Under certain conditions, the costs are covered by health insurance funds, professional associations or the pension provider. It is important to note that the application for reimbursement must be made BEFORE the purchase of a height-adjustable desk top or standing desk and justified on medical grounds. A refund will be refused retrospectively. It is also important that you contact the insurance company that is actually responsible. Six to eight weeks may elapse before the height-adjustable desk top is approved. This period of time must also be taken into account.
Most health insurance companies decide on the assumption of costs depending on the individual case. However, they only accept the necessity to cover the costs as a preventive service, for example in the case of chronic back problems, which could result in frequent sick leave. It can sometimes be a little quicker if you go to the health insurance company in person and address the urgency of your problem, for example after a cure and to be able to resume work after a sick leave because of back pain.
When it comes to "rehabilitation for participation in working life", health insurance funds such as professional associations often cover a considerable part of the costs for height-adjustable desk tops or standing desks according to government guidelines. In this way, they help to compensate for sickness-related absences or expensive long-term treatment as well as the threat of occupational disability. Subsidies are available for electrically height-adjustable desks up to a maximum of 1,200 euros. A maximum of 435 euros may be expected for ergonomic office swivel chairs.
However, the prerequisites for an application are:
- A predominantly sedentary activity
- Health complaints that make sitting for long periods of time a cause for concern
- And existing health complaints which could lead to incapacity for work or occupational disability
People who have undergone disc or hip surgery, pelvic vein thrombosis, degenerative disc disease, chronic vein problems, sliding vertebrae, lumbalgia, and lumbo-ischialgia or similar complaints will often be reimbursed with a medical certificate or the report of a rehabilitation clinic. The attending physician should recommend a standing desk or a height-adjustable desk top. In addition, the employer's consent should be obtained before purchasing one. In principle, the medical certificate and a cost estimate of the dealer should be submitted with the application.
In order to be able to submit an application to the pension insurance for the assumption of costs, there must be more than 15 contribution years. In addition, a permit can also be obtained if the ability to work is reduced or early retirement is imminent. Furthermore, it may make sense in the context of medical rehabilitation for the pension provider to bear the costs.
In the case of an employers' liability insurance association, costs can be covered if the damage occurred after an occupational or commuting accident and/or if there is evidence of occupational illness.
The Integration Office is only responsible for applications for reimbursement of costs if these are civil servants or students who have at least a 50% disability. Even in the case of disability of 30%, entitlement to payment of costs is deemed to have been granted in accordance with the principle of equal treatment.
Applications can be made to the "Agentur für Arbeit" (Employment Agency) for the assumption of costs if there is an occupational disease but the required 15 contribution years for an application to the pension insurance do not apply.