The Claims Conference makes annual allocations for the benefit of Austrian Jewish Nazi victims residing outside of Austria who are in need.
From 2004 through 2007, the Claims Conference allocated approximately $11.5 million from the Austrian Holocaust Survivor Emergency Assistance Program (AHSEAP). The funds, distributed by local social service agencies around the world, were for items such as partial payment for repurchasing into the Austrian pension program, dental treatment, medical aids and treatment, and emergency care.
The funds derived from two sources: a settlement between Bank Austria and the Claims Conference, and a 1990 agreement by the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs with the Claims Conference to provide assistance to survivors. The funding expired in 2007.
In 2007, following negotiations by the Claims Conference in Vienna, the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs agreed to continue providing between €1.8 million and €2 million annually toward AHSEAP.
About 16,000 Austrian Jewish survivors of the Holocaust are living primarily in the United States, Britain, Israel and South America.
No individual payments are being made by the Claims Conference from these funds. The funds will be distributed to local social service agencies around the world that provide assistance to Jewish victims of Nazism.
The criteria to benefit from these assistance funds are the following. Individuals applying for assistance to local agencies must meet all four criteria:
1.) Individuals must be either a Jewish victim of Nazi persecution or have fled Austria to escape persecution on or after July 11, 1936. They, or their parents, must have been Austrian citizens, or have had 10 years of residence in Austria prior to their date of emigration.
2.) Individuals’ annual income may not exceed the limit specified by their current country of residence (income requirements vary by country). Necessary expenses, in relation to income, will be considered in determining eligibility. Widows and widowers of deceased Austrian Nazi victims who were eligible for funding through AHSEAP will be included in this program. Calculation of income to meet the eligibility guidelines shall be as follows:
3.) Total of financial assets may not exceed the limit specified for applicant’s current country of residence.
4.) There must be a specific emergency need that individuals cannot pay from their assets and income.
In addition, if the spouse of an Austrian Nazi victim suffers from severe health problems and has a specific need (e.g., a wheelchair), the survivor may request support for the spouse within the framework of the maximum annual sum that the survivor would be entitled to receive. The request must be made by the survivor on behalf of his or her spouse.
Heirs of deceased Nazi victims, other than those described above, are not eligible for this program.
Updated January 20, 2011