Is there a level of care for mental illness?

As a result of the Second Care Strengthening Act (PSG II), fundamental improvements in the care system have been in place since 2017 for people in need of care, caregivers and family members. Since 2017, not only physical (bodily) illnesses, but also psychological (mental) illnesses have been equally taken into account when assessing the need for care.

When is a person with a mental illness (e.g. depression) in need of care and when does an application for a care degree have a chance of success? It depends!

Under certain conditions, an application for a care degree can also have a chance of success in the case of mental illness. Not every mental illness automatically leads to a care degree. Whether a level of care is approved depends on how much assistance the ill person needs to manage his or her daily life.

In addition, when mental illnesses are present, care is often quite different compared to physical illnesses. The affected persons often do not require classic nursing measures as we know it from people with physical limitations. A person in need of care with mental illness may still be able to wash, eat, and drink on their own and may still be able to walk without assistance.

But what then makes this mentally ill person in need of care? People with mental illness are considered to be in need of care if they are unable to manage their daily lives independently without daily supervision and support.

If a person has physical impairments, you can often tell at first glance. Mental illness, on the other hand, is often difficult to detect. Affected individuals have no visible injuries, missing limbs, or other obvious features. Also, the environment does not notice the pressure of suffering under which the affected persons are. At the beginning of a mental illness, the symptoms can often not be properly classified by the relatives, because the signs of illness do not yet appear in full expression.

At first, one wonders why the affected person withdraws, suddenly doesn’t behave as usual, doesn’t attend appointments, doesn’t answer the phone, etc.

Common early signs of mental illness are: Anxiety, listlessness, memory disorders, inner restlessness, loss of interest, concentration disorders, nervousness, dejection, sleep disorders, self-harm, mood swings, stress, overexcitement, indefinable pain or delusions. The more mental illnesses progress and the more they affect the affected person’s state of mind, the more stressful the illness can also become for family caregivers and the family environment.

An application for care benefits (care degree application) due to a mental illness can be made, among other things, if:

  • the person concerned is no longer able to live alone or to cope with everyday life.
  • care and guidance by family caregivers becomes necessary.
  • the progression of the disease has a concrete impact on the care of the person concerned.
    For example, the patient suddenly refuses to eat, neglects personal hygiene or is no longer able to communicate with each other.

This and more information can be found in the article “

Mental illness: How to apply for a care degree

” of the portal “

Care by relatives


  • How to apply for a care degree for mental illnesses
  • How to apply for a care degree for mental illnesses
  • Care degree due to mental AND physical illnesses
  • These 8 mistakes you should avoid during the appraisal process
  • Apply for a care degree yourself or take advantage of help
  • Conclusion: Assessment and correct estimation of the need for care
  • Care degree application for depression
  • Why was the application for a care degree for mental illness rejected?
  • File an appeal: Your chance if the care degree was rejected
  • Where can family members of the mentally ill get help?
  • Mental illness and severe disability

Source: Care by relatives