Lowering of the ability to earn money

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The concept of loss of earning capacity (disablement) is a legal concept in the field of statutory accident insurance ( SGB VII ), formerly also for the social compensation law was significant. It is not to be equated with the terms incapacity for work (AU) of the statutory health insurance, reduced earning capacity (EM) of the statutory pension insurance or degree of disability (GdB) of the right of disabled people. There are different legal definitions behind these terms.

Statutory accident insurance

The MdE is one of several legal requirements for the granting of an injury pension due to an accident at work , commuting accident or an occupational disease by the statutory accident insurance.

According to Section 56, Paragraph 1, Book 7 of the Social Code , insured persons whose earning capacity is reduced by at least 20 percent after the 26th week as a result of an accident at work or an occupational disease are entitled to such a pension. According to § 80a SGB ​​VII, an exception applies to insurance cases from January 1, 2008 onwards for agricultural entrepreneurs, their spouses and family members. An MdE of at least 30% is a prerequisite for a pension entitlement.

The degree of MdE is based on Section 56, Paragraph 2, Book 7 of the Social Code, “according to the extent of the […] reduced job opportunities in the entire field of working life. [...] When assessing the reduction in earning capacity, disadvantages suffered by the insured because they can no longer use certain professional knowledge and experience acquired by them as a result of the insured event or can only use them to a limited extent are taken into account, insofar as such disadvantages do not result other skills, which they can be expected to use, are balanced. "

When determining the degree of MdE, it does not matter whether the person concerned actually suffered a loss of income. The injury pension from the statutory accident insurance is not intended to compensate for specific income losses, but for the reduction in earning capacity. In the event of work accidents or occupational diseases with a small or medium-sized MdE, this can lead to an increase in income if the person concerned continues to earn the original income despite the impairment. It is also harmless for drawing an injury pension if benefits from a private accident insurance are drawn at the same time.

In the course of time, empirical values ​​for the assessment of MdE have been established. These are intended to enable the injured to be treated equally in the event of comparable physical damage. According to the case law, however, a schematic application of these empirical values ​​may not take place. Always focus on the circumstances of the individual case. The MdE is therefore usually determined by a medical report, but this does not bind the administration or the courts if there are understandable reasons.

If an accident at work has resulted in damage to several parts of the body and / or organs, the MdE cannot be determined by adding up the MdE rates assumed for the individual physical injuries. In these cases, what matters is the overall effect of all individual damages on the ability to work. The MdE to be assessed (total MdE) will usually be below the added value.

At the end of 2007, the term MdE was replaced in the Federal Supply Act by the degree of damage consequences. For the area of ​​statutory accident insurance, this change is to take place in a later legislative process.

Social compensation law

In the past, the term MdE also existed in social compensation law ( Federal Supply Act ). On December 21, 2007, the term Degree of Damage Consequences (GdS) replaced the degree of MdE .


  • Manfred Benz: The determination of the total GdB (severely handicapped rights) and the total MdE (statutory accident insurance) . In: The social justice . 2009, p. 353 .
  • Documentation on GdB and MdE of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (table from page 37)


  1. For the personal working life of the person concerned is meant not the general labor market.
  2. a b Act amending the Federal Pension Act and other provisions of the social compensation law ( Federal Law Gazette 2007 I No. 65 , p. 2904)
  3. ^ Federal Council: BR-Drs. 541/07. (PDF; 651 kB) August 10, 2007, p. 2 , accessed on September 20, 2010 .