Social matters

Austria has a diverse and dense network of social benefits. Everybody who comes to Austria is integrated into this network. The receipt of the various benefits is also linked to rights and obligations. Depending on what residence status you have, you can receive different benefits.

The following fundamentally applies for Vienna:

  • Persons who have been granted asylum can receive all Vienna social benefits.
  • Persons granted subsidiary protection only have limited access to the Vienna social benefits because they are covered by the benefits from the basic services.
  • Asylum seekers only have minimum access to the Vienna social services as they are covered by the benefits from the basic services.
 

What are the basic services (Grundversorgung)?

When you come to Austria and apply for asylum, you will receive support here in the form of basic services (Grundversorgung). With these, the basic requirements of your everyday life should be quickly met. This means that you will be supported during your asylum proceedings through measures relating to basic services (Grundversorgung). The following groups of persons receive basic services (Grundversorgung) in Austria:
 

  • Asylum seekers
  • People who have been granted subsidiary protection and are not in employment
  • People who have been granted asylum up to 4 months after receipt of the positive notification regarding asylum. At the latest after expiry of the 4 months, the support in the form of the basic services will end.

You are covered by health insurance by the social security benefits. The basic social benefits also ensure a minimum income. On request, you will also be provided with accommodation. More information on the topic of housing can be found HERE.

More information on the topic of basic services can be found HERE.

Where can I receive consulting and supporting when I receive basic services (Grundversorgung)?

If you live in organised accommodation, you will receive advice from social workers as well as from the advisors on site. You can also seek advice in the advice centres for basic services (Grundversorgung). If you are in private accommodation, you can then seek advice in the Asylzentrum Caritas. There, you will receive advice and support on questions relating to the topic of asylum and aliens law and for problems relating to the social environment. The asylum centre also handles the payments for basic services (Grundversorgung) for all eligible parties in private accommodation.

Asylzentrum Caritas
Initial contact for service and advice centre
Spitalgasse 5-9
1090 Vienna
Tel.: 01 427 88-0
E-mail: asylzentrum@caritas-wien.at
www.caritas-wien.at

What is the Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS)?

The Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS) are financial assistance to safeguard the livelihood and accommodation requirements and incorporates intensive support in the job search and advice and support from a social worker.

How can I apply for the Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS)?

If you have been granted asylum, you can apply for Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS). In Vienna, you can also request BMS as a person granted subsidiary protection if you are in private accommodation. You have to apply for the Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS) from one of the regional centres of the Magistratsabteilung für Soziales,- Sozial- und Gesundheitsrecht/Municipal Department 40 - Social Welfare, Social and Public Health Law (MA 40). The application has to be filed as soon as you have received your residence notification. The prerequisite for this is that you are unable to cover your living expenses solely by an income or your own assets. 

It is important that you register beforehand with Arbeitsmarktservice Wien (AMS Wien) as seeking work. For this, please bring the original of your registration form, your asylum notification and your white card or your grey card or your convention pass to the AMS Wien with you. Ask the AMS for a confirmation about your pre-registration as seeking work. You then submit an application to the Wiener Sozialzentren /regional centre of the MA 40 responsible for your district of residence for Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS).

For this, you require the following documents:
 

  • Application form
  • Proof of identity / photo ID
  • Asylum notification and other personal documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, if applicable divorce decree or settlement)
  • Current income receipts / notification from the AMS
  • Rent receipts
  • Proof of benefits applied for (e.g. benefits from the AMS)
  • Proof of assets

The Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS) are only an interim security: You must demonstrably prove that you want to work. The Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS) supports you in the search for a job.

Are persons who have been granted subsidiary protection entitled to Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS)?

Persons who have been granted subsidiary protection receive basic services (Grundversorgung) as long as they are not working. However, the basic services (Grundversorgung) are increased by funds from the Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS) so that the same amount is guaranteed as for persons who have been granted asylum. Persons who have been granted subsidiary protection and who live in organised accommodation will only receive financial assistance in the form of basic services (Grundversorgung).

What obligations do I have if I receive Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung (BMS)?

The Municipal Department 40 - Social Welfare, Social and Public Health Law (MA 40) and the Arbeitsmarktservice  (AMS) work closely together. You have to prove to the MA 40 that you attend the meetings at the AMS. Furthermore, you must compulsorily attend the AMS courses that are assigned to you. You are also obligated to seek employment. If you, for instance, attend a German course that has not been procured by the AMS you must report this to the MA 40 independently. Please note: If the specifications of the AMS are not complied with, the MA 40 can reduce the benefits safeguarding the person's livelihood.

More information on the topic of work can be found HERE.

Is there special support for families?

If you have been granted asylum, as a family, you will receive assistance in the form of family allowance and the multiple-child supplement. Schoolchildren will also receive financial assistance. As a person who has been granted subsidiary protection, you will only receive this assistance if you do not receive any basic social benefits.

Family allowance
The family allowance is a monetary payment for all families with children - independent of income. The amount of family allowance depends on the number of children and the age of the children. You have to apply for family allowance from the tax office responsible for you. More information can be found HERE.

Multiple-child supplement
All families with three or more children will receive the multiple-child supplement. You have to apply for the multiple-child supplement from the tax office responsible for you. More information can be found HERE.

Support for school
In September of each year, pupils aged between 6 and 15 will receive a school start allowance of 100 euros. A separate application is not necessary.

What is unemployment benefit?

People seeking a job will receive unemployment benefit to safeguard their livelihood. People who are older than 26 and have worked for at least one year in Austria within two years are entitled to unemployment benefit. People who are younger than 25 and have worked for at least six months within one year in Austria are entitled to unemployment benefit.

What are Konventionsreisepässe/Convention Travel Documents?

The Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl (BFA) has been responsible since 1 January 2014 for the issuing of Konventionsreisepässe. This passport applies for all countries with the exception of your country of origin and is valid for a maximum of 5 years. If you have been granted asylum, you can apply for a Konventionsreisepass.

What are Fremdenpässe/aliens' passports?

People who have been granted subsidiary protection can apply for an Fremdenpass/alien's passport from the Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl (BFA).

What are the important authorities for me in Vienna?

Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS)
The Arbeitsmarktservice (AMS) supports you as a person who has been granted asylum or subsidiary protection in your search for employment. Each district in Vienna has its own AMS office. The address for the regional office that is responsible for you in your district can be found at www.ams.at/wien/.

Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl (BFA)
Landstraßer Hauptstraße 169
1030 Vienna
www.bfa.gv.at

Tax office/Finanzamt
Each district in Vienna has its own tax office. The address of the tax office that is responsible for you in your district can be found at www.bmf.gv.at.

Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse (WGKK)
At www.wgkk.at you will find the addresses of the various locations of Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse.

Municipal Department 40 - Social Welfare, Social and Public Health Law (MA 40)
Each district has its own location. The address of the office responsible for you in your district can be found at: www.wien.gv.at/gesundheit/leistungen/wiener-sozialzentren.html

An overview of all municipal administration departments of the city of Vienna can be found HERE.