In cases related to political persecution (1933-1945), The Victims’ Welfare Act applies.
Persons who were victims of political persecution between 6 March 1933 and 9 May 1945 and their surviving dependants are entitled to benefits in accordance with the Victims’ Welfare Act.
The possible benefits available from the victims’ welfare system include pensions for victims and their surviving dependants, an allowance to cover the costs of special dietary needs due to health damage, und death benefit for surviving dependants.
The conditions for victims’ pensions
An official certificate is a prerequisite for receipt of a victim’s pension (or a maintenance pension). Certificates are issued the case of specific persecution-related damage to a person’s health, at least one year’s imprisonment or limitation to a person’s freedom, or at least six months incarceration in a concentration camp. If the victim died due to the persecution, an official certificate can also be issued to surviving dependants.
Since 1 March 2002, entitlement to a pension is also given if an official certificate cannot or could not be issued solely due to the fact that a person was not an Austrian citizen after 27 April 1945.
Maintenance pensions and survivor’s pensions
A maintenance pension is intended to ensure that person has the means to live. The amount of the pension is dependent on their other income. Survivor’s pensions, however, are not means-tested.
There are also other benefits for victims of political persecution, such as the recognition of preferential pension credits or the award of cash benefits from the National Fund of the Republic of Austria for victims of National Socialism.
Application forms and further information are available from the Sozialministeriumservice.