Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Austria - Invalidity benefits

In what situation can I claim?

You may receive invalidity pension in case of permanent invalidity. In addition, rehabilitation measures are provided. The principle that rehabilitation has priority before pension applies.

Recognition of invalidity depends on whether or not you are mainly active in an occupation for which you were trained or qualified (skilled as opposed to unskilled worker). If you are employed in a skilled occupation, you will be considered to have an invalidity if your working capacity has decreased to less than half of the working capacity of a healthy insured person, with similar training and equivalent knowledge and skills. Unskilled workers and self-employed people are considered to have an invalidity only if they are no longer able to earn at least half of the income which a healthy person normally earns by performing their activity. All activities which are available in the labour market as a whole and which can you can be expected to be offered, taking into account the activities you are performing, are considered. Facilitated access requirements apply to you if you are over 50.

The requirement for entitlement to invalidity pension is that invalidity is expected to be permanent. In case of temporary invalidity, you may be entitled to rehabilitation allowance and retraining allowance.

In Austria, there is no such thing as partial invalidity; you are either capable or incapable of work.

For insured persons aged 60 and over, consideration is given to whether they can still be engaged in the particular occupations they had been pursuing previously.

What is covered?

In case of temporary invalidity, you may be entitled to rehabilitation allowance as a health insurance benefit, or to retraining allowance as an unemployment insurance benefit.

An invalidity pension from a pension insurance scheme is only recognised for permanent invalidity.

Invalidity pension

The principle that rehabilitation has priority before pension applies. This means that invalidity pension is provided only if the insured person’s capacity for work cannot be restored.

In order to be entitled to an invalidity pension (Invaliditätsrente), you have to complete a certain minimum insurance period in Austria. This period is at least 60 months of insurance in the last 120 calendar months. After reaching the age of 50, the qualifying period is increased by one month and the reference period (Rahmezeitraum) by 2 months, to a maximum of 180 insurance months within the last 360 calendar months. As soon as you have 180 months of contributions or 300 months of insurance cover, no reference period is required.

The minimum insurance period is not required if invalidity is the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease.

If you become an invalid before you reach the age of 27, you must have at least six months of insurance cover.

Certain periods for which publicly funded contributions are paid are also recognised as contribution periods. These include: child-raising periods (Kindererziehungszeiten) for a maximum of four years per child (5 years for multiples), periods of military or war service and assimilated periods (e.g. civilian service), periods of maternity leave when maternity benefit (Wochengeld) is received, and periods when unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld) or sickness cash benefit (Krankengeld) is received.

Invalidity benefits are granted on application only.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Rehabilitation measures

Pension insurance institutions may provide medical, occupational or social rehabilitation measures. This happens when a rehabilitation measure seems to be promising. Rehabilitation measures are considered successful if they enable you to regain a suitable position in occupational and economic life and in your community.

All benefits are provided on application only.

Invalidity pension

There is no uniform rate at which invalidity pension is paid. It is calculated individually, taking into account the claimant’s age, length of insurance and contributions.

For persons below the age of 50 at the beginning of 2005, a benefit-defined pension account system based on current-income financing (“pay-as-you-go”) is in force.

Under this system, pension entitlements are calculated for each contribution year. The basis for calculation is the average income in a calendar year, subject to a ceiling (maximum contribution basis). For each calendar year, 1.78% of this amount is credited to the pension account.

Up to the age of 60, notional contribution months may be credited. The amount of the pension is calculated according to a formula based on the sum of the insurance months and credited months.

In the event of early retirement, the pension is reduced by 4.2% a year, but not more than a total of 15%.

For persons who had reached the age of 50 by the beginning of 2005, the legislation applicable at the end of 2004 still applies. The pension calculation basis is the average income of the 26 best insurance years. This period will be gradually increased to 40 years of insurance by 2028. Pensions from 1 January 2004 onwards may be no more than 5% lower than the comparable pension at 31 December 2003. This figure will be gradually increased to 10% by 2024.

Invalidity pension is paid in 14 annual instalments. Your April and October pension instalments include a supplement.

Invalidity pension is granted at the same amount when you reach the retirement age. It is also possible to transform invalidity pension to an old-age pension on the basis of an application.

Compensatory supplement

If your income, i.e. your monthly pension along with other income, is below a certain reference level, you may be entitled to a supplement. This compensatory supplement is paid to the level of the difference between your income and the reference level. Other income includes income from spouses and registered partners living in the same household.

If you are in need of care, invalidity pension may also be provided as a long-term care benefit.

All benefits are provided on application 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

  • 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 assessed or reasonable activity in the labour market 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.
  • Occupational protection arrangements (Tätigkeitsschutz) are available for persons who have reached the age of 60 and are no longer able to pursue the occupation in which they had been engaged in the previous 15 years. Any reasonable changes in the particular activity are taken into consideration.
  • 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

Invalidity pension is provided on application only. As a rule, this application should be submitted to the competent pension insurance fund, using an appropriate form. However, it may also be submitted at any sickness insurance fund or local authority. Applications without specific form will also be evaluated.

    Online forms:

    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

    Pension Insurance Institution offices

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