In 2009, Germany spent 30.1% of its gross domestic product on social benefits and was fourth in a European comparison. In 2013 it was 29% and in 2016 29.4%. In terms of function, the largest share in 2016, at 43%, was related to sickness, health care and disability benefits, the lowest at 3.4% to housing and social exclusion.
Function and classification
Social benefits serve to achieve social justice and social security , in particular to ensure a dignified existence , to create equal conditions for the free development of the personality , especially for young people, to protect and promote the family, to earn a living through a free To enable the chosen activity and to avert or compensate for special stresses in life, also by helping people to help themselves ( SGB I). In addition, the necessary social services and facilities should be available in good time and in sufficient quantities.
A social benefit within the meaning of §§ 11, 45 SGB I is usually given if the benefit is to be provided to a person entitled to social benefits by a social benefit provider in accordance with the provisions of the SGB and benefits this person individually; As a rule, it will also serve to implement a social right within the meaning of Sections 3 to 10 of SGB I.
Social benefits with the exception of social transfers in kind, d. H. Monetary social benefits, according to a definition by Eurostat, are “cash transfers to private households to cover burdens caused by certain risks or needs, e. B. Pension benefits, family benefits, benefits for children and benefits for the disabled. "
In Germany , the contribution-financed social benefits are provided by the various branches of social insurance as compensation benefits if the insured risks materialize, for example in the event of illness , accidents at work or the need for care , in the event of unemployment and to provide security for old age and reduced earning capacity .
There are also tax-financed transfer payments that require assistance . These include, in particular, unemployment benefit II and the various forms of social assistance, including assistance for war victims .
The first book of the Social Code (SGB I) names the various social benefits and the responsible service providers, while the tenth book of the Social Code (SGB X) applies to the administrative procedure and social data protection .
The competing legislation extends according to Paragraph 1, No. 7 and No. 12 of the Basic Law on public welfare (without the right to the home) and social security, including unemployment insurance. The legislative competence therefore rests with the Länder as long as and to the extent that the Federation has not made use of its legislative competence by law ( Paragraph 1, Basic Law).
These are for social insurance within the meaning of the Basic Law insurance principle and the principle of solidarity characteristic. The principle of solidarity requires that “the unequal risks existing among the various insured persons” are balanced, “whereby the compensation is incumbent on the entire community of solidarity and has to take place according to social criteria”. The insurance principle, on the other hand, demands that a risk equalization independent of the needs of the individual be brought about. In principle, insurance coverage must be the equivalent of the member's contribution.
The term “ public welfare ” presupposes that there is a particular situation of at least potential need to which the legislature reacts. It is sufficient if there is a need - even if it is only typified and not necessarily acute - in the sense of a life situation associated with particular burdens, the elimination or reduction of which the law in question aims at.
In the field of public welfare, the federal government has the right to legislate if and to the extent that the establishment of equivalent living conditions in the federal territory or the preservation of legal or economic unity in the national interest requires federal regulation ( (2) of the Basic Law).
The social courts are responsible for most disputes about social benefits ( SGG), for certain benefits such as housing benefit or BAföG also the administrative courts or the tax courts for child benefit ( BAFöG, FGO).
Depending on the objective of legal protection, an application can be made for the annulment of a decision ( action for annulment ) or for a conviction to issue it ( action for obligation ) ( SGG). In most cases, preliminary proceedings must be carried out before an action can be brought ( SGG). Certain judicial determinations are also possible, such as determining which insurance carrier is responsible for a certain matter ( SGG) and, in the case of urgency, a decision in interim legal protection ( and SGG).
The insured do not need to be represented by a lawyer before the social courts and the regional social courts ( (1) SGG), but they have the right to do so. Representation is only required before the Federal Social Court ( (4) SGG). Social organizations or trade unions are also allowed to act there , but not pension advisors .
If, after an application for review , it turns out that social benefits were wrongly not provided, they can still be provided retrospectively for a period of up to four years ( SGB X), with an interest rate of 4% pa ( SGB I). Under tax law, this interest is income from capital assets, regardless of how the social benefit itself is treated under tax law.
In the case of certain breaches of duty, in particular of advice and information obligations, the insurance carrier can be obliged to compensate by way of the social law manufacturing claim .
- Overview of social security in Germany on the website of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
- Federal Statistical Office - Articles on the subject of "Social benefits" from the monthly magazine "Economy and Statistics"
- Social Security Programs Throughout the World Overview of the social systems worldwide in English.
- Eurostat 2011
- Social benefit ratios in selected EU countries in 2003 and 2013 in% of GDP Eurostat 2015
- Social protection in 2016: Share of EU GDP spent on social protection decreased slightly. Highest shares in France, Finland and Denmark eurostat, press release of December 12, 2018.
- BSG, judgment of 6 August 2014 - B 11 AL 7/13 R
- Glossary: Eurostat social benefits , accessed on June 26, 2020.
- §§ 18 ff. SGB I
- Jan-Erik Schenkel: Social Insurance and Basic Law. Legislative competence for social insurance (Article 74, Paragraph 1, No. 12 of the Basic Law) and its significance for the design of social systems. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2008. ISBN 978-3-428-12700-9 . Contents overview
- BVerfG, judgment of April 3, 2001 - 1 BvR 2014/95 para. 70 (to create social long-term care insurance as a new branch of social insurance).
- Ingwer Ebsen : Federalism and Social Insurance GGW 2005, pp. 7-14.
- Hans-Jürgen Papier : Minimum security elements in the system of old-age security: Scope and limits from a constitutional point of view Deutsche Rentenversicherung, Issue 1, March 2019, pp. 1–7.
- BVerfG, judgment of July 21, 2015 - 1 BvF 2/13 para. 29 (on the Care Allowance Act ).
- cf. BSG, judgment of November 17, 1981 - 9 RV 26/81
- BFH, judgment of June 9, 2015 - AZ VIII R 18/12