How do you make a disability claim

People with disabilities: secure tax advantages now

7.9 million severely disabled people were living in Germany at the end of 2019. This means that 9.5 percent of the entire population in Germany was severely disabled. This has been determined by the Federal Statistical Office.

But when are you disabled? The Social Security Code defines it as follows: People are disabled when their participation in life in society is impaired. This is the case if “there is a high probability that their physical function, mental ability or mental health has deviated from the state typical of their age for more than six months”.

How severely a person is impaired is shown by the "degree of disability" (GdB). It can be between 20 and 100 and is determined by a medical expert. From a GdB of 50 there is a severe disability, there is then a corresponding ID. Anyone with a GdB of 20, 30 or 40 can apply for a certificate from the pension office.

By the way:

Important for the tax return: As a person with a disability, you will only receive tax breaks if you have a severely handicapped ID card or certificate. So be sure to apply!

Tax breaks compensate for financial disadvantages

People with disabilities often have a higher financial burden than average citizens. For example, you need special living space or have higher medical costs. In order to mitigate these disability-related disadvantages or additional expenses, people with disabilities are granted so-called disadvantage compensation.

The tax authorities also grant people with disabilities a number of benefits. We give you an overview:

1. Lump sum for the disabled for typical costs

In the case of a disability, "typical" costs, for example for medication, aids such as a wheelchair or the increased need for laundry, arise quite regularly. You can use the so-called flat-rate allowance for the disabled for these costs. The amount of the lump sum depends on the GdB. With a GdB of 100, for example, it is 1,420 euros per year, from 2021 it will be 2,840 euros.

2. Alternatively, provide evidence of typical costs individually

Let's say you have to spend more money per year than the flat rate covers. Then you can also deduct the costs individually as an extraordinary burden. Disadvantage: You have to prove every single expense with invoices. In addition, from a tax point of view, extraordinary burdens only bring you something if they exceed the reasonable own burden. More on this in our article on the subject of extraordinary loads. You can also deduct care and support services as a household-related service. So you have to calculate exactly what is worthwhile for you: the flat rate or the individual statement.

By the way:

People with disabilities have the right to choose the typical costs - they either use the flat rate or provide evidence of the costs individually. The Federal Fiscal Court, Germany's highest tax court, has emphasized in a judgment that people with disabilities must, however, also use the right to vote. For example, it is not possible to choose the lump sum for the disabled and, in addition, to enter household-related services for care services in the tax return.

With this ruling, the judges want to prevent taxpayers from deducting certain costs twice from their taxes. The lump sum for the disabled covers many of the costs that people with disabilities have - for example, expenses for care.

3. Recognition of further costs as an extraordinary burden

Regardless of whether you opt for the lump sum or the individual proof for the typical costs - you can also state irregular and special costs as extraordinary charges. These include the costs of a cure, extraordinary medical costs (for example for an illness that is not related to the disability), expenses for the need for care or for domestic help. However, you may only enter these costs in your tax return if they are not covered by a third party - such as the health insurance company.

4. Travel expenses to work are income-related expenses

When commuting to work, instead of the commuter allowance, you can deduct the kilometers actually driven as income-related expenses. That means: You can enter the kilometers both for the way there and for the way back. You can also enter the parking fees in your tax return. This applies to people with a GdB of at least 70 or a GdB of 50 to 70 if their mobility is significantly restricted. This is indicated by the letters "G" (walking and visually impaired) or "aG" (extraordinary walking impairment) in the disabled person's ID.

But be careful: If the degree of disability is reduced from 80 or more to less than 50 in the course of a year, this will be noted in your notification. You must then take this into account in your tax return from this point on. This applies not only to trips to work, but also to family trips home as part of a double household.

5. Private journeys by car are extraordinary stresses

People with disabilities can also deduct private trips from tax as an extraordinary burden. But only within an appropriate framework. But what is appropriate? Our article on travel costs for private trips explains this to you.

Since 2021 a new law regulates a disability-related travel expenses flat rate. That means: If you have a GdB of at least 80 or a GdB of at least 70 and the symbol "G" you can use a flat rate of 900 euros for your travel expenses. People with the mark "aG", with the mark "Bl" or with the mark "H" are entitled to a lump sum of 4,500 euros.

6. Modifications for the handicapped are considered to be an extraordinary burden

Wheelchair ramp or a disabled toilet - some modifications are often necessary so that a person with a disability can move around within their own four walls without outside help or use a car themselves. You can deduct the costs for the handicapped-accessible conversion as an extraordinary burden.

7. Children with disabilities are privileged without age limit

For a child with a disability, you receive child benefit or the child allowance and can deduct childcare costs - regardless of how old your child is. Prerequisite: The child's disability occurred before the age of 25 and the child is unable to look after itself.

In addition, children with disabilities are also entitled to the flat-rate allowance for the disabled. If the child does not make use of it themselves, the parents can have the lump sum transferred to them. We have put together further useful information for you in our article on children with disabilities.

8. Trainees with disabilities can apply for training allowances

If you are doing special training for people with disabilities, you can apply for training allowance - not to be confused with the training salary. This money is a social benefit that you can apply to the Federal Employment Agency in order to secure your livelihood while participating in a subsidized measure for vocational preparation or vocational training.

By the way:

Your VLH advisor will be happy to assist you with your tax return, become a member! Find a counseling center near you here: Consultant search.

This is an editorial text from the VLH editorial team. There is no advice on topics that are outside the tax advisory powers of an income tax aid association. Consulting services in specific individual cases can only be provided within the framework of the establishment of a membership and exclusively within the advisory authority according to § 4 No. 11 StBerG.