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Apply for a reduced earning capacity pension in the event of occupational disability

The "pension for partial reduction in earning capacity in the event of occupational disability" is a special scheme for insured persons born before 02.01.1961.

This pension takes into account whether you can still perform your previous occupation. If you were born later, you can receive the regular pension for reduced earning capacity instead. Whether you can still work in your previous profession is then irrelevant.

The reduced earning capacity pension for occupational disability supports you if you can no longer work in your profession for health reasons and have not yet reached the regular retirement age. To a certain extent, it serves as a substitute for your income.

Occupational disability means that you can only perform your previous job for less than 6 hours a day due to illness or disability. When you apply for a pension, the German pension insurance will check whether you can still perform reasonable work in a comparable occupation for at least 6 hours a day. In addition to your health, your knowledge and skills play a role.

The amount of your reduced earning capacity pension in the event of occupational disability depends on your pension account with the German Pension Insurance. Your annual pension information will tell you what you can expect in the event of a full reduction in earning capacity. Half of this pension corresponds to the pension for partial reduction in earning capacity in the event of occupational disability. If your pension starts before the age limit that applies to you, you will have to accept deductions. For each month that you retire earlier, the deduction is 0.3 percent, but not more than 10.8 percent in total.

When you receive your pension, you can earn additional income to a certain extent with a part-time job. How much additional income you are allowed to earn is determined on an individual basis.

Your reduced earning capacity pension in the event of occupational disability is usually granted for a limited period, for a maximum of 3 years. You will only receive an unlimited pension in certain exceptional cases.

Process flow

You can submit your application online, in person, or in writing.

Online application:

  • On the website of the German Pension Insurance (DRV) under "Online Services" you will find detailed information on the process.
  • If you follow the link "Submit application", you will be guided through the further steps and can select the desired application.
  • Alternatively, you can use the online services with registration. For example, you can see right away which insurance periods have already been recorded. You also save time and do not have to re-enter data you already know.
  • Complete the application in full and upload the required documents.
  • Submit your application online.
  • You will receive a confirmation of submission.
  • The responsible pension insurance institution will review your application.
  • You will receive a decision on your application.

In-person application:

  • Compile the necessary documents for your application and make an appointment with the DRV by phone.
  • During your personal meeting, your application will be recorded electronically and forwarded online to the responsible pension insurance agency.
  • The responsible pension insurance agency will review your application.
  • You will receive a decision on your application.

Written application:

  • Go to the DRV's website.
  • Download the desired application form.
  • Fill out the application form, sign it and attach the required documents.
  • Send all the documents
    • by mail to your pension insurance provider or
    • Drop them off at one of the local counseling centers.
  • The responsible pension insurance institution will review your application.
  • You will receive a decision on your application.

A person you trust can also submit your pension application on your behalf. For this purpose, please submit a power of attorney to the pension insurance company. As long as the power of attorney is valid, the pension insurance company will only contact the person you have authorized.

If you give your consent to electronic communication, all correspondence can be done online. Either use the electronic mailbox under online services with registration or De-Mail.


  • You were born before 02.01.1961.
  • You can work less than 6 hours a day in your previous job due to illness or disability.
  • You have not yet reached the regular retirement age. This is the point in time when you can draw the regular retirement pension.
  • You have been insured for at least 5 years (general waiting period).
  • You have paid into the pension insurance for at least 3 years in the last 5 years before your reduction in earning capacity. Please note:
    • If you already fulfilled the waiting period of 5 years before 01.01.1984, you can also be entitled to a pension without the 3 years of compulsory contributions within the five-year period.
    • The prerequisite is that in the period from 01.01.1984 until the onset of your reduction in earning capacity, every calendar month is documented with so-called qualifying periods - for example, voluntary contributions, and under certain conditions also periods of unemployment.
  • The general waiting period of 5 years includes:
    • Contribution periods (compulsory and voluntary contributions),
    • substitute periods,
    • child-raising periods,
    • periods from pension equalization and pension splitting between spouses,
    • periods of marginal employment with payment of contributions by the employer, and
    • supplements to earnings points for remuneration from marginal employment exempt from compulsory insurance.
  • Under certain conditions, you can also fulfill the general waiting period of 5 years early, for example, if you have become less able to work due to an accident at work.

Which documents are required?

  • Application for reduced earning capacity pension
  • Personal document (such as identity card, passport, birth certificate or family record book)
  • List of your health disorders
  • Names and addresses of your attending physicians
  • all details of medical examinations by public authorities such as the health insurance fund, employment agency or employers' liability insurance association
  • details of your hospital and rehabilitation stays in recent years
  • chronological list of your professional activities

What are the fees?

There are no costs for you.

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

Indefinite pensions:

If you submit your pension application within the first 3 months after the onset of incapacity for work, your pension will start from the 1st day of the month following the onset of your incapacity for work. If you submit your application later, your pension will not be paid until the beginning of the month of application.

Temporary pensions:

As a rule, a temporary pension starts at the earliest with the 7th calendar month after the onset of the reduction in earning capacity. It is sufficient if the pension was applied for by the end of this 7th calendar month. If you apply later, the pension will only be paid from the beginning of the month of application.

Processing duration

Processing usually takes up to 5 months.

During the pension process, you are generally entitled to wages or sick pay. If your entitlement to sick pay has been exhausted, you should report to your employment agency - even if your employment relationship continues. Until the pension insurance makes a decision, you may be entitled to unemployment benefits

Applications / forms

Forms available: Yes

Written form required: Yes

Informal application possible: No

Personal appearance required: No

Online services available: Yes


  • Objection.
    Detailed information can be found in the decision on your pension application.
  • Action before the Social Court.
    Detailed information can be found in the notice of appeal.

Technically approved by

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

Professionally released on



The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Data protection information

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Address: Ordeniederung 1 , 49716 Meppen
Postal address: Post Office Box 15 62 , 49705 Meppen
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Fax: 05931 44-3621
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bank: Emsländische Volksbank
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responsible for:
Bernd Otten (Datenschutzbeauftragter)
Telephone: 05931 44-1605
Fax: 05931 44-391605
responsible for:

Landesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz Niedersachsen
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Fax: +49 511 12045-99

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)