Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Austria - Long-term care

In what situation can I claim?

You can claim long-term care benefit if you have permanent or habitual residence in Austria and if you are dependent on the care of another person and if pursuant to Regulation 883/2004 no other member state is liable for care benefits. You can claim for long-term care benefit even if you have no residence in Austria provided that no other member state is liable for care benefits pursuant to Regulation 883/2004.

You will receive benefits in kind for people in need of care if you are permanently dependent on the care of another person.

People in need of care can submit a petition for an allowance for the costs of 24-hour care, to be cared for in their familiar environment.

What is covered?

You have to be dependent on care in order to receive the long-term care benefit for persons in need of care. You are in need of care if you require care for more than 65 hours a month on average and it may be expected that you need of care will last more than six months. You may be entitled to long-term care benefit if you have a physical or mental disability or a sensory impairment.

There is no age limit for entitlement to cash benefits and benefits in kind for people in need of care.

Entitlement to cash benefits is not subject to a qualifying period.

When you move from one Austrian Land to another, a qualifying period for permanent residence may be required to be eligible for benefits in kind.

Prerequisites for granting an allowance for 24-hour care are:

  • existence of a care relationship pursuant to the provisions of the Domiciliary Care Act
  • Need of 24-hour-care
  • Entitlement to care benefit of at least level 3
  • Mandatory insurance of carer
  • Quality requirements of carer

The care relationship can be based on setting up an employment relationship with the person in need of care or being a relative or signing a contract with a non-profit service provider or by employing a self-employed carer.

An allowance can be granted if the monthly net income of the person in need of care does not exceed EUR 2,500. In general, income is defined as the sum of all assets a person receives in cash or in kind on a continuous basis and can use without having their assets reduced.  Exemptions are regulated in the guidelines on subsidies.

The income limit is increased by EUR 400 for every dependant entitled to maintenance and by EUR 600 for a dependant with disabilities entitled to maintenance.

If income varies, one twelfth of the income received in one calendar year will be considered as the monthly income.

If the monthly income exceeds the respective income limit by less than the maximum endowment, the difference can still be granted as an endowment if it is at least EUR 50.

How is long-term care accessed?

Long-term care benefit

Long-term care benefit (Pflegegeld) is a flat-rate benefit not related to your income or property. Its purpose is to compensate for the expenses resulting from care services and provide dependent persons with the necessary care and support as far as possible. It is intended to increase the chance of maintaining an independent life.

There are seven categories of long-term care benefit. From category one, which is for people who require care between 65 and 95 hours per month, to category seven, which is for those who require care for more than 180 hours, if either they cannot purposefully move their arms and legs or there is a similar situation..

Medical or in certain cases care-related assessment of the degree of dependency is performed according to the regulations issued by the competent federal ministry. The indicators are activities of daily living, e.g. dressing and undressing, personal hygiene, preparing food, going to the toilet, taking medication. Dependency may be reassessed on the request of the beneficiary or at other specific occasions.

The level of long-term care benefit is based on the care category.

Care needs, hours per month

Care category

Monthly (net) amount in euros

More than 65 hours

1

EUR 157.30

More than 95 hours

2

EUR 290.00

More than 120 hours

3

EUR 451.80

More than 160 hours

4

EUR 667.60

More than 180 hours for extraordinary care expenses

5

EUR 920.30

More than 180 hours if

uncoordinated support is required over a period of time and if such support has to be provided regularly during day and night time, or

the continued presence of a care assistant is required during day and night time because of a risk of self-endangerment or endangerment of others

6

EUR 1,285.20

More than 180 hours if

no precise movement of all four limbs is possible, or a similar situation exists

7

EUR 1,688.90

In the case of residential care, a maximum of 80% of the long-term care benefit is transferred directly to the cost-bearing institution. A monthly allowance of EUR 45.20 is left to the beneficiary.

Long-term care benefit is paid for the duration of the period during which an individual requires care. It is paid directly to the beneficiary and can be spent on financing the long-term care at their sole discretion. In case of improper use, the long-term care benefit may be replaced by benefits in kind. There is no free choice between cash benefits and benefits in kind.

No payroll taxes or sickness insurance contributions are deducted from long-term care benefit.

Benefits in kind for people in need of care

Benefits in kind may encompass mobile and outpatient care and semi-residential and residential care. Mobile services include, for example, the visiting service, domestic help, 24-hour care, extended care, meals on wheels, family support, district nursing and the psychosocial service. Semi-residential services include care in day centres. Residential services include care in a nursing home or comprehensive care in a residential community. Social aspects, such as the income level and rent costs, are considered when benefits in kind are provided by professional providers.

Since January 2018, it is no longer allowed to access, in the context of social assistance, assets of persons residing in residential care facilities or assets of family, heirs and other donation beneficiaries to cover for the care costs.

People in need of care and their relatives may avail themselves of additional advisory and information services. These may range from a citizen’s service to legal counsel for disabled persons to support groups and self-help groups.

Benefits in kind are provided by both public and private service providers, with whom an individual in need of care must sign a contract. As a general rule, benefits in kind are granted for the length of time specified in this contract.

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.

Allowance for the costs of 24-hour care

The amount of the financial allowance is for

  • employed carers EUR 550 or EUR 1,100 per month
  • self-employed care persons EUR 275 or EUR 550 per month.

The allowance is paid regardless of the assets of the person in need of care and twelve times per year.

Petitions for granting an allowance must be submitted with the Ministry for Social Affairs (if possible before commencement of the care relationship or soon afterwards.

Jargon busters

  • Dependency on care occurs when a person is dependent on constant care and assistance with activities of daily living because of a physical or mental disability or a sensory impairment.
  • 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

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

1010 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 1711000

E: post@sozialministerium.at

http://www.sozialministerium.at

Main Association of Austrian Security Institutions

Kundmanngasse 21

1030 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 711322400

E: posteingang.allgemein@hvb.sozvers.at

http://www.hauptverband.at

Pension Insurance Institution, Main Office

Friedrich-Hillegeist-Straße 1

1021 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 50303

E: pva@pva.sozvers.at

http://www.pensionsversicherung.at

The internet portal for Austrian social security providers

Services of the Ministry for Social Affairs – Regional offices

The internet portal for Austrian social security providers

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