Social court Aachen: Social office obliged to "help to care"
If people in need of long-term care are dependent on a house emergency call system, the social welfare office can be obliged to assume further costs after making an emergency call. This was decided by the Social Court of Aachen in a judgment published on September 27, 2016, thus giving the right to a pensioner in need of care (ref .: S 20 SO 28/16).
The man, who was severely disabled with a care level I, was dependent on a Caritas home emergency call system. This allowed him to continue living at home. In the event of an emergency, he was able to make an emergency call to the house emergency call center. This then sends help, but requires several contact addresses for which a house key is stored.
The pensioner received the monthly fee for the system and for setting it up from the care fund of the AOK Rhineland / Hamburg. Since the pensioner knew almost no one, he wanted to leave his house key with the house emergency provider himself. He can then get into the apartment himself. The person in need of care wanted the reimbursement of the additional costs incurred by the social welfare office.
However, the authority was not obliged to do so. The pensioner must turn to others, such as the long-term care insurance.
On August 9, 2016, the social court ruled that the social welfare office had to pay the additional costs for depositing the apartment key with Caritas. The nursing care fund only had to guarantee the monthly operation of the house emergency call devices, i.e. the basic costs.
In the event of further costs, the social welfare office is obliged to provide "care assistance". This would be the case if those in need of care are likely to need "significant or greater assistance" for at least six months.
The social welfare office could not point out to the pensioner that the additional costs are already covered by basic security in old age. The plaintiff received additional benefits because of his mobility impairment and the "G" mark recognized by him. However, these should cover a different need than the need for long-term care.
The judgment was appealed to the North Rhine-Westphalia State Social Court. The proceedings are pending there under file number L 9 SO 502/16. fle / mwo