Sitting back friendly
Office chairs with the innovative 3D movement technology from Aeris encourage significantly more healthy movement than classic office chairs. They are particularly back-friendly and promote good posture as well as mental alertness and concentration. But the "normal office chair", which is often still the standard equipment in offices, often looks less innovative.
Anyone who wants or needs to sit back-friendly in the office for health reasons and therefore wants to use a Aeris Swopper or Aeris 3Dee can apply for it in different ways: through the employer, buy it yourself - in agreement with the employer - or you can turn to your health insurance or pension insurance for a subsidy.
We have summarised the most important questions and answers on this topic once again (certificates etc. see also here)
Who bears the costs for a so-called orthopaedic chair?
Ideally, the employer will provide ergonomic, back-healthy equipment for the workplace. If, for example, you need an office chair that has to meet different requirements than the one provided, you can - after consultation with your employer - bring your own chair to the workplace. Or you can apply for a subsidy. This is primarily the responsibility of the German pension insurance, occasionally also health insurance funds, employers' liability insurance associations, the integration office (for students) or also the employment office.
In Germany, the principle of "rehabilitation before retirement" applies, which means that the possibilities of medical or vocational rehabilitation should be exhausted in order to restore the ability to work. The German Pension Insurance writes: "In view of difficult conditions on the labour market and with scarce financial resources, a flexible design of the benefits tailored to the individual requirements of the rehabilitant is just as important as a targeted use of funds." In any case, the application should be prepared and justified as well as possible.
What prerequisite do I need to be able to submit the application?
You must have at least 15 years of pension insurance with the German Pension Insurance (this also includes periods of childcare or receipt of sickness or unemployment benefits) or, in the case of you, the work assistance is necessary to maintain your working capacity.
You can submit an application to the Employer's Liability Insurance Association following an accident at work or on the way to work.
At employment agencies: Here, your entitlement is checked even if you have less than 15 years of contributions and, if necessary, a decision is made in cooperation with the health insurance fund and the German pension insurance.
What steps do I have to take?
1.) Obtain application (from the pension insurance institution or via www.deutsche-rentenversicherung-bund.de
2.) Have a medical certificate or discharge report from rehab ready: This should show that you can only perform your job using an appropriate work aid, ideally a "three-dimensionally movable, resilient chair that can adapt to the movements of the body".
3.) Create a job or activity description: as detailed as possible, so that the need can be easily understood.
4) Obtain an offer (cost estimate) from a qualified specialist dealer. Important: Do not purchase the Aeris Swopper or Aeris 3Dee until the claim has been approved! Otherwise the claim will expire.
Submitall documents to the pension insurance company, which will also send you your pension information, and then wait for a reply. Patience is needed now, because the answer may take a few months.
What should I have the doctor certify?
In addition to the extensively documented medical report, it is good if the doctor is very specific in prescribing a three-dimensionally movable office chair for therapy. The more precise the information, the clearer and more comprehensible the application is for the case worker.
When the notice comes
If the answer is positive, buy the Aeris Swopper and submit the invoice to the BfA, which will then reimburse the costs up to the maximum amount (max. 435 euros for a orthopaedic office chair). The Aeris Swopper then becomes your property and you can take it with you if you change companies. If the employer bears part of the costs, you must come to an agreement with him/her if you change companies.
Negative decisions are often justified on the grounds that the Aeris Swopper does not comply with the safety regulations or DIN standards for office chairs. If this is the case, you should file an appeal. You can find arguments for this here.
Does my employer have to buy me an ergonomic chair?
No. The employer decides on the equipment of the workplace. But a conversation about it can be worthwhile. Experience shows that many employers are willing to invest in workplace ergonomics as part of their responsibility for the health of their employees and due to the growing importance of active health management in companies. Because they know that this increases the performance and motivation of their employees and reduces sick leave and the associated costs.
Here are two figures that should be convincing: The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (baua) calculated for 2014 that one day of sick leave costs the employer an average of 105 euros. Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue accounted for almost a quarter of all absences in 2014!
What if I buy myself a Aeris Swopper or a Aeris 3Dee?
Then you may be able to deduct the costs from your tax in the year of purchase. You can find out more about this at this related link: www.aeris.de/blogs/knowledge/zuschuesse