Support in everyday life

Autism is a profound developmental disorder and is defined as a disability according to the Social Security Act. This has the advantage that autistic people can make use of certain assistance options for work and everyday life.

Autism therapy

Autism therapy is possible through trained psychological psychotherapists or psychiatrists, or through special autism therapy centers. The latter is financed by the integration aid.

Psychotherapy and autism therapy can also take place in parallel; often there is a disease parallel to autism, which should then also be treated. This is then done through the health insurance

Depending on the type of therapy, the costs are either covered by the health insurance, or the costs must be applied for in advance at the responsible service provider. For this purpose, one usually receives a form from the therapy center, with which one can apply for this.

Responsible is:

  • The social welfare office, if it is an integration measure for “participation in life in the community”. In this case, the assets are checked and an additional payment may be necessary.
  • The employment agency, if it is a matter of “participation in working life”. Here the costs are taken over, if it concerns again gainful employment or the receipt of the gainful employment (e.g. if one is unemployed at present because of the problems by the autism, or runs the risk of losing the job).
  • The pension insurance, if one has already been employed for 15 years or receives a pension due to reduced employment.

The autism therapy centers, however, support you here, sometimes an expert opinion is also provided why a therapy would be necessary and with what justification.

Residential situation

There are several options for the residential situation:

  • Full inpatient facility for the disabled
    Here, the facility takes care of all the necessities of life.
    You receive about 100 € “pocket money” per month for free use.
  • Ambulant assisted living
    Here you live independently and also finance this yourself.
    However, services of the integration assistance can be taken up,
    for example, reimbursement of travel costs, accompaniment to leisure activities, etc.

Basic income support

Basic income support applies if, for example, you are permanently fully incapacitated for work. This means that you are at least 18 years old and can work less than three hours a day. It applies until the respective retirement age.

If you have your own income, you have no or reduced entitlement to basic benefits. If, for example, you are already receiving a pension for reduced earning capacity, the basic income support will at most serve as a supplement. If one is in need of care and receives care allowance, however, this money is not offset.
However, the income of the parents is no longer added since 01.01.2020, so you can still apply for basic security.

Further details can be found here (German):

https://www.lebenshilfe.de/informieren/arbeiten/grundsicherung-im-alter-und-bei-erwerbsminderung/

Disadvantage compensation

In principle, (vocational) schools are obliged to take into account the specific sensory processing of people with autism. As a result, there are different types of compensation for disadvantages, but these are not uniformly regulated. This can therefore be different depending on the state. The requirement for this is a confirmed autism diagnosis.

The respective measures are examined individually by the school after application, and the school management decides on this in consultation with the teachers/lecturers. In case of doubt, the school supervisory authority decides. This is then binding for the teachers/lecturers.

Possible disadvantage compensations are for example:

  • Choice of the seat in the classroom
  • Separate room for exams
  • Individual break times and remaining in the classroom
  • Retreat options
  • Assignment of mentors for explanations
  • Extra time during exams
  • Exemption from group or partner work, individual work instead
  • Adapted media such as simplified texts
  • Use of visual aids such as graphics or symbols
  • Exemption from subjects that are particularly hard on the auditory system, e.g. sports or music
  • Allowing an accompanying person at events

Care degree

Since the Second Care Strengthening Act (PSG II), mental and psychological impairments have also been included in the need for care. Thus, care benefits can be obtained; these are financed by the care insurance.

To do this, a care degree must first be applied for. It is checked which of the five care degrees applies. This determines the scope and amount of the care benefits.

Further information can be found here (German):
https://www.pflege.de/pflegekasse-pflegerecht/pflegegrade/

Disabilty card

A person is considered severely disabled if he or she has a degree of disability (GdB) of at least 50 ( this degree is not expressed as a percentage, as is often assumed). In some cases, in addition to the GdB, a mark can also be applied for, such as H (helpless) or B (care required).

The signs are listed here (German):

https://www.schwerbehindertenausweis.de/behinderung/ausweis/die-merkzeichen

The disability card is not issued in a general way if you have an autism diagnosis, but is based on the restrictions in everyday life. If there are several restrictions, for example due to parallel illnesses, this is not added up; rather, the highest restriction counts.

The ID card should be applied for together with the treating family doctor or other specialists, as this increases the chance of it being granted.

If approved, this can bring the following advantages:

  • Tax disadvantage compensation
  • Exemption from motor vehicle tax (registration mark G / Gl / aG / Bl / H)
  • Free transportation on local public transport (characteristic sign H / B)
  • Free transportation with the Deutsche Bahn AG (characteristic sign B)
  • Longer notice periods / higher protection against dismissal in the employment relationship
  • More statutory vacation days

Representative

The following applies according to Section 1896 (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB):

If an adult is unable to manage his or her affairs in whole or in part due to a mental illness or a physical, mental or emotional disability, the Court of Guardianship shall appoint a representative for him or her at his or her request or ex officio. An incapacitated person may also apply for a representative.

Source (German): https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/bgb/__1896.html

This is also true for many people with autism; often they are able to take care of everything themselves, but for some things support is needed.

Care is then provided only in those areas where it is needed. Caregiver can be a close person or a stranger; one can also suggest a caregiver. Preferably, a family member or spouse is appointed as a caregiver.

Possible activities of the caregiver are then, for example, making appointments, telephone calls, or generally clarifying matters.

Workshop for disabled people

Workshops for disabled people (WfbM for short) are facilities for participation in working life. They employ people who generally or temporarily cannot be employed on the general labor market.

The goals are:

  • The enabling of appropriate professional training
  • The preservation of the ability to perform or to work
  • The development or regaining of such
  • The further development of the personality
  • The promotion of the transition to the general job market

Integration assistance

Details on the current regulations can be found here (German):

https://www.lebenshilfe.de/eingliederungshilfe-und-das-bundesteilhabegesetz/

https://www.familienratgeber.de/rechte-leistungen/rechte/eingliederungshilfe.php