Means-tested minimum income (bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung)
The means-tested minimum income programme is targeted at persons who lack adequate means to provide a reasonable livelihood for themselves and/or their family members.
The competent regional administrative authority (e.g. district authority, municipal authority) decides whether a person qualifies for means-tested minimum income and is also in charge of paying the benefits. The details of the means-tested minimum income program factually vary from province to province, but was harmonised on a national level from April 2019 on. The monthly benefit 2023 is EUR 1,054 for a single person and EUR 1,475 for spouses.
Eligibility criteria for means-tested minimum income
If you receive means-tested minimum income and are able to work, you must register with the AMS as a job-seeker and you have to be willing to work. The provisions regarding reasonableness that are in place for recipients of unemployment benefits and unemployment assistance apply. If you turn down a reasonable job offer made by the AMS, the competent authority may cut your means-tested minimum income by up to half.
There are exceptions for persons who
- have reached the statutory retirement age as defined in the ASVG;
- have care responsibilities for children under the age of three and cannot take up employment for lack of suitable childcare;
- are the main carers for family members receiving long-term care benefits (level 3 or higher);
- provide end-of-life care to family members or nurse critically ill children; continue training that they started before their 18th birthday (does not apply to studies).
If means-tested minimum income is granted, any additional earnings, starting from the very first euro, as well as other state benefits, such as family allowance, will be set-off against the benefits paid.