The participation in society of people with disabilities
Alongside the participation in employment (equal treatment) of people with disabilities, comprehensive participation in all areas of life is an important goal. To this end, the Sozialministeriumservice of the Ministry of Social Affairs provides a wide range of measures.
Disabled person’s pass
The disabled person’s pass is an official photo ID card which is considered proof of a disability, for example in relation to exemption from a number of taxes and charges. The disabled person’s pass can be applied for from the Sozialministeriumservice.
In the case of applications received after 1 September 2016, the pass is issued as a card.
Please note: the disabled person’s pass is not a parking permit (as defined by Section 29b of the Road Traffic Regulations) which enables you to park in a designated disabled parking space. Since 1 January 2014, parking permits of this kind can also be applied from the Sozialministeriumservice.
A disabled person’s pass is also not proof that you belong to those disabled persons with beneficiary status (registered disabled persons).
Further information on the disabled person’s pass, applications and additional entries into the pass can be viewed on the website of the Sozialministeriumservice.
Since 2014, permits in accordance with Section 29 b of the Road Traffic Regulations, otherwise known as parking permits, are issued free of charge by the Sozialministeriumservice.
Conditions for the issue of a parking permit
For the issue of a parking permit, a person must be a holder of a disabled person’s pass whose pass contains an additional entry stating that they cannot be reasonably expected to use public transport due to lasting mobility problems caused by a disability. If the person does not have a disabled person’s pass with this additional entry, the later has to applied for at the respective provincial office before applying for a parking permit.
An EU passport photo according to the applicable ICAO regulations has to be enclosed.
Expired parking permits
Parking permits which were issued before 1 January 2001 became invalid on 31 December 2015 and have to be re-applied for from the Sozialministeriumservice.
The issue of a duplicate, the changing of entries or other measures in relation to a parking permit which was issued by a district administrative authority or city council, is not possible.
In these cases too, the parking permit must be applied for again.
Support fund for people with disabilities
Applications for grants from the support fund can be applied for from the Sozialministeriumservice or an organisation which is part of the rehabilitation system. Only one grant can be applied for per project. The maximum amount for grants from the support fund is €6,000.
Conditions for grants
- It must be a specific project (for example the adaptation of a flat to make it suitable for a wheelchair user, or the adaptation of a car or the purchase of an assistance dog).
- The degree of disability must be at least 50 percent.
- The person’s main place of residence must be in Austria.
- Their monthly income must be below the income ceiling (for example, in the case of a person living alone it must be below €1933.30).
- The application must be made before the project is carried out.
- Expenditure on everyday life is not supported (e.g. electricity or gas costs, maintenance costs, the purchase of household devices).
- Grants are only permitted when it is ensured that the funding is used in an economical, purposeful and efficient way. There is no legal right to the granting of subsidies.
The Sozialministeriumservice also has to check whether, and to what extent, other funding agencies can contribute towards the financing.
Documents needed to check whether subsidies can be granted
The following documents must be provided to apply for a grant from the Support Fund for People with Disabilities:
- official evidence of disability (e.g. a disabled person’s pass, an official decision on long-term care benefit or increased family allowance) or a medical certificate on the type and degree of disability;
- evidence of the person’s income, and
- in the case of purchases/work to be carried out: estimates from authorised specialists.
Applications for a grant from the Support Fund for People with Disabilities are made directly to the Sozialministeriumservice.
Aids for people with disabilities
The Sozialministeriumservice provides advice on suitable aids to adapt a workplace or also to make life easier in the home.
If purchasing an item is not purposeful or desired, some aids can be hired from various institutions such as the providers of social services, medical equipment dealers or health insurance funds.
Further details on medical and technical aids are summarised in the EIN:BLICK brochure 3 (Rehabilitation) (in German). Brochure 7 from this series provides information on various financing possibilities. All of the EIN:BLICK brochures can be downloaded from the Brochure Service.
Assistance and therapy dogs
The Federal Disability Act (BBG) lays down the conditions for the recognition of assistance and therapy dogs and their quality-oriented assessment. These regulations, which apply to the whole of the country, clarify which dogs are officially considered to be assistance or therapy dogs.
Only those dogs which pass the tests laid down in Section 39a of the BBG are recognised by public agencies and the bodies which provide subsidies.
More detailed provisions on the assessment of assistance dogs and therapy dogs have been enacted in the form of guidelines. These guidelines are available as a download. Further information is available in the section on grants and guidelines.
Detailed information on the assessments can be obtained from the inspection body at the Messerli Research Institute of the Veterinary Medical University of Vienna, which has been commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs to carry out the assessments.
For questions about grants for the purchase of an assistance dog and its entry into a disabled person’s pass, please contact your provincial office of the Sozialministeriumservice.
Based on the nationwide standardised definition of assistance and therapy dogs, the federal government, the provinces, local authorities, public transport associations and private organisations can create regulations regarding the access of these dogs to certain areas and exemptions from bans on dogs.