Depression: Berlin employment agency severely declared depressed people to be healthy

Depression: Berlin employment agency severely declared depressed people to be healthy

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Seriously ill people are considered "healthy" contrary to sick leave
Depression is still taboo as a serious and, above all, potentially fatal illness. Even more fatal for those affected who are dependent on state social benefits such as Hartz IV. Then the fight against bureaucratic hurdles becomes a fight against windmills. This happened to Julia R. - in the middle of the depressive episode. Because the employment agency in Berlin declared the severely depressed woman healthy!

Heavy as lead
The room is dark. An inner deep pain penetrates the body. To make it somewhat bearable, Julia R. darkens the rooms. Everything is as heavy as lead, no thought a happy one. Only darkness and exhaustion. Julia is just lying in the room. Without a book, without a television, without a radio, without everything. Only your dog gives structure and prompts you to go for a walk. The therapist had advised that.

When Julia gets involved with the employment agency, it throws her completely off track. Julia is an accountant and was employed by the ministry. Then she moved to a transport company. The colleagues appreciate the reliability, loyalty and the unprecedented willingness to help. If there was anything to tackle, block them up. There was no discussion.

Two years ago, the doctor declared Julia unable to work. Until then, she had never heard of the disease. Julia couldn't get up from one day to the next. At home, the plants died, dust collected under the furniture and the guitar was no longer played. The diagnosis was suddenly “clinically severe depression”.

She now spent 16 weeks in the hospital. Countless hours of therapy, daily structure, group discussions. The death of a close friend was probably the trigger. Then the mother and brother fell ill and the burdens in the company increased. There may also be a genetic affinity. But the therapies helped little. The depression had manifested itself. Too long. Entitlement to sickness benefit lasted 78 weeks. And then?

Expert: Very healthy!
The health insurance company says that she should now apply for unemployment benefits. But that was when the worries really started. The authority sends Julia to an expert. He is a specialist in surgery and social medicine, examines her spine, joints, reflexes and then explains to the patient: "I don't understand anything about psychological issues." She is healthy and is said to be able to work more than 6 hours a day. Only her previous work can no longer be carried out. But which then?

The employment agency apparently does not know that either. Instead, the current psychiatrist's sick leave is ignored. It should succinctly say that it should make its remaining performance available. The assessor had written: full-time, immediately and completely!

But that is impossible for Julia. She tells the employment agency employee; "I can not do it!" Julia's companion asks why no psychological report is requested. The short answer: “Because we already have an expert opinion.”

The employment agency then completely ceases to provide the services. The customer, as the authorities reinterpreted, is no longer available to the labor market. The correct advice should now have been to apply for a temporary disability pension. Instead, the employment agency sends Julia to the job center. There she should apply for Hartz IV. Although Julia is still no longer available on the job market, she now receives significantly less social benefits. And the employment agency is rid of the "case" for now.

Julia used to write applications for friends and relatives. Today she hardly makes it out of panic. Julia can hardly make calls or fill out the applications today without help. You obviously know that in the job center, which is why the pitch is set much rougher there: “Your net worth of 24,175.28 exceeds the tax-free allowance by 8,550 euros. They are therefore not in need of help and have no claims. Please note: You have to use your wealth to secure your livelihood! ”Not that Julia is buying something nice.

Use up everything you have saved
But she is not able to do that either. Since September 2016, Julia has been paying her full living from her last savings. Even the health insurance company wants 169 euros extra. She omits the pension contributions. She doesn't go out for it, saves good food, lives in seclusion. Because the account continues to melt, panic already breaks out: “If I have to go to the hospital now, it costs 280 euros extra. The rent continues. That's not enough. ”More and more friends are turning away. But there were also former colleagues who now helped her to defend herself against the authorities. The DGB legal protection is activated. The latter is now suing the social court. But it can take up to the process. Not infrequently up to 2 years. And until then?

Because the authorities do not recognize the serious illness, Julia gets lost in the Hartz mills. A system that allows surgeons to provide advice if the applicant suffers from a mental illness.

When asked by the Berliner Zeitung, the employment agency says that the woman is healthy for the agency. “The woman is healthy for us. We follow the expert's testimony. ”A surgeon, not a psychiatrist. But the authority is not interested in that. “He is not just a surgeon, but an expert, social medicine specialist from our medical service. We didn't send the woman to the dentist. When I bring a car to TÜV, there is no distinction between small cars and trucks. After the TÜV, I have to rely on the car to drive. ”But: The expert himself had admitted that he was not responsible for mental illnesses.

The position of the authority is that the content of the report could have been questioned. But it didn't. Contradiction was not possible, but content corrections were. But you have to know these subtleties first. Why wasn't it pointed out? "It is not our job. We cannot have every report questioned ”. Normally, the so-called seamlessness regulation, Section 145 SGB II applies. The person concerned must then be paid unemployment benefits until a decision has been taken on the disability pension. But that was denied. Instead, this unspeakable report was created.

Authority arbitrariness is not an isolated case
“The fact that sick people find themselves in situations in which the naked fear of existence comes to illness is unfortunately not an isolated case. In my experience, social insurance providers usually take on assessments from doctors or psychologists in a completely uncritical manner, even if these are not plausible at first glance. This often has blatant consequences, ”lawyer Elisabeth Hlawenka, who works for the Landesvereinigung Selbsthilfe Berlin e.V., told the Berliner Zeitung.

Julia R is now regularly summoned by the job center. Letters constantly arrive that prompt you to look for work immediately. Evidence should be provided for this. Male is then threatened that otherwise the services will be stopped. What achievements does Julia ask? Because she should use up all the money that she had saved over the years.

With this terror, one may wonder whether the job center and the employment agency see depression as a kind of "lazy disease". "I just want to be treated as a human," says Julia. Not more.

Author and source information

Video: Why Depression Goes Unnoticed in Older Adults (August 2022).