Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Austria - Sickness cash benefits

In what situation can I claim?

You can claim sickness cash benefit if you are sick and can no longer work. You must be incapable of work for more than three days. Sickness cash benefit is paid from the fourth day of sickness.

You can claim rehabilitation allowance if you are disabled or unable to do your usual work for more than six months and if it is likely that your health will improve and that you will subsequently no longer be disabled. Another condition is the impracticality or inappropriateness of vocational rehabilitation measures taken in your workplace. In this case, you may be entitled to retraining allowance from unemployment insurance.

What is covered?

Sickness cash benefit

If you are sick and, therefore, incapable of work, you may be entitled to sickness cash benefit. This applies to all employees, recipients of unemployment benefit and people participating in vocational rehabilitation.

Sickness cash benefit is a secondary benefit, which means that it will not be paid while you continue to receive your salary on the grounds of labour legislation. Depending on the length of service, there is a possibility to receive full salary from six to twelve weeks. After this period, half of the salary is paid for another four weeks, during which time you will receive the sickness cash benefit at half the rate.

If you fail to report your incapacity for work within one week, the sickness cash benefit will only be paid from the date of notification.

Entitlement to sickness cash benefit must be proved by a doctor’s sick note.

Rehabilitation allowance

You may be entitled to rehabilitation allowance if you are temporarily disabled for at least six months and if rehabilitation measures taken in your workplace are not practical or appropriate (in this case, there is a possibility to receive entitlement to retraining allowance from unemployment insurance). Your sickness insurance fund will check, within a year, whether or not your health can be expected to improve and whether you should continue to receive rehabilitation allowance. If this is not the case, i.e. if there is no prospect of recovery and if you are permanently disabled, you will be entitled to an invalidity pension.

Your pension insurance fund will decide on the granting or withdrawal of rehabilitation allowance.

If you receive rehabilitation allowance, you are required to participate in medical rehabilitation measures. If you refuse to cooperate, your rehabilitation allowance will be withdrawn.

Transitional provisions are in place because the rehabilitation allowance scheme becomes effective only from the beginning of 2014. Anyone who reaches the age of 50 before 1 January 2014 will continue to be subject to previous legal regulations. People who receive a temporary invalidity or occupational disability pension on 31 December 2013 and who have not reached the age of 50 by 1 January 2014 may continue to receive their temporary pension until expiry of the relevant time limit under the previous conditions.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Sickness cash benefit

The amount of sickness cash benefit is calculated on the basis of your last salary. The assessment ceiling is set at EUR 4,980 per month, which means that your remaining income will not be taken into account even if you earn more. Sickness cash benefit amounts to 50% of your salary if you are sick for 42 days or a shorter period. If you are sick for a longer period, sickness cash benefit rises to 60% from the 43rd day.

Where the statutes of the relevant sickness insurance fund so provide, benefit may be increased by a certain percentage if you have a spouse and/or other dependent family members. However, the increased benefit may not exceed 75% of earnings.

The sickness cash benefit for persons in marginal employment who are voluntarily insured is set at EUR 152.89.

As a rule, sickness cash benefit is paid for up to 52 weeks (one year). The statutes of the relevant sickness insurance fund can extend this duration to a maximum of 78 weeks (a year and a half).

Rehabilitation allowance

The amount of rehabilitation allowance is equivalent to that of sickness cash benefit. However, it is set at EUR 889.84 as a minimum.

If you are marginally employed, you may be entitled to partial rehabilitation allowance only.

Whenever you have to fulfil certain conditions before being able to claim an Austrian social security benefit, the authorities will also take into account any insurance periods you have completed in other countries. This applies to EU Member States and to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. No insurance period you have completed in Austria will be affected if you work or are insured in one of these countries.

Jargon busters

Sickness is any abnormal physical or mental condition which requires medical treatment.

Incapacity for work due to sickness occurs when a person in paid employment becomes incapable of work because of a sickness.

Invalidity occurs when the working capacity of persons mainly active in the occupations for which they were trained or qualified (skilled workers) decreases to less than half of the working capacity of a healthy insured person, with similar training and equivalent knowledge, working in the same occupation or a similar one (occupational protection or Berufsschutz).
Persons not mainly active in the occupations for which they were trained or qualified (unskilled workers) are considered to have an invalidity if they are no longer able to earn at least half of the income by performing any reasonable activity whatsoever which a healthy person would normally earn by performing such an activity. Self-employed people must provide proof that they are incapable of earning a normal income for health reasons.

Habitual residence - the terms ‘permanent residence’ and ‘habitual residence’ are defined under EU law. Please see the EU Regulation on the coordination of social security systems. In practice, it means the place where you have your centre of interests.

Forms you may need to fill in

Forms to download:

Online form to be filled in:

Know your rights

The links below set out your rights in law. However, they are not official European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:

Commission publications:

Whom do you need to contact?

Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection

Stubenring 1

1030 Vienna


T: +43 1/711 00-0

E: post@sozialministerium.at


Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection

Stubenring 1

1010 Vienna


T: +43 1711000

E: post@sozialministerium.at


Main Association of Austrian Security Institutions

Kundmanngasse 21

1030 Vienna


T: +43 711322400

E: posteingang.allgemein@hvb.sozvers.at


Pension Insurance Institution, Main Office

Friedrich-Hillegeist-Straße 1

1021 Vienna


T: +43 50303

E: pva@pva.sozvers.at


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