Initial Payments (advance payments)
Amendment of the General Settlement Fund Law (BGBl. I No. 142/2005): Initial payments (advance payments).
The amendment of the General Settlement Fund Law has provided a legal basis to make initial payments (advance payments) to applicants. This allows for compensation payments to be made to those applicants whose applications have already been decided, even though not all claims have yet been assessed. After the official announcement of legal closure by the Austrian government on 13 December 2005, the prerequisites are fulfilled to start with the statutory initial payments (advance payments). On 15 December, the first letters concerning these initial payments have been dispatched.
Who receives initial payments (advance payments)?
Initial payments are only made to those applicants who have received a written notification regarding the positive or partly positive decision of their claim. These applicants are being offered the initial payment together with a notification of the total sum of recognized claims (letter concerning the initial payment), after the expiration of the period - starting with the delivery of the decision - for a possible recourse (30 days for applicants in Austria; 60 days for applicants from other countries) and the concurrent 3 months period for assigning shares of possible co-heirs. A prerequisite for receiving the payment is the signing of a waiver, in which the applicants waive all further claims apart from the entitlement to a possible further payment from the General Settlement Fund.
How much does one receive?
The amount of the initial payments (advance payments) is calculated on the basis of a quota equal for all on the assessed value for the claimed losses. For claims, which were awarded in the claims-based procedure, the quota amounts to 10% of the recognized claims. For claims, which were awarded in the equity-based procedure and for confiscated insurance policies, awarded in the claims-based procedure, the quota amounts to 15%. The initial payment (advance payment) awarded according to the quotas shall not be less than USD 500 and shall not exceed, on the other hand, USD 2 million, the statutory upper limit for an awarded compensation.
Priority given to elder applicants
Older age groups of applicants who have been directly affected by the Nazi-persecution and the looting of property are being given priority in the disbursement of the initial payments.