Money For Members

EXPLAINED: How to get your €500 Kurzarbeit bonus in Austria

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: How to get your €500 Kurzarbeit bonus in Austria
Chairs and tables of a closed restaurant are stocked in the village of Seefeld, Austria, on May 29, 2021, amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

People who have been in short-term work for an extended period over the pandemic are entitled to a one-off bonus in Austria. Here's how you can get it.


During most of the coronavirus pandemic, many people went on Kurzarbeit, a short-term work scheme aimed at saving jobs in Austria - similar models were adopted in other countries, including Germany.

While it did help keep unemployment at bay, with companies getting financial assistance from the government in exchange for keeping their workforce, the employees had to cut back on their hours and receive lower pay for, sometimes, months on end.

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Until the end of the year, the federal government is issuing a one-off €500 bonus payment for certain professions and those who have stayed in Kurzarbeit for a long time.

The bonus is personal and individual, so people need to apply for it themselves, and the money is sent directly to their bank account.

Who is entitled to the €500 bonus?

In order to be entitled to receive the payment, the person must have been in Kurzarbeit during December 2021 and additionally for at least ten months during the period between March 1st 2020 and November 30th 2021.

The social security contribution base in December 2021 should not be higher than €2,775.

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The workers (or apprentices) need to be in sectors that were particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis. This includes gastronomy, hotel industry, aviation, sports and leisure, cultural institutions, etc.

People who work in Austria but have a residence abroad are also entitled. However, at least until June 2022, the applications need to be made using the online government tools of Handy-Signatur, ID Austria or Bürgerkarte.

kurzarbeit bonus

A screenshot of the online form to apply for the bonus 

How do I apply for it?

The application is made online through the Federal Accounting Agency (Buchhaltungsagentur des Bundes).

The website is, and you need to be logged in with your Handy-Signatur, ID Austria or Bürgerkarte.


It will tell you immediately if you are not entitled to the bonus, so you can just log in and check. The information to be filled in includes contact data and the bank account for payment.

Applications for the bonus can be made until December 31st.

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Why do I only get the bonus if I was in short-time work in December 2021?

According to the official website, the government assumes that employees who did not have to go on Kurzarbeit during the lockdown in November and December 2021 "will also be less often in short-time work in the coming months".

"When determining the provisions on the long-term short-time work bonus, the social partners, including the legal representation of the interests of employees, were significantly involved".


Where can I get further information?

Besides the online resources, the government has published a hotline available on weekdays from 8am to 4pm: +43 1 71123 884468.

Useful vocabulary

Short-time work - Kurzarbeit
Long-term - Langzeit
Loss of income - Einkommensverlust
To apply - beantragen



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