20 – Mobility Assistance

Fact sheet no. 20

For the elderly, the ill or handicapped, it is often difficult for them to leave their home. People who live alone may therefore feel isolated and lonely. Various options exist that can help people in these situations stay mobile, keep in touch with the outside world and find intellectual stimulation.

Berlin Mobility Assistance Service

Berlin–™s senate-funded mobility assistance service accompanies elderly people, who are mobility or visually impaired, suffer from a chronic illness or are confined to a wheelchair. The staff also assist with stairs and other obstacles. Specialized training has prepared staff for their tasks and sensitized them to the special problems older people and the disabled may have. Mobility support services are available in each district. They are usually not motorized.

  •   An annual fee of € 80.00 is charged for regular assistance.
  •   For recipients of basic social security services, or holders of a social service ID, thefee is reduced to € 40.00 .
  •   For occasional use, a one-time fee of € 5.00 per use is charged.
  •  Users of the Berlin Special Transport Service pay an annual fee of € 60.00 inaddition to the Special Transport Service fee. Fee exempt are residents of a care- home whom receive a cash amount (pocket money) for personal expenses from social welfare.

The use of the assistance is generally 1.5 hours per week. Visit the mobility support services on the Internet at http://www.berliner-mobilitaetshilfedienste.de.

Bus & Train Travel Assistance Service

The Department of Transportation for Berlin-Brandenburg (Verkehrsverbund Berlin- Brandenburg, VBB) also provides a free travel assistance service. that people with disabilities can avail themselves of. The “Bus & Train Travel Assistance Service” accompanies people with reduced mobility or older people, who can only use buses and trains on their own with difficulty, or who need help with changing trains/bus. This service is available throughout the entire city of Berlin. Travel assistance is available from Monday to Sunday between the hours of 7:00 am to 10:00 pm.

The requirement for using this service is that users are able to navigate their way and have

a valid ticket for the use of public transportation. Travel assistance is available Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm by phone at 030-34649940 or at www.vbb.de/de/article/fahrplan/barrierefrei-reisen/bus-und-bahn-begleitservice/1800.html.

We would like to point out that this is a limited time offer, at least currently, and is therefore not always available. Information on project times is available at the above telephone number.

Visits and Accompaniment Services

In some districts there are additional visiting services or projects whose staff are volunteers or supported by the unemployment office. These projects support people with their physical and mental mobility. The services staff accompany people who are physically or visually impaired, suffer from a chronic illness or are confined to a wheelchair. Some projects also offer home visits by staff to provide company at home. In some cases, small fee is charged for visiting and assistance services. One problem is that the projects are supported only for a short time and cannot be assured continuity. Up to date information can be obtained from the staff at the consulting centre.

Transport Services on behalf of the Health Insurance

Transportation services that are covered by the health insurance include ambulance and taxi services. The attending physician must certify a compelling medical need and the type of transportation required. The health insurance cover costs of patient transport for

  •   in-patient or part in-patient treatment (e.g. in a hospital or a rehabilitation facility)
  •   out-patient surgery,
  •   pre-/post in-patient treatments, if they can avoid or reduce the length of stay for arequired treatment in full or part in-patient care facilities
  •   individuals with a designation of “aG”, “Bl” or “H” in their handicap identification
  •   individuals with an assigned care level 3, if a doctor determines a mobility restriction
  •  individuals with an assigned care level 4 or 5
  •  out-patient dialysis, oncology radiation or chemotherapy and
  •  out-patient treatment in special cases.

Please note: Cost assumption by the insurance must be approved before transportation is used. This does not apply in case of an emergencies. The co-payment is 10 percent of the cost of transportation. The cost is at least € 5.00 and a maximum of € 10.00 each use, however not to exceed the actual cost of the use.

Information regarding the Berlin Special Transport Service is available in information sheet No. 21.