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Reader question: What should I do if I haven’t received Austrian government’s €500 payment?

People in Austria have faced a rising cost of living but should now be getting a €500 payment from the government. What if yours hasn't arrived yet?

Reader question: What should I do if I haven't received Austrian government's €500 payment?
The Austrian government letter claiming "Your climate bonus is coming!": but when? (Photo: Amanda Previdelli / The Local)

Austria is facing increasing inflation, brought mainly by the rising energy and fuel costs, and people have also felt it as even essential goods such as food have become more expensive.

The federal government announced several measures to try and cushion or contain the rising prices, from bonus payments to a cap on electricity prices, as The Local reported. One of the most significant measures for the population is the one-off €500 payment known as the “climate and anti-inflation bonus”, or Klimabonus, for short.

Every single person who has legally lived in Austria for at least 183 days in the year is entitled to it – people under 18 years old qualify for a €250 payment.

READ ALSO: When will Austria make the €500 anti-inflation payment and how do I get it?

The government has said that payments would be paid “from the beginning of September”. Still, two weeks into the month, many people still haven’t gotten it.

What should I do if I haven’t received it yet?

The short answer is: wait a while. Payments were meant to start from the beginning of the month, but that doesn’t mean everyone would receive them on September 1st.

In fact, hundreds of thousands will have to wait until the end of the first week of October, public broadcaster ORF reported.

According to the Linz IT company Programmierfabrik, which programmed the database behind the system, the payments are ongoing. Managing director Wilfried Seyruck said: “We have been making 300,000 transfers every day since September 5th.

READ ALSO: How could Austria’s new electricity price brake benefit you?

“Therefore, it will take us 25 days until all 7.4 million claimants have received the transfer. We should be finished by the end of the first week of October.”

So, if you are getting your payment through a wire transfer to your bank account, it might take a bit longer. However, it might take even longer if you don’t have your updated information with Austria’s FinanzOnline authorities.

As the government stated when they announced the bonus, those who don’t have their bank accounts up to date will receive a voucher instead. There are about 1.2 million people in Austria in that situation.

READ ALSO: ‘I feel ripped off’: What it’s really like living in Austria right now

In these cases, it can take until the end of October to arrive by secure mail – and then people will have to trade the voucher for cash.

What if my partner has received it and I haven’t?

The payment is individual regardless of whether you and your partner or other family members share a bank account. This means that you, your partner, and your child might share a bank account and receive the payments on different dates.

Even if someone you know has received it already on the same bank account you are supposed to receive yours, you might still get it in early October.

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COST OF LIVING

Fuel to become even more expensive for drivers in Austria from October

On Saturday, the new carbon tax comes into effect, making petrol and diesel in Austria more expensive. Here's what you need to know.

Fuel to become even more expensive for drivers in Austria from October

Austrian motor associations have already warned people to expect long lines at fuel stations ahead of October. This is because, from October 1st, the new CO2 tax will come into effect in the country, making fuel prices soar – again.

People filling up their tanks in Austria can expect the price of a litre of diesel (including VAT) to rise by € 0.099 and petrol by € 0.086, according to calculations made by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO).

READ ALSO: ‘Mission 11’: Austrian government reveals tips on how to save energy and fuel

The difference in price increases is because the new CO2 tax of €30 per tonne has a more significant impact on diesel compared to petrol due to the higher CO2 content in diesel.

Fuel prices had already been on the rise since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as The Local reported. And the prices have risen more steeply in the Alpine country, which hasn’t put any price cap or lowered taxes, plus suffered with a damaged oil refinery in Lower Austria affecting supply.

The increases have contributed to growing inflation in Austria, which will reach double-digit in September, according to Statistic Austria.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why are fuel prices increasing faster in Austria than elsewhere in the EU?

The CO2 tax

The CO2 tax is part of Austria’s eco-social tax reform presented in 2021. CO2 emissions would be taxed at €30 per ton, making things like carbon-based fuel and heating more expensive in the country.

The reform brought in the “climate bonus” payment to compensate residents for the financial burden of the CO2 tax. The one-off bonus for Austrian residents would depend on the person’s place of residence and its connection to the public transport network.

This year, due to the rising inflation, the Klimabonus was set at €250 for everyone who lives in Austria, and a €250 “anti-inflation” payment was added to the one-off payout.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What should I do if I haven’t received Austrian government’s €500 payment?

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