Social court proceedings; filing of a lawsuit with the social court

You can file a lawsuit with the social court in case of disputes about social law claims.


Disputes concerning claims under social law may be brought before the courts of social jurisdiction. According to the Social Court Act, there are

  • Social courts (1st instance),
  • regional social courts (2nd instance) and
  • the Federal Social Court in Kassel (3rd instance).

The jurisdiction of the social courts extends to all public-law disputes arising from social insurance (health insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance, old-age insurance for farmers), unemployment insurance and employment promotion, war victims' benefits and statutory health insurance, as well as other areas of law assigned by law (e. g. (e.g., basic benefits for job-seekers, social assistance, benefits under the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act, parental allowance, Bavarian family allowance, long-term care insurance, Bavarian allowance for the blind, military benefits, vaccine injuries, victims of violent crimes, ID cards for severely disabled persons).

The social courts do not have jurisdiction over disputes relating to youth welfare, war victims' welfare and equalization of burdens (these are the responsibility of the administrative courts).

The social court with local jurisdiction is the one in whose district the plaintiff has his or her registered office or place of residence at the time the action is brought or, failing that, his or her place of residence; if the plaintiff is employed, he or she may also bring an action before the social court with jurisdiction for the place of employment. If the plaintiff has his or her registered office or place of residence or domicile abroad, the social court in whose district the defendant has his or her registered office or place of residence or, failing that, his or her place of residence or domicile shall have local jurisdiction.

As regards representation in court, the parties may conduct the proceedings themselves in the first and second instances or be represented by authorized representatives (e.g. representatives of associations, lawyers, family members of full age, trade unions and employers' associations). Representation by lawyers or representatives of associations is compulsory before the Federal Social Court, except for public authorities and public corporations.

The Social Court investigates the facts of the case ex officio. The parties involved shall be consulted, but the court shall not be bound by the submissions and requests for evidence of the parties involved. The court decides on the basis of oral proceedings by way of judgment. With the consent of the parties, the court may decide by judgment without oral proceedings. If the case does not present any particular difficulties of a factual or legal nature and the facts of the case have been clarified, the Social Court may decide by court order without oral proceedings and without honorary judges in order to accelerate the proceedings.


A lawsuit may be filed in the event of litigation over social law claims.


The proceedings begin with the complaint to the Social Court, which must be submitted in writing or recorded at the court office. In principle, preliminary proceedings must precede the appeal, which is concluded with the issuance of the notice of appeal.

Special notes

In principle, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure apply to enforcement, with certain deviations with regard to enforceability. Enforcement in favor of public authorities and public corporations is governed by the Administrative Enforcement Act.


As a rule, an appeal to the social court must be filed within one month (in case of notification abroad within 3 months) after the notification of the notice of appeal.

The objection must be filed within one month after notification of the administrative act in writing or in writing with the office that issued the administrative act (initial decision of the authority). The time limit shall also be deemed to have been observed if the notice of appeal has been received by another domestic authority, an insurance carrier or a German consular authority.

Required documents

  • Initial decision on which the application is based
  • issued notice of opposition


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Klageformular
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.


  • No court costs are incurred by insured persons, beneficiaries and disabled persons or their special legal successors, insofar as they are involved in the proceedings in this capacity; the other parties (e.g. insurance carriers) must pay a fee for each dispute, regardless of the outcome. In other proceedings (e.g., between employers and insurance carriers, insurance carriers among themselves, or physicians and associations of panel physicians), costs are incurred in accordance with the Court Costs Act.

    In all instances, each party must initially bear its own representation costs. However, the court must decide in the judgment or on application by order whether and to what extent the parties must reimburse each other for costs. With a few exceptions, the costs of the authorities and insurance carriers are not to be reimbursed. In social court proceedings, the attorney's fee is usually based on a framework fee. Depending on the activity, the lawyer can earn a procedural fee, an appointment fee and a settlement fee.

    The appointment fees range

    • in the 1st instance between 60.00 and 610.00 EUR,
    • in the 2nd instance between 60.00 and 610.00 EUR and
    • in the 3rd instance between 96.00 and 990.00 EUR.

    The procedural fees are

    • in the 1st instance between 60,00 and 660,00 EUR,
    • in the 2nd instance between 72,00 and 816,00 EUR and
    • in the 3rd instance between 96,00 and 1.056,00 EUR.

    In addition, the lawyer must be reimbursed for necessary expenses.

    If a party is demonstrably unable to pay the costs before the court and is not represented by a representative of the association, he or she may apply for legal aid and be assigned a lawyer appointed by the court or, at his or her request, a lawyer selected by the court.


The legal remedies are appeal, revision and complaint.

Appeals against judgments and court orders of the Social Court may be lodged with the Regional Social Court within one month (within 3 months if served abroad). In certain cases, the appeal is excluded by law. If it is not admitted by the social court in the judgment or court order, an appeal against the non-admission can be lodged with the Regional Social Court within one month.

Appeals against judgments of the Regional Social Court may be lodged with the Federal Social Court if they have been admitted by the Regional Social Court or by the Federal Social Court in response to a complaint of non-admission. In certain cases, an appeal may also be lodged to the Federal Social Court (i.e. without prior appeal proceedings) against judgments of the Social Court (jump appeal). The deadline for filing the appeal is one month after service of the judgment or the decision on the admission of the appeal (3 months in case of service abroad). The appeal must be substantiated within 2 months.

Appeals against other social court decisions are decided by the Regional Social Court. All judgments and decisions are accompanied by full instructions on how to appeal.

Status: 15.02.2023

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Familie, Arbeit und Soziales

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