Disability Compensation for the Visually Impaired "Still Constitutional"

Disability Compensation for the Visually Impaired

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However, BSG calls on legislators to review outdated regulations

(jur). The Federal Social Court (BSG) no longer considers the reimbursement regulations for visual aids for the visually impaired to be up to date. After a verdict from the previous day announced on Friday, June 24, 2016, the regulations were “still constitutional”, but the judges in Kassel urged the legislator to review them (file number: B 3 KR 21/15 R). According to this, the reimbursement rules should not only be based on the sword grade of the visual impairment, but also on the achievable improvement.

The plaintiff only has a visual acuity of five percent in the right eye. In the left eye, 30 percent is achieved with glasses, and even 100 percent with a contact lens.

His health insurance company paid for a contact lens for the left eye in 2009. When it was destroyed, however, the health insurance company refused to replace it. With the attainable full visual acuity on the left eye, the man was no longer considered to be severely visually impaired. He therefore had to pay the 140 euros for the contact lens out of his own pocket.

The lawsuit was unsuccessful before the BSG. Despite considerable concerns, including in the scientific literature, the Kassel judges rated the previous set of rules as "still constitutional".

However, according to an old classification by the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1973, these rules were based solely on the severity of the visual impairment. The WHO also changed this concept in 2010. The BSG therefore asked the legislator to check whether the old concept still corresponds to the current understanding of disability compensation. In doing so, the Kassel judges suggested that health insurance companies should participate, at least for the visually impaired. mwo / fle

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