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DATE OF ISSUE:  10 April 2002


Purpose of Instruction

This Departmental Instruction advises that the Austrian Government has approved an expanded package of restitution payments to the victims of National Socialist persecution during World War II.

Nature of Restitution Payments

Existing payments of restitution by the Austrian Government are made from the Reconciliation Fund, through which compensation payments are directed primarily to forced or slave labourers, or to their children, who were compulsorily transferred to Austrian territory during the war years.

A new General Settlement Fund has now also been established by the Austrian Government, to extend restitution to those who suffered loss or damage as a result of, or in connection with, events that occurred in Austria during the Nazi era or during World War II.

The General Settlement Fund provides for compensation payments to people who emigrated from Austria between 4 March 1933 and 9 May 1945 in response to political, religious or other persecution, who remained abroad as a result of that emigration and who can demonstrate damage or loss arising out of the emigration.

DVA clients who were persecuted and who suffered loss or damage within Austria, or who emigrated from Austria between 4 March 1933 and 9 May 1945 in response to persecution may, as a result, be entitled to apply for restitution payments from the Austrian Government.

Payments are not made through the Settlement Fund to former prisoners of war, or to military internees.  However, the Austrian Government has separately agreed on compensation payments for former prisoners of war of the Western Allies and for civilians arrested outside Austrian territory.  Similar compensation arrangements are in place for former prisoners of war from Eastern European countries.

Commencement and cessation dates

The additional restitution payments commenced from 1 March 2002.

Applications for restitution payments close on 27 May 2003.

Assessment under the income test

Compensatory payments made by the Republic of Austria to victims of National Socialist persecution are already determined to be excluded from the DVA income test, under sub-section 5H(8)(t) of the VEA.  The broader range of restitution payments available through the General Settlement Fund meet this definition and will equally be exempt from the income test.

Embassy contact details

Persons not living in Austria have been asked to direct any enquiries regarding eligibility for restitution payments to the nearest Austrian Embassy or Consulate.

The contact details for the Embassy of Austria in Canberra are –

Address:     12 Talbot Street   FORREST   ACT   2603

Telephone:  02 6295 1533

Further information about restitution payments, and application forms, are available through the Internet at

Contact officer

The Income Support Branch contact officer is:

Brian Butler       Telephone  (02) 6289 6564


Branch Head

Income Support

     April 2002