Access to sheltered workshops in Germany 13.12.23
People with disabilities have freedom of choice (§ 8 SGB IX).

If a person with disability is offered a contract by a regular company and decides to work there, the federal employment agency first has to make every effort to realize this. It can deploy various instruments: The employer can obtain financial aids for workplace adaption (§ 26 SchwbAV) as well as subsidies to compensate for a lower work performance; additionally, the person with disability can receive supported employment for up to three years.

People with disabilities, who are not able to perform more than three hours of work under the conditions of the open labour market due to the nature of their disability (§ 8 Abs. 1 SGB II, § 43 Abs. 2 S. 2 SGB VI), are legally considered completely incapacitated for work. They have access to the services of a sheltered workshop and can decide whether they want to use them. 

People with disabilities who want to participate in working life through the services of a sheltered workshop should be able to achieve a minimum level of economic output (§ 58 Abs. 1 SGB IX). Additionally, they should not pose a danger to themselves or others. 

There are no waiting lists for sheltered workshops in Germany. Uniquely in Europe, federal law states that if a person with disability chooses to exercise his or her legal right to use the services of a sheltered workshop, provided he or she meets the requirements, the person has the right to immediately get a place in a sheltered workshop.

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Who we are
Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Werkstätten für behinderte Menschen e. V. (BAG WfbM) is the political representative of sheltered workshops in Germany. We represent 93 % of all German workshops. All public welfare organisations and religious denominations work jointly in our organisation.

Our task is to give expert advice on questions related to employment, vocational training, financing and legal issues. Additionally, we are actively involved in the legislation process. BAG WfbM promotes for the participation of persons with disabilities in working life.
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