apply for an invalidity pension Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

If you are no longer able to work due to illness or disability, you can in many cases receive a reduced earning capacity pension.

The reduced earning capacity pension supports you if you can no longer work for health reasons and have not yet reached the regular retirement age. It replaces your income to a certain extent.

Before you can receive the reduced earning capacity pension, the German Pension Insurance will check whether rehabilitation can help you to support yourself again. This includes medical and vocational rehabilitation, for example, further training for professional reorientation or work assistance.

The German Pension Insurance determines to what extent you can still work on the general labour market. Depending on this, you will receive either

  • a pension due to full reduction in earning capacity or
  • a pension for partial reduction in earning capacity.

If you are partially incapacitated from a medical point of view and you are unemployed because a part-time job that is suitable for your performance is not available, you can also receive a pension for full reduction in earning capacity.

You can also receive a reduced earning capacity pension if you are disabled. This applies, for example, if you work in a special institution for the disabled and cannot work in the general labour market because of your disability.

The amount of your reduced earning capacity pension depends on your pension account with the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. Your annual pension information will tell you what you can expect if you are fully incapacitated. If you are only partially incapacitated for work, half of this is taken as a basis.

In the case of younger people, it is not only the few years of previous work that count. Rather, there is the so-called reckoning period. This is the time between the onset of the reduction in earning capacity and a certain legally defined age. The additional period puts you in the same position as if you had paid contributions up to that age.

If your pension starts before the age limit that applies to you, you will have to accept deductions. For each month that you retire earlier, the deduction is 0.3 percent, but not more than 10.8 percent in total.

If you receive a reduced earning capacity pension, you can earn additional income to a certain extent with a part-time job.

  • If you have a full reduction in earning capacity, you may only work less than 3 hours a day. If you earn more than EUR 6,300 gross per year, your pension will no longer be paid in full or may not be paid at all.
  • If you are partially incapacitated, you may only work less than 6 hours a day. How much additional income you are allowed to earn is calculated individually.

An application for a reduced earning capacity pension does not mean that you will never be allowed to work again. It is often possible to recover from serious health setbacks through targeted treatment and support. Your reduced earning capacity pension is usually granted for a limited period, for a maximum of 3 years. You will only receive an unlimited pension in some exceptional cases.

Note: If you were born before 2 January 1961, you may be entitled to a "pension for partial reduction in earning capacity in the event of occupational disability". This pension takes into account whether you can continue to work in your previous profession.

  • valid identity card or passport

  • Evidence that is not recorded in the insurance history, for example:

    • Offset certificates
    • Proof of periods of training
    • Proof of unemployment
    • Proof of periods of illness
  • List of your health problems

  • Names and addresses of your attending physicians

  • all details of medical examinations by public bodies such as the health insurance fund, employment agency or employers' liability insurance association

  • details of your hospital and rehabilitation stays in recent years and

  • a chronological list of your professional activities

  • If another person is making the application

    • Power of attorney or
    • Order of the court

Forms: yes
Online procedure possible: yes
Written form required: yes
Personal appearance required: no








Related Links

  • Formularpaket zur Rente wegen Erwerbsminderung zum Herunterladen
  • Online-Antrag der Erwerbsminderungsrente (ohne Registrierung)
  • Online-Antrag der Erwerbsminderungsrente (mit Registrierung)
  • Zwischengespeicherten Online-Antrag öffnen

Preconditions

  • Due to illness or disability, you can work on the general labour market for less than

    • work less than 3 hours a day (full reduction in earning capacity) or
    • work at least 3 hours but less than 6 hours a day (partial reduction in earning capacity).
    • Exception: If you are partially incapacitated for work from a medical point of view and are unemployed because there is no part-time job that is suitable for your performance, you may also be entitled to a pension for full incapacity for work.
  • You cannot improve your earning capacity again through

    • medical rehabilitation or
    • occupational rehabilitation, such as retraining or job aids.
  • You have not yet reached the standard retirement age. This is the point in time from which you can draw the regular old-age pension.

  • you have been insured for at least 5 years (general qualifying period)

  • You have paid into the pension insurance for at least 3 years in the last 5 years before your reduction in earning capacity.

  • Exception: If you had already completed the 5-year qualifying period before 1 January 1984, you may be entitled to a pension even without having made the 3 years of compulsory contributions. The prerequisite is that in the period from 1 January 1984 until the onset of your reduction in earning capacity, every calendar month is covered by so-called qualifying periods, for example also by periods of voluntary contributions or, under certain conditions, periods of unemployment.

  • The general qualifying period of 5 years includes

    • Contribution periods (compulsory and voluntary contributions),
    • substitute periods,
    • child-raising periods,
    • periods from pension equalisation and pension splitting between spouses,
    • periods of marginal employment with payment of contributions by the employer, and
    • supplements to earnings points for earnings from marginal employment exempted from compulsory insurance.
    • Under certain conditions, you can also fulfil the general qualifying period of five years early, for example if you have become less able to work due to an accident at work).

Reduced earning capacity for people with disabilities

If you have not fulfilled the general qualifying period of 5 years before becoming incapacitated, it is still possible to receive a pension due to a full reduction in earning capacity: You must then

  • fulfil the waiting period of 20 years, for example, have worked for 20 years in a workshop for disabled people, and
  • have remained fully incapacitated for work without interruption.

Related Links

  • § 43 Sechstes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB VI)
  • § 241 Sechstes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB VI)
  • § 101 Sechstes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB VI)
  • § 302a Sechstes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB VI)
  • § 302b Sechstes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB VI)

Related Links

  • Allgemeine Informationen zur Erwerbsminderungsrente auf der Internetseite der Deutschen Rentenversicherung
  • Informationsbroschüre zur Erwerbsminderungsrente auf der Internetseite der Deutschen Rentenversicherung
  • Informationen zum Hinzuverdienst bei der Erwerbsminderungsrente auf der Internetseite der Deutschen Rentenversicherung
  • Informationsbroschüre zur Erwerbsminderungsrente auf der Internetseite des Bundesministeriums für Arbeit und Soziales

You can apply for the reduced earning capacity pension in writing, in person or via the online procedure.

Tip: Before you submit your application, you can get advice from the German Pension Insurance.

Written pension application:

  • Download the form package for pension due to reduced earning capacity on the website of the German Pension Insurance. Complete the application for insured person's pension and the forms mentioned therein in full and compile the necessary documents.
  • You can submit your completed and signed application together with the required documents to either
    • send it by post to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung or
    • hand it in at one of the local advice centres.
  • When your pension application has arrived, you will receive a confirmation of receipt.
  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung will check your application for completeness and, if necessary, request any missing documents.
  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung will check the conditions for your pension entitlement and the completeness of your insurance history. If necessary, it will clarify gaps in your insurance history.
  • The German Pension Insurance will check your reduction in earning capacity on the basis of the information and documents you have submitted. If it is necessary for the assessment, further medical documents will be requested, such as reports or expert opinions.
  • The German Pension Insurance will clarify other facts, for example, your health insurance relationship, whether you earn additional income or receive a different pension.
  • If you are entitled to a pension due to reduced earning capacity, you will receive a pension notice with information on the start date, the start of the current payment and the amount. You will also be informed of your rights and obligations.
  • If you are not eligible for the reduced earning capacity pension, you will receive a rejection notice stating the reason for the rejection.

Pension application via online procedure:

  • Go to the online portal of the German Pension Insurance and log in. You can use your signature card, your identity card with electronic proof of identity or your electronic residence permit for this purpose.
  • Fill out the application and upload the necessary documents. Then submit your pension application online.
  • When your pension application has arrived, you will receive a confirmation of receipt.
  • The German Pension Insurance will check your application for completeness and request any missing documents if necessary.
  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung will check the conditions for your pension entitlement and the completeness of your insurance history. If necessary, it will clarify gaps in your insurance history.
  • The German Pension Insurance will check your reduction in earning capacity on the basis of the information and documents you have submitted. If necessary for the assessment, further medical documents will be requested (e.g. reports on findings or expert opinions).
  • The German Pension Insurance will clarify other facts, for example, your health insurance relationship, whether you earn additional income or receive a different pension.
  • If you are entitled to a pension due to reduced earning capacity, you will receive a pension notice with information on the start date, the start of the current payment and the amount. You will also be informed of your rights and obligations.
  • If you are not entitled to the pension for reduced earning capacity, you will receive a rejection notice with the reason for the rejection.

Personal application during the counselling interview:

  • Put together the documents you need to apply and make an appointment at a Deutsche Rentenversicherung information and advice centre.
  • During the consultation, your application for a pension due to reduced earning capacity will usually be recorded electronically and forwarded online.
  • Once your pension application has arrived, you will receive a confirmation of receipt.
  • The German Pension Insurance will check the application for completeness and, if necessary, request any missing documents.
  • The German Pension Insurance will check the requirements for your pension entitlement and your insurance history for completeness. If necessary, it will clarify gaps in your insurance history.
  • The German Pension Insurance will check your reduction in earning capacity on the basis of the information and documents you have submitted. If necessary for the assessment, further medical documents will be requested (e.g. reports on findings or expert opinions).
  • The German Pension Insurance will clarify other facts, for example, your health insurance relationship, whether you earn additional income or receive an accident pension.
  • If you are entitled to a pension due to reduced earning capacity, you will receive a pension notice with information on the start date, the start of the current payment and the amount. You will also be informed of your rights and obligations.
  • If you are not entitled to a pension for reduced earning capacity, you will receive a rejection notice stating the reason for the rejection.

A person you trust can also submit the pension application on your behalf. Please submit a corresponding power of attorney to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. As long as the power of attorney is valid, it will be addressed exclusively to your authorized person.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Last update or date of publication
21.03.2020