Under certain conditions guaranteed minimum income can also be received during studies!

6. May 2019
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The ÖH won the case: The regional administrative court follows the legal opinion of the ÖH and awards the full amount of the means-tested minimum income during studies.

Mr. O fled with his family from Ukraine to Austria and is entitled to asylum here. In his country of origin, he graduated in law.

Now he wants to have his degree recognized in Austria and applies for nostrification of the academic degree at the responsible university. In the decision of the university, before final equality, he is prescribed some examinations still to be taken, which must be passed within given time. These missing exams must be taken as part of the degree program for equivalency. Mr. O is an associate student.

Since Mr. O has not yet found a job in Austria, he applies for means-tested minimum benefits for himself, his wife and his child. This is awarded to him and his family as a community of need. When Mr. O reports to the authorities that he is now an extraordinary student, he receives a new decision in which his minimum income is reduced to about € 990. Mr. O himself could no longer be co-supported, as he was now a student. Although he had submitted a notification from the Public Employment Service (AMS) for employment of 20 to 40 hours per week, this was not sufficient, in the opinion of the authority, to prove that he was fully available to the labor market.

The student turns to the Austrian Student Union (ÖH) for support. With the help of the Department for Social Policy of the ÖH, Mr. O lodges a complaint against the authority’s decision on the grounds of incorrect legal assessment. In the decision, the family is granted means-tested minimum benefits, but the amount is too low. In the complaint, Mr. O states that he has registered with the AMS for up to 40 hours of work per week. He further explains that he is registered as an associate student at the university as part of the nostrification of his degree earned abroad. He does not have to take courses with compulsory attendance, but only examinations for which he can also prepare during non-working hours. Mr. O is also not registered for any courses. Contrary to the legal opinion of the authority, he is thus clearly available for full-time employment, which is why the recalculation of the minimum benefit is requested.

Only two months after the appeal had been lodged, the Regional Administrative Court ruled that the minimum benefit awarded was to be calculated at a higher rate. Thus, the court follows the legal opinion of the ÖH and corrects the amount of the means-tested minimum income to about € 1,460 for the entire community of need.

In principle, the means-tested minimum income scheme is intended to support people who are unable to support themselves and have no relevant assets to show for it. If someone earns at least a small income or unemployment benefit, this is deducted from the fixed minimum amount. The recipients are covered by health insurance during the period of receipt. Since the main prerequisite for receiving means-tested minimum income is the willingness to work, it can be reduced or cancelled if this is not the case. The district administrative authority responsible for the place of residence is responsible for applications for means-tested minimum benefits. In Vienna, this is the Municipal Department 40 for Social Affairs, Social and Health Law (MA 40).

The ÖH won the case: The regional administrative court follows the legal opinion of the ÖH and awards the full amount of the means-tested minimum income during studies.

Further successes from consulting at www.oeh.ac.at/geschafft

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