Guide to the approval of back-friendly everyday aids by statutory pension insurance providers
In order for you to be able to live and work largely independently again after an illness that endangers your earning capacity, the principle of "rehabilitation before pension" applies in pension insurance. Within this framework, the German Pension Insurance offers numerous benefits. These benefits are tied to certain conditions. Here you can check whether you are eligible for these benefits and find out what you have to do to get them.
What is subsidized and how much?
Health-promoting furniture - especially chairs (orthopaedic office chairsorthopaedic chairs), standing desks and sit-stand tables - that you need to carry out your work.
Amount of the maximum subsidy (depending on the service provider):
- max. 435,- Euro for an orthopaedic office chair
- max. 800,- Euro for a height adjustable desk
Who subsidizes office furniture and what are the requirements?
The following payers either pay subsidies or reimburse the total cost:
The German Pension Insurance (BfA)
- for persons who can prove 15 years of contributions
- or for persons for whom the work aid is necessary as a medical benefit for rehabilitation (aim: preservation of the ability to work)
The employers' liability insurance associations (after an accident at work or on the way to work)
The employment agencies
- for insured persons with less than 15 years of contributions and without medical rehabilitation.
- If the employment agency approves your application for work aids and you have not previously participated in a rehabilitation programme for more than six months, you can also apply to the German pension insurance scheme without having paid contributions for 15 years.
The Integration Office (for civil servants and students)
Important. The application must be made BEFORE the purchase, otherwise the claim expires.
Procedure - step by step
1. if you want to submit an application, please first obtain the application documents for occupational support measures from the relevant pension insurance institution and complete them. You can also download the documents from the internet at www.deutsche-rentenversicherung-bund.de
2. you also need a medical certificate or the discharge report from rehab. The certificate should state that you can only perform your job using an appropriate work aid: In order to receive an Aeris Swopper, the description should preferably refer to a three-dimensional moveableTo obtain an Aeris Swopper, the description should preferably be of a resilient chair that can adapt to the movements of the body.
3. you will also need a detailed job or activity description.
4. obtain an estimate in the form of a quotation from a qualified dealer.
5. submit these documents to the pension insurance company, which will also send you your pension information.
The pension insurance will forward your application to the medical service for examination. Their decision on approval or rejection is then forwarded to you by the pension insurance fund.
If the decision is positive...
...buy the Aeris Swopper and submit the invoice to the BfA, which will then reimburse the costs up to the previously mentioned maximum amount.
The technical work aids (e.g. an orthopaedic office chair or a height-adjustable desk), which were fully financed by the German Pension Insurance within the framework of participation in working life, are the property of the employee. The work aids can be taken along if the employee changes employer.
However, if the employer bears part of the costs, the work aid also belongs to the employer on a pro rata basis. In the event of a change of employer, the employee must agree with the employer on taking the work aids with him.
In the event of a negative decision...
...in the past the subsidy of an Aeris Swopper was occasionally refused by the BfA/LfA with the argument that it does not comply with the safety regulations for office chairs or the DIN standards for office chairs. In this case, we assume a lack of information about the prescribed Aeris Swopper chair.
You should therefore lodge a written objection to a negative decision within the specified period. The address for the appeal is stated in the decision.
In support of the objection, you state that the Aeris Swopper Work complies with the European standard and DIN EN 1335 for office work chairs and therefore meets all the requirements of the Employer's Liability Insurance Association and the German Pension Insurance. Assuming this is the case, please also point out that you have established through extensive seat tests - also in comparison with other chairs - that the Aeris Swopper helps you best against your complaints and thus enables you to continue to participate in working life. For these reasons, you should reapply for reimbursement of the Aeris Swopper. You can enclose the TÜV certificate for the Aeris Swopper Work with your appeal as proof of suitability.
Another important note:
Before purchasing or applying for the chair, make sure that your employer permits its use and that you are allowed to use it at your workplace.
Because: The employer decides which work equipment is used in his company.
And: He is not forced to allow a back-friendly chair. In addition, the safety engineer and the Company doctor agree.