If a disability has already occurred or is threatened by a prolonged illness, employees and young people in vocational training are entitled to technical aids to ensure their participation in working life. Apart from motor vehicle and housing aids, where technical aids are also used in a broader sense, assistive products and technical work aids are personal, mobile products (e.g. Braille displays, arthrodesis chairs).
Assistive products for the profession
Assistive products necessary for the job (§ 49 para. 8 no. 4 SGB IX) are medical therapy products such as hearing aids or orthopaedic shoes. They are necessary in this occupational context for typical requirements of a specific job or to increase occupational safety. Therefore, they do not fall under the obligation to pay benefits of the statutory health insurance.
For example, orthopaedic work safety shoes for a worker with a foot disability are a benefit for participation in working life, whereas orthopaedic shoes that are generally intended to compensate for a walking disability in everyday life and at work are considered a medical benefit.
Technical work aids
Technical work aids (§ 49 para. 8 no. 5 SGB IX, § 19 SchwbAV) are in principle any work furniture, vehicles, machines, tools or hardware and software that compensate for disability-related disadvantages in the activity. These can be custom-made or commercially available products such as screen readers, one-hand keyboards, forklifts with low access or special protective work clothing. Funding is provided as a grant up to the full cost and includes initial and replacement purchase, maintenance, repair, and vocational training in use.
Motor vehicle assistance
If employees with severe disabilities have to use a motor vehicle to reach their place of work or training, income-related motor vehicle assistance is available for disability-related additional equipment in a motor vehicle (e.g., steering wheel adaptations, body conversions). The support is possible up to the full amount of the installation and repair costs (see § 49 SGB IX, § 20 SchwbAV i. V. m. Kraftfahrzeughilfe-Verordnung).
Employees with severe disabilities can receive grants and interest subsidies for housing suitable for disabled people (see § 49 SGB IX, § 22 SchwbAV). The financial benefit is available for obtaining housing suitable for disabled people (e.g., job change, more convenient location) or for housing adaptations suitable for disabled people. You can find out more on the barrier-free housing page.