Financial burdens due to a disability, such as medication, therapies or care expenses, can be claimed against tax. Here we explain what exactly you can deduct, which lump sums apply and how you can enter the costs in the Taxfix app.
The disability lump sum (Behinderten-Pauschbetrag)
You can claim expenses resulting from your disability as a disability lump sum (Behinderten-Pauschbetrag) for tax purposes. The lump sum is taken into account as a special extraordinary burden when calculating your tax.
In order to be able to claim the lump sum in your tax return, it is not necessary to submit individual proof of your costs to the tax office. You only need a certificate from the pension office stating your disability. If you have a degree of disability (Grad der Behinderung - GdB) of 50 or more, you will be issued a severely disabled person's certificate.
Who can claim the lump sum?
In principle, you can claim the lump sum from a degree of disability of 20 (from 2021, previously 25).
Previously, the following also applied: if you want to claim the lump sum for a GdB below 50, you must either be permanently mobility-impaired, you must be entitled to a statutory pension, or your disability is based on a typical occupational disease. From the 2021 assessment period, however, these additional requirements will no longer apply.
Children are also entitled to the disability lump sum, which may then be used by one parent. You can find more information on this here.
What costs does the disability lump sum cover?
The lump sum covers costs that typically arise due to a disability, for example:
Costs for assistance in daily life (e.g. guide dog, assistance, prostheses)
Expenses for care in a home or at home
Costs for increased laundry needs
How much is the lump sum?
The tax benefits that you can receive via the disability lump sum are determined individually according to the degree of disability.
You are entitled to the following lump sums:
Until 2020 assessment period:
Degree of disability (GdB)
Lump sum yearly
25 and 30
35 and 40
45 and 50
55 and 60
65 and 70
75 and 80
85 and 90
95 and 100
From 2021 assessment period:
Degree of disability (GdB)
Lump sum yearly
In addition, there is a characteristic sign (Merkzeichen) that refers to your disability. If this is very pronounced and, for example, an "H" for "helpless" or a "Bl" for "blind" is noted, the lump sum to which you are entitled is increased to 7,400 euros (previously 3,700 euros).
Can other costs be deducted in addition to the lump sum?
The lump sum can be used to cover your typical, permanent costs, such as medication or regular therapies or care services. If there are other atypical costs or one-off expenses, such as a cure, you can also enter these items as a general extraordinary burden (außergewöhnliche Belastung).
In contrast to the disability lump sum, however, these costs are only taken into account if they exceed your "reasonable burden limit". The tax office sets this limit as a percentage according to income, marital status and number of children.
For example, if you are single and childless and have a total income of 15,000 euros per year, the limit is 5 percent of that. Only medical costs or costs for a disability that exceed this limit have a tax-reducing effect. It is important that the costs are based on a doctor's prescription.
Untypical expenses that you can claim in addition to the lump-sum amount include
Sickness and cure costs
Acquisition costs for a computer for the blind
Costs for the handicapped-accessible conversion of a car, if you are dependent on its use (characteristics aG, Bl or H)
Modification measures to a house or flat
You can also deduct travel costs. Here, the following special regulations apply:
If your degree of disability is at least 80, you may claim private journeys as extraordinary expenses up to a distance of 3,000 kilometres per year, i.e. 900 euros. If you have an extraordinary walking disability (aG), you can even claim up to 15,000 kilometres (4,500 euros). Journeys to doctors are also deductible.
Furthermore, people with a GdB of at least 70 or at least 50 with a simultaneous walking disability may deduct each kilometre between home and work (and not just the one-way distance) as income-related expenses at 0.30 euros.
Can care and housework also be claimed as household-related services?
If you employ people in your household for a fee - for example, to do your housework or to clean your flat - 20% of this can usually be claimed as household-related services. Please note, however, that you can no longer claim additional care services if you use the disability lump sum.
How to enter the disability allowance and other expenses in the Taxfix app
You can enter details of your own disability in our app in the "Health" category. If you enter the details of your disability there, the app will automatically take the applicable disability lump sum into account.
As soon as you have entered your disability, you will be asked for other cost items that are relevant to you.
You can also enter trips to the doctor in the "Health" category.
If you have other untypical expenses that you would like to claim as extraordinary expenses in addition to the lump sum and that are not explicitly listed, you can enter them in the category "Health" as "Other costs".