Austria has a government program that provides financial assistance for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) who are victims of crime. In addition, the Weisser Ring, an independent nonprofit organization, provides assistance and compensation to victims of crime, including foreign citizens. The government program is described below, followed by information about the Weisser Ring.
Report to police. Victims should report crimes to the relevant Austrian social services office (Bundessozialamt).
Filing period. An application must be filed within 2 years. Note: There is a 6-month deadline in cases involving ongoing payments such as lost wages, maintenance, blindness, and assisted living allowances.
Foreign citizen eligibility. Nationals of EEA, which includes the European Union (EU) countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, are eligible to apply for financial assistance under the Austrian Crime Victims Law (Verbrechensopfergesetz).
The program is administered/implemented by the Austrian social services offices (Bundessozialämter). The Ministry for Social Affairs acts as a technical supervisory body (Bundesministerium für Sozial Sicherheit und Generationen). Applications must be obtained and submitted to the relevant Austrian social services office (Bundessozialamt). The claimant will receive notification after an average of 2 to 9 months, but there may be a waiting period of more than 12 months in special cases.
Benefits and Award Limits
Maximum award limits exist for lost wages, lost support, funeral costs, blindness, and assisted living allowances (approximately EUR2,000).
Special allowances in cases of disabilities. Loss of eyesight, need for daily care, and nursing. Assistance for the family of the victim.
Emergency awards. There are no emergency awards, but assistance may be available prior to an offender’s conviction. Money also may be advanced.
Funding sources. The program is funded through fines imposed on convicted offenders and from other sources.
Contact Information (Bundessozialämter (Social Services Offices))
Wien, Niederösterreich und Burgenland
Kärnten Kumpfgasse 23-25, 9010 Klagenfurt
Oberösterreich Gruberstraße 64, 4010 Linz
Salzburg Auerspergstraße 67a, 5027 Salzburg
Steiermark Babenbergerstraße 35, 8021 Graz
Tirol Herzog Friedrich-Straße 3, 6010 Innsbruck
Vorarlberg Rheinstraße 32, 6901 Bregenz
The Weisser Ring
The Weisser Ring is an independent nonprofit organization that provides assistance and compensation to victims of crime throughout Austria, including foreign citizens.
Report to police. Yes, within a specific time limit.
Filing period. Approximately 12 months from the month in which the crime occurred.
Foreign citizen eligibility. Citizens of foreign countries may apply for restitution (e.g., loans and grants) through the Weisser Ring, which can provide services such as counseling and assistance with the criminal justice process. For a list of other nonprofit organizations, Weitere Hilfsorganisationen, see www.weisser-ring.at/index3.htm.
Claimants. Victims of any crime are eligible. Victims of traffic accidents may receive compensation from another source, Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit (www.kfv.at).
The applicant files a claim with the Weisser Ring, either in writing or in person. In lieu of an official application form, applicants may submit an informal written statement. It is required that the applicant provide personal data (name, telephone number, address, date of birth, marital status, and number of children), details of the crime (including the case number of the police report), as well as information on income. If available, applicants should submit a copy of the court decision and other relevant legal material. Claims are means-tested and subject to special authorization by a review board.
Benefits and Award Limits
There is no official maximum award limit. Compensation is awarded on a case-by-case basis depending on the severity of the damage and the person’s income. Authorization by a panel of three to six board members is mandatory.
Compensable costs. Victims may be compensated for all kinds of expenses, but there is no legal entitlement to compensation. Financial compensation may be granted on a case-by-case basis and is subject to a means test and special authorization.
Emergency awards. Emergency compensation awards are granted in cases of special emergency.
Funding sources. The program is funded through membership fees and sponsorship. Government funding is assigned for special purposes such as legal aid and administration.
The Weisser Ring, Marokkanergasse 3/2, 1030