Hearing impaired: right to traffic lights

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Verdict: Hearing impaired people are entitled to reimbursement of the statutory health insurance for a light signal system.

(04/30/2010) People with hearing impairment are entitled to a reimbursement for a light signal system if the hearing aid is no longer sufficient, judged the Federal Social Court in Kassel. A light signal system is used so that the hearing impaired can hear the doorbell. When the doorbell rings, appropriate light signals are given so that the doorbell can be heard. The judgment can be found under the file number: Az: B 3 KR 5/09 R.

In the specific case, a severely hearing impaired patient complained because the AOK Lower Saxony refused to reimburse a lighting system. In 2005, the applicant submitted an ordinance and requested a cost estimate. The plaintiff argued that health insurances generally fund people with disabilities with aids. But the health insurance company rejected the application.

However, the judges at the highest social court ruled that health insurers who cannot hear the doorbell in their apartment due to severe hearing loss are entitled to a light signal system. The health insurance company must therefore bear the costs of the installation. A traffic light system for people with disabilities who are entitled to benefits is an aid within the meaning of § 33 SGB V and § 31 SGB IX. (sb)

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