The ÖH fought for: Extension of the period of entitlement to study grants due to the care of the mother!
Student R has been in her master’s degree program since the fall 2018 semester with four semesters of minimum study time. R receives a student grant for her studies. Due to a credit in the master’s program previously pursued for one semester (summer semester 2018), her student aid will be reduced by one semester in the program now being pursued. In September 2019, her mother becomes seriously ill, necessitating intensive care for her by her daughter. For this reason, Ms. R’s studies are delayed. In February 2021, Ms. R turns to the social department of the Austrian Student Union (ÖH).
She is now in the last semester of her eligibility period for student aid. In principle, there is an entitlement to study assistance for the minimum period of study plus a tolerance semester, whereby Ms. R can receive one semester less study assistance due to the crediting. For the winter semester 2020, however, she has also received student aid, since due to Covid-19 the summer semester 2020 is considered “neutral” and therefore there has been an automatic extension of the student aid by another tolerance semester. However, due to the necessary care of her mother, she has not yet been able to successfully complete her studies. The Social Welfare Department assists the student in formulating her application for an extension of eligibility to the Student Aid Office. In it, Ms. R argues that the completion of her studies has been delayed due to an unavoidable event in the form of her mother’s necessary care.
A prerequisite for claiming an extension of eligibility due to an unavoidable or unforeseeable event is a connection between the event and the delay in graduation. If the delayed graduation would have occurred even if the mother’s need for care had not arisen, an extension would not be allowed.
In the case of Ms. R, the connection is well established. Due to caring for her mother in her home community, she is unable to attend several audit-imposed courses until later than planned. For this reason, in her case the entitlement period is extended by the study grant authority and Ms. R continues to receive the full study grant in the summer semester of 2021.
Achieved by the ÖH: With the help of the ÖH, the student continues to receive the study grant for her Master’s degree.
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