First steps

Family members often need to react quickly to a sudden need to provide care. Here we provide useful tips and information about the first steps to take when a care situation develops, and which services are open to you.

Responding to acute need

1 Those affected should contact their statutory health insurance provider/care fund and apply for care support benefit. If delegation of authority has been issued, this can be performed by family members or close friends.

2 After placing an application with your care fund, it will task the “Medizinischer Dienst der Krankenversicherung” (MDK) to assess the level of care required.

We recommend that the carer is present during the assessment by the MDK.

4 Please state on your application whether care is to be performed at home or whether residential care is a possibility.

5 Decide whether it is realistic that the care required can be performed by family members in the long term, or whether a nursing service should be employed in addition.

6 If domestic care is not feasible you can contact the Office of Family Services ( or the relevant care fund for further information about residential care services.

A ballpoint pen lies on a blank to-do list
© Colourbox

The most important sources of benefits

Monthly services and payments  PG 1 PG 2  PG 3 PG 4 PG 5

Care money (“Pflegegeld”)

- 332€ 573€ 765€ 947€
Non-cash benefits - 761€ 1.432€ 1.778€ 2.200€
Respite care (family member) - 498€ 859,50€ 1.147,50€ 1.420,50€
Respite care (other person) - 1.612€ 1.612€ 1.612€ 1.612€
Short-term care - 1.774€ 1.774€ 1.774€ 1.774€
Semi-residential daily and night-time care - 689€ 1.298€ 1.612€ 1.995€
Fully-residential care 125€ 770€ 1.262€ 1.775€ 2.005€
Relief costs with a nursing service 125€ 125€ 125€ 125€ 125€
Care aids 40€ 40€ 40€ 40€ 40€

Last updated: January 2024


Please feel free to contact us to arrange individual and comprehensive advice. 

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Stefanie Lohmer

Please also read

A reference book of care services

The Federal Ministry of Health has issued a brochure providing all the relevant information about care services.

Learn more (German only)

Payments from the care funds 

Would you like to find out the amount of funding to which you are eligible? An overview of the payments is available here.

An overview of the legal framework 

How are decisions made about degree of care assessments and what is the Family Care Leave Act?

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