Social Welfare Benefits for Austrian Jewish Survivors
The Claims Conference has urged every Austrian government since the 1950s to increase its social welfare benefits for elderly Austrian Nazi victims who were expelled from the country or fled following the Anschluss.
Improvements negotiated in social insurance legislation include the right to buy back work months at a very low premium and receive an Austrian pension. Widows or widowers of former Austrian citizens are eligible to receive up to 60 percent of their late spouses’ pensions. The minimum pension starts at approximately €300 per month, but may be higher if the person worked abroad and there is a bilateral agreement between the country of the person’s residence and Austria (such as in the U.S., Israel, Australia, Chile, and the UK). All Holocaust survivors born before or on December 31, 1932 were entitled to an Austrian pension if they repurchased "work-months."
Negotiations between the Claims Conference and Austria in 2002 and 2009 have led to the following improvements in eligibility requirements:
All Austrian Holocaust survivors born between January 1, 1933 and May 9, 1945 have the right to an Austrian pension, if they repurchase "work-months." The same rights under the existing law will apply: repurchase of 180 months (15 years) at a special rate of currently about €30 per month. Individuals born before March 13, 1938 must have had their domicile on the territory of the Republic of Austria on March 12, 1938 to be eligible. Individuals (that were persecuted in Austria or another country) born between March 13, 1938 and May 8 1945 are eligible if at least one parent had his/her residence on the territory of the Republic of Austria on March 12, 1938.
In the 1990s a special measure was negotiated with the Austrian government to pay nursing care (Pflegegeld) to needy Austrians living abroad. Improvements to this benefit were negotiated in 2001, giving Austrian victims of Nazism living abroad the same payments as those living in Austria.
If you receive an Austrian pension, you may be eligible for nursing care payments/ Pflegegeld if you need assistance in your daily life and rely on a caregiver to perform daily necessities. Widows or widowers of Austrian victims are not eligible. The amount of payments depends on the category of care, with "7" being the highest need.
|Nursing Care Category||Monthly payment||Average monthly need of nursing hours over|
|5||€902.30||180 hours - possible constant need|
|6||€1,260||180 hours - day and night assistance|
|7||€1,655.80||180 hours - extremely limited movement|
A medical examination performed by an authorized physician is required to determine the category of care.Those currently receiving payments for one category may apply for increased assistance if the status of health decreases. Forms are available at www.pensionsversicherung.at
Victim Relief (Opferfürsorge)
Payments are given to Austrian or former Austrian citizens who between March 6, 1933 and May 9, 1945 suffered physical injuries as a result of their active resistance to the Nazi regime or as a result of political beliefs, religion, nationality, or physical disabilities.
The applicant (or at least one parent) must either have been an Austrian citizen on March 13, 1938 or have lived in Austria continuously for at least ten years prior to March 13, 1938. The Claims Conference negotiated with the Government of Austria that current Austrian Citizenship is not a requirement anymore.
One-time compensation payments are available to compensate various categories of persecution, i.e. internment, loss of or detriment of income, loss or interruption of education, living in hiding, having to wear the star of David (“Judenstern”), loss of free movement.
Certain one-time payments are even available for surviving dependents.
Concentration camp survivors (or those who suffered at least one year of imprisonment) may be entitled to pension payments if they can prove that their disability is due to concentration camp suffering/imprisonment.
How to Apply
Pensions and Pflegegeld/Nursing Care
Contact the Austrian Embassy nearest you or the authority below:
Opferfürsorge (Victim Relief) Benefits
Bundesamt für Soziales und Behindertenwesen
Babenbergerstrasse 5, 2. Stock, Zi. 212
A-1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel: +43 05 99 88
Fax: +43 05 99 88 - 2266
The information presented herein is intended for information purposes only and solely as a general guide. The information is not intended as legal advice. It is a summary of specific issues and does not represent a definitive or complete statement of the programs and policies of the agencies or governments mentioned. The information may not address the special needs, interests and circumstances of individual recipients. Individual situations differ and recipients are urged to seek individual advice. Individuals seeking specific information on a program are urged to contact the relevant program or to consult their social service agency or help center representative. To the best of our knowledge the information is correct as of the date of this document and this information may change subsequent to the said date. Updated December 2012.