Social insurance

In Germany, people are covered by the so-called social insurance system. Social insurance assists them in emergency situations. These include illness, unemployment, old age and need for nursing care. The contributions to the system are dependent upon one’s income.

If you are ill the statutory health insurance system will assist you. It also assumes the costs for preventive healthcare, rehabilitation and childbirth. If you are unable to work due to illness for a longer period of time, you will receive sickness benefit as compensation. It is compulsory to have health insurance. It is not possible to dispense with this.

Good to know: You are self-employed? Your income exceeds a certain amount? If so, you may also take out private health insurance.

If you are employed by a company you are a member of the pension insurance scheme – this is compulsory in Germany. This means that you are taken care of financially in your old age. You may retire at the age of 67 at the latest. Your pension insurance also offers you assistance should you, due to an illness or a handicap, be unable to work any longer, or only to work with restrictions. This also applies should you be widowed or an orphan.

Good to know: in order to be even better covered in your old age you may also take out private insurance. Such private provision is also funded by the state in part.

It may be that you will be dependent upon nursing care in your old age or due to illness. If, for example, you should require assistance with changing bandages your nursing care insurance may assume the costs. Should you require support from your nursing care insurance you must apply for this. This is to be done through the health insurance company with which you are insured.

Good to know: Do you nurse relatives yourself? You may also receive assistance in such cases.

If you have a position with a company that is subject to social insurance contributions you are automatically insured against unemployment. Should you become unemployed you will receive support from your employment agencies and job centres. We will help you look for work. We also offer you financial support to cover your living costs should you fulfil the conditions for this. Here you will find more information concerning Unemployment Benefit and Supplementary Unemployment Benefit II (Arbeitslosengeld und Arbeitslosengeld II - available only in german).

Should you become ill due to your profession you will be supported by the statutory accident insurance scheme. This will, for example, continue to pay your wages. It also assumes the cost for a further training course (retraining) should you no longer be able to work in your original profession. And it also pays pensions to widows and orphans. The contributions to this insurance will be paid by the company for which you work.