What is disability and handicap

People with mental disabilities at work - Brochure from the Rhineland Regional Council

  • Definition of disability

According to Section 2, Paragraph 1 of Book IX of the Social Code, people are disabled “if their physical function, mental ability or mental health deviate from the typical state of life for more than six months and therefore their participation in society is impaired. You are at risk of disability if such impairment is to be expected. "

A distinction is made between different degrees of disability, which are intended to measure the physical, mental, emotional and social effects of the functional impairment. A formal determination of the degree of disability is necessary for the assertion of certain rights and for the use of certain participation services and compensation for disadvantages. The degree of disability is determined on the basis of the so-called health care principles. The degrees of disability are graded in steps of ten and range from 20 to 100. It is important to know that the degree of disability is determined regardless of the occupation practiced. It therefore says nothing about how productive the respective person with disabilities is in relation to a specific job.

Basically, the differentiation into the following three groups is relevant:

  • disabled or at risk of disability,
  • People with a severe disability (Section 2 (2) SGB IX: degree of disability of more than 50),
  • disabled people, who are on an equal footing with severely disabled people.

Disabled people with a degree of disability of less than 50, but at least 30, should be treated on an equal footing with severely disabled people if they cannot obtain or keep a suitable job as a result of their disability without the equality. Equality is determined upon request by the responsible employment agency. Young people with disabilities can be equated with vocational training for the time being, even if the degree of disability is less than 30 or a disability has not yet been determined.

Whether people with a disability or in the event of an impending disability or their employer (e.g. in the form of integration grants) can claim rehabilitation benefits depends on the respective benefit laws of the rehabilitation provider. Services in medical and occupational rehabilitation (also called services for participation in working life) are particularly important here.

  • Disabilities are mainly the result of illnesses

For the most part, disabilities are not congenital. In over three quarters (83 percent) of all people with a severe disability, it occurs in the course of their life and often as a result of an illness, e.g. B. a cancer. 2 percent of all severe disabilities can be traced back to an accident or an occupational disease.

  • Types of disabilities and the effects on working life

There is no such thing as “the” disability, there are many different types of disability. Many disabilities are not necessarily "visible", unlike most people with a physical disability who, for example, sit in a wheelchair. Chronic illnesses, a mental disability, hearing loss or learning disabilities, for example, cannot be noticed immediately.

Further information on different types of disability as well as information on the effects in working life and tips for professional practice can be found under the following links and in the accompanying publications:

Information on different types of disabilities and their effects on working life at Talentplus: