Book Twelfth of the Social Code

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Basic data
Title: Social Code Book Twelve - Social Welfare -
Short title: Book Twelfth of the Social Code
Abbreviation: SGB ​​XII
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Social law
References : 860-12
Issued on: December 27, 2003
( BGBl. I pp. 3022, 3023 )
Entry into force on: January 1, 2005
Last change by: Art. 3 G of August 12, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1879, 1884 )
Effective date of the
last change:
January 1, 2021
(Art. 8 G of August 12, 2020)
GESTA : G034
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Twelfth Book of the Social Code ( SGB ​​XII ) regulates social assistance in Germany . The law came into force on January 1, 2005 and replaced the Federal Social Welfare Act (BSHG).


The background to the reorganization of social assistance with effect from January 1, 2005 was the so-called Hartz reforms , on the basis of which unemployment assistance and social assistance for those affected who were fit for work were merged. The fourth law for modern services on the labor market of December 24, 2003 ( Federal Law Gazette 2003 I p. 2954 ) introduced basic security for jobseekers according to Book Two of the Social Code for this group of people . At the same time, social assistance was included in the Social Security Code by the law on the classification of social assistance law in the Social Security Code of December 27, 2003 ( Federal Law Gazette 2003 I p. 3022 ), based on the legal title in Article 74, Paragraph 1, No. 7 of the Basic Law of public welfare, recast. This article law has also amended or rewritten several other laws. As a result, implementing ordinances and implementing laws of the federal states were adapted or newly enacted to the new legal situation.

The fundamental structural reform of social welfare law, which was intended with the inclusion of social welfare in the Social Security Code, has largely failed to materialize. The most important new regulation consisted in assigning the basic security for those in need of help who were fit for work to SGB II and thus removing them from social assistance. In contrast to the previous legal situation under the Federal Social Welfare Act, which was in force for over 40 years, social welfare lost its former role of a regime that provides supplementary benefits in all those cases in which the own resources of a person concerned or the benefits of other social security systems not suffice. It has become a separate security system for the group of people with reduced earning capacity and those affected by older people who have needs that cannot be covered otherwise. Those in need of help who are fit for work are assigned to SGB ​​II in accordance with Section 7 (1) Sentence 1 SGB II, Section 21 Sentence 1 SGB XII.

His subsequent renewal form became the law essentially only after objection by the Federal Council in the Conciliation Committee , after which the basic security in old age and disability was recorded in the fourth chapter of the SGB XII.

Another significant step in the development of social welfare law was the reorganization of the assessment of standard needs through the Standard Needs Determination Act , which came into force on January 1, 2011 ( Federal Law Gazette 2011 I p. 453 ). Since the standard needs for beneficiaries according to SGB II in accordance with Section 20 (2) sentence 1 SGB II, Section 28 SGB ​​XII in conjunction with the Standard Requirements Determination Act are measured as a flat rate and linked to one another, they have since formed an interface through which the performance level of the both basic security regimes are linked.

At the same time that SGB XII came into force, the legal process for disputes arising from social welfare law was changed. While the general administrative courts were previously responsible, the area of ​​law has now been assigned to the social courts in accordance with Section 51 (1) No. 6a 1st variant SGG .


According to § 28 SGB ​​I in conjunction with § 8 SGB ​​XII, SGB XII recognizes the following types of benefits:

  1. Help with subsistence (§§ 27-40 SGB XII)
  2. Basic security in old age and with reduced earning capacity (Sections 41 - 46 SGB XII)
  3. Health aids , (§§ 47–52 SGB XII)
  4. Integration assistance for people with disabilities , (Sections 53 - 60 SGB XII)
  5. Help for care , (§§ 61–66 SGB XII)
  6. Help to overcome particular social difficulties , (§§ 67-69 SGB XII)
  7. Help in other situations , (Sections 70–74 SGB XII)

as well as the advice and support provided.

SGB ​​XII no longer distinguishes formally, as previously the BSHG, between assistance with subsistence and (earlier) assistance in special situations (HibL). The latter are now referred to as aids according to the 5th to 9th chapter and include all of the above-mentioned aids from §§ 47 ff. SGB XII. There are still differences in the income and assets offsetting for the individual types of help in SGB XII.

Help with living expenses (§§ 27 to 40 SGB XII)

Main article: Aid for a living

The support for livelihoods as ongoing social assistance to secure the socio-cultural subsistence level is obtained predominantly from people living in private households, whereby partners living together and underage children living in the household are viewed as a so-called community of need or income . According to § 27 SGB ​​XII, the necessary livelihood includes "in particular food, accommodation, clothing, personal hygiene, household items, heating and personal needs of daily life". The latter also includes participation in social and cultural life. For schoolchildren, the necessary livelihood also includes the help they need to attend school. The definition transferred from the BSHG makes it clear that social assistance should not only include a physical subsistence level, but a socio-cultural minimum standard for participation in social life. Subsistence assistance is primarily provided in cash. First of all, the need for social assistance is determined, then the income and assets (according to the eleventh chapter of SGB XII) are taken into account.

Social assistance in homes and institutions

The cost of living in institutions to be borne by the social welfare institution is based on the basic security benefits . If the facility's costs for accommodation and meals exceed the basic security benefits, the costs must nonetheless be borne in full on the basis of the requirement coverage principle if the resident is in need. In addition, the so-called other necessary livelihoods are to be taken over, this includes in particular a clothing allowance and a cash amount for personal disposal (colloquially "pocket money"). The cash amount is at least 27% of the basic standard rate (change in law on January 1, 2007 Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2670).

  • Example: until June 30, 2007 the basic standard rate is € 345, 27% of which corresponds to € 93.15 in cash. From July 1, 2007, the basic standard rate will be € 347, which corresponds to a cash amount of € 93.69. From July 1, 2008, the basic standard rate is € 351, 27% of which corresponds to € 94.77. As of January 1, 2014, the basic standard rate will be € 391, of which 27% corresponds to € 105.57.

Basic security in old age and with reduced earning capacity (Sections 41 to 46 SGB XII)

This basic security means ongoing social assistance for people aged 65 and over as well as for permanently fully disabled people between 18 and 65 years of age. To prevent hidden poverty among permanently fully disabled people between 18 and 64 years of age and older people over 65 years of age, the legislature created a new benefit to secure the socio-cultural subsistence level, which came into force on January 1, 2003. In 2005 the basic security was classified as the 4th chapter of the Social Security Code XII in the social welfare (§ § 41 ff. SGB XII).

In the case of basic security, there is a legal presumption that the annual income of dependent children and parents is less than 100,000 euros. Maintenance claims are then not taken into account.

The benefits correspond to the amount of assistance for subsistence outside of institutions (third chapter). Basic security is only granted on application (no start when it becomes known, Section 18 (1) SGB XII).

In contrast to other forms of social assistance, basic security depends on a formal application (Section 44 of the XII Social Code). For the other benefits of social assistance, the knowledge of the social assistance provider that the beneficiary has entered the emergency counts (Section 18 of the Social Code Book XII).

Basic security is always granted for the full month (possibly also retrospectively). Here, too, there is a difference to help with livelihood. The entitlement to basic security begins on the first of the month in which the respective age is reached or the permanent full disability is determined .

Health aids (Sections 47 to 52 SGB XII)

Health aids include preventive health care, help with illness, help with family planning, help with pregnancy and motherhood, help with sterilization .

People who receive benefits under SGB XII (unlike recipients of unemployment benefit II ) are not compulsorily insured in the health insurance company . If there is no compulsory insurance (e.g. through an employment subject to compulsory insurance), the amounts due for health and long-term care insurance are taken into account as requirements for voluntary continued insurance ( Section 32 SGB ​​XII).

People who are not insured can receive benefits in accordance with Chapter 5 of SGB XII (help with health); Since January 1, 2004, it has been possible to register with a health insurance company; The health insurance provides statutory and statutory benefits as part of the care relationship as it does for regular members, the costs are borne by the social welfare office ( Section 264 of the Social Code Book V ).

Since April 1, 2007, there has been an extensive compulsory insurance in the statutory health insurance ( Section 5 (1) No. 13 SGB V in conjunction with Section 186 (11) SGB V); However, recipients of ongoing social assistance are not compulsorily insured according to Section 5 (8a) SGB V. The entitlement to health assistance still exists in a further decreasing number of exceptional cases.

Integration assistance for disabled people (Sections 53 to 60 SGB XII)

The integration assistance for disabled people has the task of " preventing an impending disability or eliminating or alleviating a disability or its consequences and integrating the disabled people into society" ( Section 53 (3) SGB XII). All persons who are permanently physically , mentally or emotionally handicapped or are threatened by a disability are entitled to benefits . Large areas of integration assistance are income and wealth neutral. This means that many benefits do not take into account the income and assets of the person in need.

After the integration of the BSHG into the SGB, the benefits of integration assistance for disabled people are essentially regulated by the SGB. The limited crediting of income and assets for disabled people was regulated in § 92 SGB ​​XII. There is now also the option of providing integration assistance services as part of a cross-agency personal budget ( Section 57 of Book XII of the Social Code). With the personal budget , people with disabilities and those in need of care should be able to independently determine which services they use in which form and from which provider.

In the course of the introduction of the Federal Participation Act , SGB XII was supplemented by an 18th chapter (by § 140 to § 145 ), which will regulate participation in working life from January 1, 2018. At the end of 2019, the provisions of Sections 140 to 145 of SGB XII are to be transferred to SGB IX. In 2020 the entire “disability” complex is to be decoupled from SGB XII, as people with disabilities are no longer to be regarded as “social assistance cases”.

Help with care (§§ 61 to 66 SGB XII)

Main article: Help with care

Social assistance pays all or part of the costs associated with care when someone is in need of care. Since the introduction of long-term care insurance , social assistance has been primarily responsible

  • for people in need of care who do not meet the criterion of "considerable need for care" (level I according to Section 15 of the Social Code Book XI),
  • in cases of cost-intensive (very difficult) care if the upwardly limited benefits of long-term care insurance are not sufficient,
  • as well as for people not insured for long-term care.

The regulations on care assistance were largely taken over from the BSHG . Here, too, there is the option of receiving benefits as part of a cross-agency personal budget .

If necessary, the financing of the costs for accommodation not covered by long-term care insurance for care in facilities will be covered by the basic security according to § 42 No. 2 SGB XII in conjunction with § 29 SGB ​​XII. The cost of living in institutions is covered in accordance with Section 35 SGB ​​XII. If basic income support and support for livelihood are not sufficient or if there is no basic claim to basic income support, they will be taken over as part of care support.

Help to overcome particular social difficulties (§§ 67 to 69 SGB XII)

The help to overcome special life situations describes the "state support" for people in personal distress. The support is to be provided regardless of their income. The obligation of the municipalities (cities or districts) to provide debtors, addiction counseling, life counseling and general social services is derived from this regulation. This support is to be seen in contrast to the special regulations in SGB VIII (child and youth welfare) and § 16a SGB ​​II (municipal integration service in the JobCenter). Support in special life situations represents a generalized claim of support to the public system and is the continuation of the regulations in the Federal Social Welfare Act (BSHG). The service is often awarded by the authorities to free welfare organizations for the provision of services, but the administration can also provide it itself. The help to overcome particular social difficulties is also aimed, for example, at non-residents and those released from prison, as well as at young people with behavioral disorders, for whom the help for education according to Book 8 of the Social Code (SGB VIII - Child and Youth Welfare) is no longer (or no longer) considered.

“The benefits include all measures that are necessary to avert, eliminate, alleviate or prevent the difficulties from getting worse, in particular advice and personal support for those entitled to benefits and their relatives, assistance in training, obtaining and securing a job, and measures in the maintenance and procurement of an apartment. In appropriate cases, an overall plan must be drawn up to carry out the necessary measures. "( Section 68 of the Social Code Book XII)

Help in other life situations (Sections 70 to 74 SGB XII)

The ninth chapter of SGB XII contains various services:

According to ( Section 73 SGB ​​XII), cash benefits can also be provided as grants or loans in other situations if they justify the use of public funds. These benefits are not excluded for recipients of SGB II benefits due to the regulation of Section 5 (2) SGB II. The regulation of § 73 SGB XII is a general clause formulated subsidiary fall-back provision which is intended to cover atypical needs in other life situations for which a special statutory regulation is missing. For an atypical need situation that requires help in other life situations, the regulation contains legal requirements in the form of indefinite legal terms, the interpretation and application of which are completely subject to social judicial control (LSG Lower Saxony-Bremen, decision of December 3, 2007 - L 7 AS 666/07 HE)

See also


  • Motion for a resolution of 14 March 2002, BT-Drs. 14/2793
  • Bill of the parliamentary groups of SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, BT-Drs. 15/1514
  • Bill of the federal government, BT-Drs. 15/1636


  • Renate Bieritz-Harder, Wolfgang Conradis, Stephan Thie (Eds.): Social Code XII. Social care. Teaching and practice commentary . 11th edition. Baden-Baden 2018, ISBN 978-3-8487-3700-0 .
  • Christian Grube, Volker Wahrendorf (Ed.): SGB ​​XII. Social assistance with the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. Comment . 6th edition. Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-406-68265-0 .
  • Ernst Oestreicher, Andreas Decker (ed.): SGB ​​II, SGB XII. Basic security for job seekers and social assistance. With right to asylum seekers, reimbursement right of SGB X. Comment . Loose-leaf edition. CH Beck, Munich.
  • Walter Schellhorn, Karl-Heinz Hohm, Peter Schneider (Eds.): Commentary on the Social Security Code XII . 19th edition Luchterhand, Cologne 2015, ISBN 978-3-472-08077-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Johannes Münder: Social Code XII. Social care. Teaching and practice commentary . Ed .: Renate Bieritz-Harder, Wolfgang Conradis, Stephan Thie. 11th edition. Baden-Baden 2018, ISBN 978-3-8487-3700-0 , introduction marginal no. 13-17 .
  2. ^ Johannes Münder: Social Code XII. Social care. Teaching and practice commentary . Ed .: Renate Bieritz-Harder, Wolfgang Conradis, Stephan Thie. 11th edition. Baden-Baden 2018, ISBN 978-3-8487-3700-0 , introduction marginal no. 3-5, 19 .
  3. ^ Johannes Münder: Social Code XII. Social care. Teaching and practice commentary . Ed .: Renate Bieritz-Harder, Wolfgang Conradis, Stephan Thie. 11th edition. Baden-Baden 2018, ISBN 978-3-8487-3700-0 , introduction marginal no. 3 with further evidence .
  4. Implementing regulations on funeral costs according to § 74 SGB XII (AV-Soz-funeral costs) of September 27, 2012 (OJ page 2018). State of Berlin, June 22, 2017, accessed on March 8, 2019 .