When children must support parents financially
Care is expensive. Even if affected seniors pay for nursing home costs with their long-term care insurance, pension, and savings, a difference often remains unpaid. In the past the children often had to step in. Due to the Relatives Relief Act this is less often the case today.
When people need care, it's not a happy time for loved ones. Because in addition to all the associated grief, it is also a question of finances. Professional care costs money – regardless of whether the senior gets assistance at home, moves into assisted living or a nursing home. Of course, for these cases there is the care insurance. But this does not cover all the costs by far.
Typically, those in need of care have a pension that they can use for these purposes. Savings accounts or securities can also be used to help cover care costs. When moving to the home, property owners may even have to sell their own homes to pay for the costs.
From which salary relatives step in
If the money is still not enough, the social welfare office steps in. However, it asks the children beforehand whether they earn enough to pay their parents maintenance. So if a letter comes from the social security office, you must disclose your assets and income. However, you do not have to contribute to the cost of care until you have an annual gross income of at least 100.000 euros. This amount is valid since the Relatives Relief Act was introduced at the beginning of 2020. There it is fixed in paragraph 94 in the SGB XII.
Incidentally, income includes not only wages, but also, for example, money from renting and leasing or from capital assets. However, there are expenses that you can offset against income. This includes, for example, installments for a real estate loan, expenses for your own health care, or alimony payments to your children or spouse.
When care recipients have multiple children
If parents in need of care have more than one child, the social welfare office first checks who would have to pay what share of the care. The percentage is in relation to income and assets. It is checked if the children each have more than 100.Have 000 euros annual gross income. Those below this level do not have to pay their share.
This means that if a child has more than 100.000 Euro income per year, it has to pay its share to the care costs. If his or her brother or sister is below this amount, he or she does not have to contribute anything. If the children's share of the care costs is still not paid in full, the social welfare office will pay the rest.
In which cases the law does not apply
The Relatives Relief Act applies to children whose parents are in need of care, but also to parents of adult children in need of care. Grandchildren, siblings, sons or daughters-in-law as well as aunts and uncles, for example, are not liable to pay maintenance. Married persons, however, are obliged to support their partner. For them the 100.000 Euro limit not.