Working in Europe | Unemployment | Austria

Unemployment insurance is part of the compulsory social insurance system in Austria. It is administered by the Austrian Employment Service supervised by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection.

Unemployment benefits consist of a basic sum, family supplement and various supplementary benefits. While in receipt of unemployment benefits you and your family members continue to be covered by health insurance.

The following applies for EU/EEA and Swiss nationals:

If you have already made contributions in any EU/EEA country or Switzerland, this period will be taken into account for the fulfilment of the qualifying period and to determine the duration of the reference period, provided that you have been employed in Austria for at least one day and have paid the mandatory unemployment insurance prior to application for the unemployment benefit.

After consultation with the public employment services of your country of origin you may under certain circumstances receive benefits from your country of origin over an approved period while already seeking employment in Austria. It is essential to register with your competent public employment service office prior to departure to Austria stating that you are intending to seek employment in Austria. Under certain circumstances you may also be entitled to receive benefits attributable to insurance periods abroad.

Qualifying period:

- At least 52 weeks of contribution paying employment over the past 24 months from the point of application must be demonstrated (for persons over the age of 25 upon initial claim), or

- At least 28 weeks of contribution paying employment over the past year from the point of application must be demonstrated (applies to additional claims).

For third country nationals:

There are only five countries where bilateral agreements on social security include unemployment benefits: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Israel, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Please note that in most cases the agreement only settles addition of insurance periods to determine the qualifying periods.
Details at: www.hauptverband.at 


Means-Tested Minimum Benefits

The means-tested minimum benefits (Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung, BMS) are foreseen for people having no reasonable funds to pay for their living or of their family members. Means-tested benefits are intended to support individuals who can no longer pay for their living on their own. An amount stipulated every year corresponds to costs for covering the required costs of food, clothing, body care, heating and electricity, furnishings and other personal needs such as appropriate social and cultural involvement as well as housing needs. Means-tested minimum benefits are only available when no other sufficient financial means (such as income, social security benefits, alimonies, etc.) or assets are available.

EU respectively EEA citizens are only unrestrictedly entitled to means tested minimum benefits if they are in Austria as employees or have lived here for more than five years. Citizens of third countries are only eligible to receiving means-tested minimum benefits when they have been legally residing in Austria for more than five years. The amount of means-tested minimum benefits will be individually regulated by each federal province.


For personal assistance in the field of unemployment please contact the EURAXESS Centre: research_career_eu@ffg.at