God bless the Austrian Social Security System (especially the Viennese)

January 16, 2008 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Career, Life | 5 Comments
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Good news! I am back on social security, including health care. Since I quit my last job itself, I expected to be barred from benefits for a period of four weeks – hence I was hesitant to go to the doctor, because the lady on the hotline told me that I may not take for granted that I’d still have health care (although she couldn’t tell me what the criteria were).

At the unemployment office today I learned that I’d normally be banned – but not if the quitting occurs within the probation period AND if you happen to live in the federal state of Vienna (my place of work was in Lower Austria, but apparently that didn’t matter). In other words: I do have health care, and I am also immediately entitled to unemployment benefits I guess I owe this to the decades of social democratic rule in this lovely city.

Since 1919 (!) the city’s mayor has been nominated by the SPÖ!


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  1. Wow, this SPÖ sounds quite good! I’m glad you’re covered.

  2. As the party who delegates (?) the chancellor, they are are unfortunately underwhelming. But they rock as they governing party of Vienna.

    Just check this out:

    A Gemeindebau (German for “municipality building”) is a residential building erected by a municipality, usually to provide low-cost public housing. Apartments in the building can be rented from the respective municipality.

    Vienna: Gemeindebauten have become an important part of the architecture and culture of Vienna since the 1920s. Up to 1918, the housing conditions of Vienna’s growing working class were appalling by modern standards. When the Social Democratic Party of Austria gained control of the municipal administration during Austria’s First Republic (1918-1934) (so called “Red Vienna”), it began the project of improving living conditions for workers. A large number of Gemeindebauten, usually large residential estates, were built during that time. Including those buildings that were finished after the events of February 1934, 64,000 apartments where completed, which created housing space for about 220,000 people. Apartments were assigned on the basis of a point system favoring families and less affluent citizens.[…]
    Today, about 600,000 people (not necessarily poor ones), about a third of the population of Vienna, live in apartments owned by the city.

    In two years we’ll be allowed to apply for a place in a Gemeindebau as well! Karl Marx Court http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl-Marx-Hof would be the coolest, but probably unlikely.

  3. A place in the Karl Marx Court would be just about the coolest thing, ever. Something like modern fortress living! We could use some gemeindebauten in Chicago. City owned apartments make perfect sense.

  4. Good that you didnt have to pay from your pocket..Even after living in Canada for more than 4 years-where health care is primarily taken care by govt- I still struggle to understand all the benefits..

  5. excellent news! I look forward to being on the dole myself. Never done it before 😛

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