Under the Victims of Crime Act (Verbrechensopfergesetz, VOG), BGBl. No 288/1972, compensation is awarded to individuals when it is likely that they suffered injury to their body or damage to their health as a result of an unlawful and intentional act carrying a sentence of more than six months’ imprisonment on the date on which the decision is taken.
For an unlawful and intentional act carrying a sentence of more than six months’ imprisonment which resulted in injury to the body or damage to health.
Yes. Family members who were dependants of the deceased under civil law (children, spouse) are eligible for compensation.
Yes, if the victim was seriously injured. The crime must also have caused the family member (child, parent, spouse, sibling) to suffer a shock resulting in psychological difficulties of clinical significance.
Yes. The offence must have been committed in Austria after 30 June 2005. Claimants must usually have been a legal resident at the time of the offence.
According to the Victims of Crime Act, citizens of Austria and the EU (if their usual place of residence was in Austria prior to the offence) are also in principle entitled to compensation for injuries that occur abroad.
According to Article 2 of Council Directive 2004/80/EC, compensation shall be paid by the competent authority of the Member State on whose territory the crime was committed.
The victim and the surviving dependants must assist with the investigation into the offence and the search for the perpetrator, otherwise any claims for compensation may be rejected.
The offender does not have to have been identified or convicted. It is enough if it is likely that an offence took place.
Most claims must be made within two years of the offence in order to receive retroactive assistance. If the claim is submitted later than this, assistance is paid from the month following the claim.
The following assistance is possible:
1. Compensation for loss of earnings or maintenance;
2. Therapeutic care
(a) medical assistance,
(c) medical aids,
(d) institutional care,
(e) dental treatment,
(f) measures to strengthen health (Section 155 of the General Social Security Act (Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz), BGBl. No 189/1955);
2a. Coverage of the cost of crisis interventions by clinical and health psychologists and psychotherapists;
3. Orthopaedic care
(a) fitting of prostheses, orthopaedic and other devices, their repair and replacement,
(b) reimbursement for the costs of modifying everyday objects and the installation of disabled bathrooms,
(c) grants to cover the cost of modifying multi-track vehicles for a disabled driver,
(d) aid for the procurement of multi-track vehicles,
(e) any travel and transport costs incurred;
4. Medical rehabilitation
(a) accommodation in medical institutions which primarily focus on rehabilitation,
(b) medical assistance, medication and medical aids if these are required in direct relation to or in connection with (a),
(c) any travel and transport costs incurred;
5. Occupational rehabilitation
(a) occupational training to regain or improve fitness to work,
(b) training for a new occupation,
(c) grants or loans (Section 198(3) of the General Social Insurance Act, (Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz, ASVG 1955));
6. Social rehabilitation
(a) grant to cover the cost of obtaining a driving licence if the person’s disability means that it is not reasonable to expect him/her to use public transport,
(b) transitional allowance (Section 306, ASVG 1955);
7. Care allowances, allowances for blind people;
8. Reimbursement of funeral expenses;
9. Means-tested additional benefits;
10. Lump-sum compensation for pain and suffering.
There are monthly payments (compensation for loss of earnings/maintenance; means-tested additional benefits; care allowance and blind person’s allowance) and single payments (such as reimbursement of funeral expenses, lump-sum compensation for pain and suffering).
The Victims of Crime Act outlines the grounds on which compensation may be refused (e.g. grossly negligent conduct, involvement in a brawl).
For most assistance, your financial situation is irrelevant. Loss of earnings and maintenance are measured according to civil-law criteria and are not means-tested.
On a case-by-case basis. Ongoing compensation for loss of earnings and maintenance is calculated based on civil law criteria.
There is no minimum amount for compensation.
There are income limits or fixed amounts for specific types of assistance.
No. It is up to the authority in question to determine the amount; however, the victim must cooperate in the proceedings and provide the requisite information.
State benefits (such as unemployment benefit) and social security benefits (disability pensions, etc.) will be taken into account and will reduce the compensation for loss of earnings in accordance with the Victims of Crime Act.
Yes. If there is an urgent need for financial assistance. It must be likely that the claim is well-founded.
The following documents usually need to be provided with claims for assistance:
Documents will also be requested by the authority itself.
The Federal Office for Social Affairs and People with Disabilities, Ministry for Social Affairs (Bundesamt für Soziales und Behindertenwesen – Sozialministeriumservice).
Babenbergerstraße 5, A-1010 Vienna
Tel.: 0043 158831
To the Federal Office for Social Affairs and People with Disabilities, Ministry for Social Affairs (Bundesamt für Soziales und Behindertenwesen – Sozialministeriumservice).
Babenbergerstraße 5, A-1010 Vienna
Tel.: 0043 158831
You may be required to be involved in the procedure (for assessment by an expert, to answer questions, etc.) but otherwise you do not generally need to be present.
It depends on the type of compensation claimed. The decision is usually made within a few months.
An appeal may be lodged with the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) against the Ministry for Social Affairs’ decision (appeals may also be lodged with the Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) and the Supreme Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof)).
You do not need to complete an application form in order to submit a claim. Information is provided by the Ministry for Social Affairs and can be found on their website (together with the relevant forms).
Sozial Ministerium - Sozialentschädigung (Ministry for Social Affairs – Social Compensation)
Sozial Ministerium - Verbrechensopfer (Ministry for Social Affairs – Victims of crime)
The Ministry for Social Affairs provides legal information. They are not able to provide or pay for a lawyer.
Yes. e.g. Weisser Ring.
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