Nursing benefits for seniors in Germany (Pflegegeld)

What are nursing benefits? 

Nursing benefits are financial support given to seniors who need ongoing care and assistance with daily activities. Thanks to the benefits provided by the state, seniors are provided with support to achieve all health goals and recommendations.

The names and amounts of benefits depend on various factors, such as the financial situation of the institution granting the nursing subsidy.

Who can apply for benefits?

Depending on the type of cash benefit, different people can apply for an attendance allowance. In this article, we will focus on the so-called Pflegegeld, which is available in Germany and is available to elderly, sick people who often need round-the-clock care.

Why are cash benefits important?

Pflegegeld is an extremely important cash benefit for the elderly. Thanks to them, seniors can be covered by care (especially round-the-clock care at home), care, and assistance in everyday life, which significantly improves the comfort of life and facilitates functioning. It is equally important to reduce the burden on the household budget, especially for people with low pensions or incomes.

These benefits are an important foundation for aging countries such as Germany. 

The authority responsible for Pflegegeld

The body responsible for granting the Pflegegeld is mainly the Pflegekasse, or nursing care fund, which is part of the German healthcare insurance system.

Pflegekassen is managed by various institutions such as health insurance companies (Krankenkassen) or private insurers. Applicants for the Pflegegeld must apply to the respective Pflegekasse depending on their healthcare insurance (public or private).

Eligibility Criteria, Award Conditions and Procedures

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Need for care: A person applying for Pflegegeld must have a persistent or long-term need for care, resulting from health problems such as disability, illness, or old age. This requires determining the degree of dependency on care.
  • Place of residence: The person must be permanently resident in Germany and be insured under the German health insurance system.

Conditions for awarding:

  • Degree of dependency: Pflegegeld is awarded based on the degree of dependency on care. There are three levels of care: Pflegegrad 1, Pflegegrad 2, and Pflegegrad 3 and higher. Pflegegrad 1 is the lowest level of dependency, and Pflegegrad 5 is the highest.
  • Assessment by an independent team of experts: To obtain Pflegegeld, it is necessary to assess by an independent team of experts who will determine the degree of dependence of the person in need of care. It is up to the team to decide on the award of the appropriate Pflegegrad.
  • Care contract: A person who applies for a Pflegegeld must have a care contract with the person or institution that will provide the care.

Application Procedures:

  • Contact your health insurer: If you are interested in Pflegegeld, you should contact your health insurer in Germany. The insurer will assist you with your claim and carry out the necessary steps.
  • Assessment by a team of experts: After an application for Pflegegeld is submitted, a team of experts, which is usually associated with the health insurer, assesses the degree of dependence on care. Based on the results of this assessment, the corresponding Pflegegrad is awarded.
  • Pflegegeld payment: After the Pflegegrad is awarded, the senior receives Pflegegeld as a monthly financial benefit. The amount of the benefit depends on Pflegegrad and other factors such as the type of care and the degree of dependency.
  • Regular assessment update: The assessment of the degree of dependency on care is regularly updated to adapt Pflegegrad to the changing needs of care.

It is also worth noting that there are different types of Pflegegeld, depending on the situation of the person in need of care and their caregiver. So it is advisable to consult your health insurer or the authority responsible for Pflegegeld in Germany for accurate information and assistance in the application process.

Amount of benefits 

The amount of Pflegegeld in Germany depends on many factors, such as the degree of care required by the person in need of care, their health status, and their level of dependency. Pflegegeld is a type of benefit provided for dependent people who are in a state of care or long-term care.

Here is general information about Pflegegeld in Germany based on the current state of knowledge.

Pflegegeld for adults:

  • Pflegestufe (Care Degree) I: About 316 euros per month.
  • Pflegestufe II: About 545 euros per month.
  • Pflegestufe III: About 728 euros per month.

Pflegegeld for children:

  • Pflegestufe (Care Degree) I: About 316 euros per month.
  • Pflegestufe II: About 545 euros per month.
  • Pflegestufe III: About 728 euros per month.

Since January 2017, Germany has introduced a new long-term care system (Pflegestärkungsgesetz II-PSG II), which has replaced the existing Pflegestufen with the new Pflegegraden. The new system aims to determine each person’s care needs more individually based on complex criteria.

Comparison of benefits compared to other countries 

Comparing nursing benefits between countries can be complicated due to differences in health and social care systems, as well as differences in the cost of living. In some countries, nursing benefits may be higher than in others, but at the same time, the cost of living may be higher.


As you can see, Germany as a country supports seniors very strongly. They must make changes and expand the benefits system on an ongoing basis so that it is as good as possible and meets the requirements of all agents. To stay up to date with all the news, it is best to consult the appropriate institution and discuss any doubts with the senior and family. Finally, as a curiosity: Germany plans to increase all nursing benefits by 5% at the beginning of 2024, which is confirmed by a lot of information on the official website of the Pflegekasse.

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