of care. If you yourself should fall ill or want to travel, you can hire a so-called prevention care for the respective period of time. In the care degrees two to five are available for it per year 1.612 euros available. This money can then be used to hire an appropriate respite care service to fill in for you while you are away, if needed. In order to use this service, you must have been responsible for the basic care of your relative for at least six months.

If you are unable to provide care for a longer period of time, or if the need for care is greater in the short term after a stay in the hospital, there is the option of short-term care. Since the beginning of 2017, all people cared for at home from care level 2 have a right to be able to be accommodated in an inpatient facility for a maximum period of 56 days. For this, the nursing care insurance pays the nursing care share up to an amount of 1.612 euros per year. If you do not fully utilize your entitlement to short-term or preventive care, you have the option of transferring the excess amount to the other benefit in each case. For this period, however, only half of the care allowance will be paid.

Additional care and respite services

You are entitled to additional care and relief services from the first care level onwards. This entitlement to a relief contribution of 125 euros per month is, however, earmarked for a specific purpose. According to § 45b of the Social Code Book Eleven (SGB XI), it can only be used for "quality-assured services to relieve the burden on care-giving relatives and similarly close people in their capacity as caregivers, and to promote the independence and self-determination of those in need of care in organizing their everyday lives." are used. This includes, for example, the costs arising from the use of day or night care services, short-term care or outpatient care services. In this context, unused relief contributions can still be used by the insured until the end of June of the following year.

Care allowance 2017 for care at home: 24-hour care

Since the costs for a retirement home are very high and the nursing care insurance takes over only a part of it, many concerning look for an alternative. More and more German families are opting for 24-hour care, in which caregivers from Eastern Europe move into the home of the person in need of care and take over tasks of basic care, household chores and mobilization.

Unfortunately, you can not claim this service as a care allowance. For this you are free to claim the care allowance as well as your entitlements to prevention care allowance and from short-term care. Thus, using the example of a senior citizen with care level 3, you could spend a total of 746 euros per month for 24-hour care. At an average cost of 1.800 to 2.000 euros a month for this type of care, this means a relief of more than 33 percent and keeps the amount to be paid in the lower four-digit range. Thus, the 24-hour care has become a comparatively cheap alternative to the retirement home, which allows you to stay in your own home and even provide extensive individual care.

24-hour care can be partially financed by the care allowance

The 24h caregiver helps with basic care, mobilization and takes over everyday tasks like shopping

Find 24h caregiver with 24h care check

You are looking for a 24-hour caregiver? We will be happy to help you find a suitable agency for placement. All you have to do is request a free, no-obligation quote using our handy service form. Fill out our questionnaire about your relative's current care needs. Our experts will then analyze your information and in the next step present you with up to three offers from tested and certified suppliers. Once you have chosen an agency, it will introduce you to the personnel who will meet your needs and who will be able to work in your family member's home at short notice. This is how you can quickly and reliably find a 24-hour caregiver who will make everyday life easier for you and your family member in the long term.

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