Social insurance

Advice centres

What is social security?

  • Germany has a social security system.

    This comprises 5 different types of insurance: health insurance, nursing care insurance, accident insurance, unemployment insurance and pension insurance.

Why is social security important?

  • Social insurance protects you if you fall ill or have an accident and can no longer work.

  • If you are no longer able to carry out your work as usual, you will still receive support from the state so that you can continue to have everything you need to live. That is the idea behind social security.

  • Particularly as a sex worker, it is important that you think about your social security and inform yourself.

    You work in many different places with many different people and therefore have an increased risk of being unable to work due to illness or accident.

Am I liable for social security contributions?

I’m employed. How does social security work in my case?

  • As an employee in Germany you must have health, nursing, pension and unemployment insurance. Only accident insurance is voluntary as an employee.

  • Your employer must sign you up for all four of these mandatory insurance policies.

  • Your employer must transfer the contributions for all these compulsory insurance policies to the relevant office. You share the contributions to these insurances with your employer. He/she simply keeps a part of your salary and then pays the full amount to your insurance schemes.

  • Health insurance:
    Health insurance is compulsory in Germany.

    If you are not from Germany but are from another European country, it is important to know how you were insured in your country of origin. The statutory health insurance companies will advise you on this topic. At www.patientenberatung.de you can also find telephone numbers where you can call and ask for advice on health insurance in different languages.

  • Nursing care insurance:
    Nursing care insurance is part of your respective health insurance policy. You do not need to take it out separately.

  • Unemployment insurance:
    The aim of unemployment insurance is to ensure you still have an income if you become unemployed.

  • Pension insurance:
    A pension scheme is designed to ensure that you still have a regular income even when you are no longer working.

    You can find information on the topic of pensions from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme)

    Free service hotline 0800 1000 4800.

    The website of the German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme is available in a simple German language version:
    https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/LeichteSprache/Navigation/04_about_us/About_us_us_node.html

    The site is also available in different languages:
    https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Navigation/5_Services/01_contact_and_consulting/03/03_foreign_language_offer/offer_node.html

    The German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme also has advice centres. You can enter your postcodehereto find out which advice centre is nearby:
    https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Navigation/5_Services/01_contact_and_consulting/02_consulting/01_consulting_before_location/01_service_centres_consulting_offices_advice_centres_node.html

  • Accident insurance:
    Accident insurance is not obligatory for you as an employee. It covers the costs if you cannot work for a longer period of time after an accident. There are private and statutory accident insurance schemes. There are many things you need to keep in mind when deciding whether and which accident insurance is right for you. You can get advice from e.g. the Verbraucherzentrale (Consumer Advice Centre):
    https://www.verbraucherzentrale.sh/beratung-sh
    However, getting advice from here will cost you money.

I’m self-employed. Am I liable for social security contributions?

  • As a self-employed person, some of the insurance schemes are compulsory for you, others are voluntary.

  • You are required to have health insurance and nursing care insurance.

  • With pension insurance, accident insurance and unemployment insurance, you have the freedom to take out insurance if you want, i.e. you can take out these insurance policies, but you do not have to.

  • Self-employed persons must pay all contributions for the respective insurance schemes themselves.

  • Health insurance:
    In Germany there is compulsory health insurance, including for you as a self-employed person.

    You can register with a private health insurance company or apply to be accepted into the statutory health insurance scheme.

    At www.patientenberatung.de you will find telephone numbers where you can call and ask for advice on health insurance in different languages.

  • Nursing care insurance:
    As a self-employed person*, you must have nursing care insurance.
    However, nursing care insurance is part of your respective health insurance policy. You do not need to take it out separately.

  • Accident insurance:
    Accident insurance is not obligatory for you as a self-employed person. It covers the costs if you cannot work for a longer period of time after an accident. There are private and statutory accident insurance schemes. There are many things you need to keep in mind when deciding whether and which accident insurance scheme is right for you. You can get advice from e.g. the Verbraucherzentrale (Consumer Advice Centre):
    https://www.verbraucherzentrale.sh/beratung-sh
    However, getting advice from here will cost you money.

  • Unemployment insurance:
    Unemployment insurance is not obligatory for you as a self-employed person*.

    The aim of unemployment insurance is to ensure that you still have an income if you become unemployed.

    As a self-employed person you can voluntarily insure yourself if you have worked for at least one year out of the past 2 years as an employee subject to compulsory insurance before you became self-employed. It doesn’t matter whether you worked for a year in one go or with interruptions.

    You can also take out voluntary insurance if you received unemployment benefit directly before becoming self-employed, regardless of how long you received it.

  • Pension insurance:
    For you as a sex worker, it is not obligatory to have pension insurance. But you can take out a voluntary pension plan. A pension scheme is designed to ensure that you will still have a regular income even when you are no longer working.

    You can get information on the topic of pensions from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme).

    Free service hotline 0800 1000 4800.

    The website of the German Statutory Pension Insurance Scheme is available in a simple German language version:
    https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/LeichteSprache/Navigation/04_ueber_uns/ueber_uns_node.html

    The site is also available in different languages:
    https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Navigation/5_Services/01_kontakt_und_beratung/03_fremdsprachiges_angebot/fremdsprachiges_angebot_node.html

    The Deutsche Rentenversicherung also has advice centres. You can enter your postcode here to find out which advice centre is nearby:
    https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Navigation/5_Services/01_contact_and_consulting/02_consulting/01_consulting_before_location/01_service_centres_consulting_offices_advice_centres_node.html

Social security?! I’m really confused!

  • We totally understand! Contact us at cara*SH. We will work with you to find a solution.

Advice near you

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cara*SH Fachberatungsstelle für Prostituierte in Schleswig-Holstein

Christianstr. 6
24534 Neumünster