Self-Help Funding

Self-help - experts in their own right

Regardless of whether you are affected by a chronic illness or disability yourself or are a relative - self-help offers the opportunity to exchange information about this special situation. Chronically ill people and their relatives can obtain information there, receive comfort and support, and are encouraged to take their fate into their own hands even in difficult times. Last but not least, it offers help and orientation in finding one's way in our highly specialized and complex healthcare system.

A valuable addition to professional offerings

The contacts on the medical side are not always enough to help people find their way around and come to terms with the disease after the initial diagnosis. This is where the exchange with other affected people helps many people.

The most diverse generations meet in self-help. For many, direct contact is important, whether in the classic circle of chairs, at the regulars' table or in some other form. In addition to personal exchange, many also use the new media. Self-help is as diverse as life is colorful! There are now self-help groups and self-help organizations for almost all illnesses and disabilities. With their diverse and extensive activities, they are a valuable addition to the professional services offered by our BKK and are thus an important part of the social and health care system.

We promote self-help commitment

The statutory health insurance funds support health-related self-help activities in the form of flat-rate and project funding. The legal basis for this is § 20h SGB V.

  • Self-help receives a fixed amount that is adjusted annually. For 2024, this is €1.23 per insured person.
  • In 2021, BKK EWE spent around €18,000 on self-help funding.
  • For 2022, we provided funding in the same amount for self-help work. Of this amount, approximately €3,100 is allocated to our individual health insurance fund project funding. The remainder flows into joint funding via the associations of company health insurance funds.

Our partner BeKoS

BKK EWE works closely with self-help organizations on a regional basis. Our partner in this is the BeKoS association (Beratungs- und Koordinationsstelle für Selbsthilfegruppen e.V.).

We control our regional project funding via BeKoS. The BeKoS is the specialist agency for the health and psychosocial self-help sector in the Oldenburg region.

Offer of the BeKoS

The offer includes the

  • Information and advice about possibilities of self-help and external help


  • in the search for a suitable self-help group
  • in the foundation of new self-help groups
  • for existing self-help groups, e.g. when looking for a room
  • Provision of technical aids and media
  • in questions of financial support.

More details can be found on the website of the Beratungs- und Koordinationsstelle für Selbsthilfegruppen e.V.:

Get support

What funding opportunities are available?

Funding by the statutory health insurance funds is provided at the federal, state and regional levels through two funding streams in each case:

The flat-rate subsidy across all types of health insurance funds

Here, self-help structures are institutionally subsidized in the sense of basic financing. Measures relating to routine operations are financed. This includes, for example, rental and ancillary costs, office equipment and material costs, regular expenses for maintaining the homepage, online security and data protection.

The health insurance company-individual project funding

This involves activities that go beyond the normal scope of day-to-day self-help work, such as developing and testing concepts to improve self-help work or holding specialist conferences/seminars, provided they are one-off events on a particular topic.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Funding is possible if the self-help group is supported by the competence of the people with chronic illness and/or disability and is geared towards strengthening the health-related competencies and resources of the people affected and their relatives and supporting them.

In addition, the applicant must meet certain formal criteria. You can find out what these are in the guide to self-help funding.

Optional: A self-help group is characterized by:

  • a founding meeting
  • a reliable/continuous group work and accessibility
  • a minimum number of six members
  • Openness for new members
  • voluntary commitment
  • a non-professional guidance of the self-help group
  • regularly make public announcements of their offers, for example at the
  • local self-help contact point or in the (regional) press

Where can I find a support group or organization?

It feels good to know that you are not alone! If you would like to exchange ideas with other affected persons, you are in good hands in one of the numerous self-help groups. You can find out whether and where there is a self-help group for your clinical picture/disability, for example, at the self-help contact points.

You can find a nationwide overview on the website of the national contact and information center NAKOS:

Find your support group

Direct exchange with self-help organizations

You can also contact the self-help organizations for a disease directly. As a rule, you can already find an overview of existing self-help groups and their contact persons on their homepages.

Help in finding a support group

Self-help organizations offer easy-to-understand information on the respective clinical picture. From the perspective of those affected, they provide advice on diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative options - even for non-members. They can also help if you are looking for a self-help group.

Get an overview of self-help organization

Support for rare diseases

Some diseases are so rare that there is no support group nearby. However, it is precisely here that the exchange can be particularly important. You can find help and information at:

Published on: 02.03.2022 - Last modified on: 08.02.2023


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