German gov't passes law to financially relieve relatives of people in need of care

Thursday 15th August, 2019
Hubertus Heil 00

BERLIN, Aug. 15 (Xinhua/GNA) – The German government has passed a draft law to relieve relatives of people in need of care from the financial burden occasioned by taking care of the needy.

The draft law from Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil stipulated that children of people in need of care would only have to pay for the care of their parents if they receive an annual income of more than 100,000 euros (US$111,744).

This discharge was "long overdue," Heil on Wednesday told the newspapers of the German Funke Media Group.

The German social association VdK welcomed Heil's bill as an "important step", its President Verena Bentele told Funke.

The law would help older people out of problematic situations because "although they can no longer be adequately cared for at home" they would not go to a retirement home to avoid putting a financial strain on their children, Bentele stressed.

However, German municipalities opposed Heil's draft law over fears of high costs. It was "fundamentally reasonable" that children and their parents would take care of each other, said Gerd Landsberg, managing director of the German association of towns and municipalities, told Funke.

Heil was also aiming to relieve relatives of disabled people in Germany through the new law. Until now, relatives of disabled people in Germany have had to contribute to the costs of measures such as rebuilding houses or apartments for barrier-free homes.

According to Heil's draft law, relatives of disabled people would be exempted from contributing financially to these measures if they receive an annual salary of under 100,000 euros.

"In addition, we are making it easier for people with disabilities to receive vocational training through the new training budget," said the German minister.