Austria Covid Vaccine NFCS


Austria introduced a no-fault compensation scheme for vaccine injuries through the passing of the Vaccine Damage Act of 1973 (‘Bundesgesetz vom 3. Juli 1973 über die Entschädigung für Impfschäden or Impfschadengesetz’). The Act was amended in 1991 to cover damages caused by all government-recommended vaccinations (it originally applied to damages caused by smallpox vaccination). There is no specific COVID-19 start date, but it seems the scheme has covered COVID-19 vaccines since the start of the vaccination campaign in the country in December 2020.

The main administrative body is the Sozialministeriumservice (Ministry of Social Affairs). The decision-making body on compensation claims is the Federal Office for Social Affairs and Disability.

The funding for the scheme comes from the Austrian government.


Vaccines Covered

This NFCS covers smallpox vaccination (prescribed until 1980), vaccinations mentioned in the 'Mother-Child Passport', vaccinations administered based on an administrative order referring to persons engaged in medical occupations, vaccinations for border guards, vaccinations recommended by decree of the Ministry of Health - all of which must have been carried out in Austria (though non-Austrian citizens are also entitled to compensation) – see Vaccine Damage Act 1973, § 1, § 1a and § 1b.

Although not specifically indicated in the law, it seems this scheme includes vaccines approved for emergency use and standard approvals.


Injuries Covered

This NFCS covers both temporary and permanent injuries.

Under this NFCS only eligible injuries are covered. Eligible injuries those which result in death, disability or serious bodily harm - see Vaccine Damage Act 1973, §2 and §2a. Serious bodily harm covers non-permanent injuries causing adverse health effects/inability to work lasting longer than 24 days.


Charges for making a claim

It is not known whether there is a charge for making a claim under this scheme.



Under this scheme the following categories of individuals are permitted to make a claim:

  • Injured vaccinated person;
  • Surviving family of an injured vaccinated person.

It is not known whether under this scheme the claimant is allowed to nominate a legal representative to make their claim.


Losses covered

This scheme pays the following:


Live vaccine recipient

Dependants of vaccine recipient

Estate of a deceased vaccine recipient

Compensation payments are for general categories and are not broken down into economic and non-economic losses.

No Compensation is specifically provided for the dependants of injured vaccinated people.


Compensation payments are for general categories and are not broken down into economic and non-economic losses.


Payments consist of a mixture of periodic payments and lump sum payments.

The quantification of vaccine-related damage is based on tariffs (care allowance), individual assessment (disability pension, widow's pension, orphan's pension) or fixed sum (non-permanent injuries). Medical expenses incurred by victims can also be covered by NFCS (it is up to the applicant to provide evidence regarding such expenses). For disability pension eligibility only, there is a requirement that capability to work of an injured person above the age of 15 is reduced of at least 20%. Funeral expenses are available under this NFCS.

Loss of earnings do not appear to be covered under this NFCS.

The maximum quantum that can be awarded under this scheme depends on the nature of the injury and is determined by reference to tariffs/guidelines established by law.


Time limits for claims

The scheme does not seem to set a time limit between vaccination and the adverse event occurring.

There is no information on specific time limits to file a claim under this compensation scheme.


Evaluating claims – standard of proof required

The standard of proof required by the scheme is that on the balance of probabilities - the injury has likely been caused by vaccination.


Appeals and the right to litigate

The right to litigate seems to be unaffected by the NFCS - according to § 5 of the Vaccine Damage Act, other claims that go beyond the benefits under this federal law based on other legal provisions remain unaffected.

There is an external review process where the Federal Administrative Court reviews the decision of the Federal Office for Social Affairs and Disability.


Useful information and links

This scheme produces a periodic report including data on claims & financial performance - Key figures related to the operations of the Ministry of Social Affairs and vaccine NFCS are available online. For data referring to 2021, see:


 Links to legislation:

Vaccine Damage Act 1973:


Other resources:

Ministry of Social Affairs website:

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