If a disability has already occurred or is imminent due to 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, which are also technical aids in the broader sense, assistive products and technical work aids are personal, mobile products (e.g. Braille displays, arthrodesis chairs).
Assistive products for professional use
Assistive products required for the job (Section 49 para. 8 no. 4 SGB IX) are medical therapy products such as hearing aids or orthopaedic shoes. In this occupational context, they are required for typical requirements of a specific job or to increase occupational safety. They are therefore not covered by statutory health insurance.
For example, orthopaedic safety shoes for a worker with a foot disability are a benefit for participation in working life, whereas orthopaedic shoes, which 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-handed keyboards, forklift trucks with low access or special protective work clothing. Funding is provided as a grant up to the full amount of the costs and covers the initial and replacement purchase, maintenance, servicing and vocational training in use.
Motor vehicle assistance
If employees with severe disabilities have to travel to their place of work or training by car, income-related vehicle assistance is available for disability-related additional vehicle equipment (e.g. steering wheel adaptations, body modifications). Funding is possible up to the full amount of the installation and repair costs (see § 49 SGB IX, § 20 SchwbAV in conjunction with the Motor Vehicle Assistance Ordinance).
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 the procurement of housing suitable for disabled people (e.g. change of job, more convenient location) or for adapting housing to meet the needs of disabled people. You can find out more on the page Barrier-free housing.