With the introduction of the Relatives Relief Act, in future there will only be a maintenance obligation from an annual gross income of EUR 100,000. The new regulation also applies to relatives who are already paying.
Children whose dependent parents receive social assistance should in future only be asked to pay for an annual gross income of more than 100,000 euros. On August 14, the cabinet decided on the so-called Relief Relief Act of Social Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), which the Bundestag and Bundesrat still have to approve.
The new income limit should also apply to parents of adult children who need to be cared for.
So far significantly lower income limit
So far, the income limits have been significantly lower: for single people there is a net income limit of EUR 21,600 per year, for families EUR 38,800.
Even parents of adults with disabilities who are of legal age should only be involved in the new law if they earn more than 100,000 euros a year. These are measures of integration assistance – such as conversion measures for a barrier-free apartment or help from sign language interpreters.
The € 100,000 limit has so far only applied to basic old-age security and reduced earning capacity. Today, the social welfare office steps in first when those in need of care cannot pay the home costs, for example. But in many cases, the authority gets the money back at least partially from the relatives.
Relief for relatives in need of care for children
"This leads to strife, but above all it leads to incalculable financial risks, especially for the center of society", says Hubertus Heil. With the new law, he wanted the children of relatives in need of care "relieve the burden sustainably and noticeably".
It is often middle-aged people who work every day, some of them small children educate and experience at the same time that their relatives are in need of care.
Hubertus Heil (SPD), Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs
In their coalition agreement, the Union and the SPD had agreed to discharge the relatives of those in need of care. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) signaled approval: "Caring for parents must not make poor."
According to the draft law, the number of those who benefit from the plans can only be roughly estimated. In total, there are said to be around 275,000 people. With around 3.41 million people in need of care in Germany, that would be only a small proportion. The new law would relieve around 90 percent of those previously liable to pay. The costs are estimated at up to EUR 319 million for the states and municipalities and EUR 79 million for the federal government in 2023.
Relief for relatives In the future, only high earners should pay for the care of relatives
Draft law: Only high earners should pay for the care of relatives in the future
Municipalities fear additional burden
On the other hand, criticism came from the municipalities, which warned of additional burdens in the billions for their households. The chief executive of the Association of Cities and Municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, told the newspapers of the Funke media group: "It is generally reasonable for children and parents to stand up for one another. This should not be shaken."
The social welfare offices of the cities and municipalities in the care sector had already spent 3.4 billion euros last year, says Uwe Lübking of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities in an interview with ARD. The new law would have to pay significantly more, he fears and hopes for a compensation scheme for this additional burden.
"The cities are currently expecting additional burdens of between half a billion and a billion euros per year," said the managing director of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, the Handelsblatt. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs estimates that the additional costs for the federal states and municipalities are significantly lower at around 300 million euros.
Associations welcome new law
The social association VdK welcomed the law because it helps older people from a difficult situation, as President Verena Bentele explained in the Funke newspapers. "They do not go to the home, although they can no longer be adequately cared for at home so that their children are not burdened."
DGB board member Annelie Buntenbach said: "This law is an important step against the high number of unreported people who do not take advantage of urgently needed and due social benefits because they fear that their children or parents will have income."
Better professional participation for people with disabilities
There should also be improvements for people with disabilities, so they should make company training easier with a budget for training. The Disability Officer Jürgen Dusel said that in many cases the funding creates the opportunity for in-company training and a vocational qualification. existing consultation people with disabilities and their relatives should also be protected in the long term.
FDP faction spokeswoman Nicole Westig criticized that the plans had no answer for the more than 70 percent of those in need of care who were cared for by their relatives at home.
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