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Wheelchair users cannot claim an accompanying person for a cruise


Leipzig Social Court: Integration assistance does not cover entitlement

If severely handicapped people embark on a cruise, social welfare does not have to pay the travel expenses for a necessary accompanying person. This is not included in the scope of integration assistance, the Leipzig Social Court ruled in a recently published judgment of December 5, 2017 (file number: S 10 SO 115/16). The object and aim of a cruise are “primarily relaxation and relaxed exploration of distant places and sights with a ship” and not the clear improvement of contacts with non-disabled people.

Specifically, it was about a wheelchair user who relies on constant assistance in everyday life. The responsible district reimbursed the running costs of the nursing staff as a local social welfare agency. But the severely disabled also wanted to go on vacation. In summer 2016 he went on a self-financed cruise.

A necessary nurse accompanied him. The additional costs of 2,000 euros incurred were initially borne by the father of the wheelchair user.

The district should now reimburse the money as part of the integration assistance. As a disabled person, he also had to be able to escape the familiar surroundings for a few days, said the wheelchair user. It was not possible to save the funds in the context of the property allowances.

The social court ruled that trips could also serve the integration into society. However, the cruise was not necessary to participate in community life. The applicant therefore has no right to reimbursement. Because a cruise serves primarily to relax and visit sights and not to significantly improve contacts with non-disabled people.

The wheelchair user is also a member of various associations and associations and often also takes part in events lasting several days in Germany. This alone means that he is better integrated into community life than many non-disabled people who do not depend on social benefits.

The wheelchair user has appealed to the Saxon State Social Court in Chemnitz. fle / mwo

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