Bipolar is a form of intellectual disability

Degree of disability in bipolar disorder

People who suffer from bipolar disorder can apply to the responsible pension office for recognition of a disability or severe disability. Depending on the degree of disability they are granted, they are entitled to various rights and benefits.

The determination of a disability and the degree of the disability (GdB) is carried out according to the specifications of the Health care principles. A disability within the meaning of the law exists “if the physical function, the mental ability or the mental health of a person deviates more than 6 months from the condition typical for the age with a high probability and therefore his participation in life in society is impaired . "(§ 2 SGB IX)

In the case of bipolar disorder, the health care principles both under "Schizophrenia and affective psychoses" and under "Neuroses, personality disorders and consequences of psychological trauma" provide reference values ​​for a degree of disability:

Reference values ​​for schizophrenia and affective psychosis

Clinical picture

Degree of disability

Long-term psychosis (lasting more than half a year) in the florid stage, depending on the loss of professional and social adaptability

50 – 100

Schizophrenic residual state (e.g. concentration disorder, poor contact, loss of vitality, affective leveling) with minor and individual residual symptoms without social adjustment difficulties

  • without social adjustment difficulties


  • with slight social adjustment difficulties


with moderate social adjustment difficulties


  • with severe social adjustment difficulties




10 – 20


30 – 40


50 – 70


80 – 100

Affective psychosis with relatively short but often recurring phases

  • with 1-2 phases a year lasting several weeks depending on the type and severity
  • with more frequent phases lasting several weeks


30 – 50


60 – 100

After long-lasting psychotic episodes have subsided, generally (see below for an exception) a healing period of 2 years should be awaited


GdB during this time, if several manic or manic and depressive phases have already preceded it










 Representation of GdB according to source 1

exception: Needs a healing test Not to be waited for when a monopolar depressive phase that occurred as the first phase of the disease or more than 10 years after an earlier phase of the disease.

Reference values ​​for neuroses, personality disorders and the consequences of psychological trauma

Clinical picture

Degree of disability (GdB)

Lighter psycho-vegetative or mental disorders

0 – 20

More disabling disorders

with significant limitation of the ability to experience and shape (e.g. more pronounced depressive, hypochondriac, asthenic or phobic disorders, developments with disease value, somatoform disorders)

30 – 40

Severe disorders (e.g., severe obsessive-compulsive illness)


- with moderate social adjustment difficulties

50 – 70

- with severe social adjustment difficulties

80 – 100

1"Medical Care Ordinance. Health care principles ". Ed .: Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Information Unit. Status: September 2015, p. 43

2 Ibid. P. 44.