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Social Security/ Family benefits and child allowances

Do I retain my social security and pension rights that I acquired in the United Kingdom?

EU law on the protection of acquired social security and pension rights in cross-border situations no longer applies to the United Kingdom after the date of withdrawal. However, Austrian pensions are still payable if the place of residence is in the United Kingdom. In order to examine whether there is a right to an Austrian pension, periods of insurance acquired in the United Kingdom before the withdrawal date will be continued to be added together with periods of insurance acquired in Austria.

Will I get my expenses reimbursed if I receive medical treatment in the UK?

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, persons insured in Austria will no longer be able to receive medical treatment in the United Kingdom based on the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, persons insured in Austria and receiving treatment in the UK are entitled to reimbursement under § 131  ASVG (Wahlarzthilfe).  In this case, the reimbursement does not cover the full cost of treatment. Alternatively, private travel health insurance could be considered.

Is my insurance still covering for my family members living in the United Kingdom?

Co-insurance in the Austrian health insurance scheme of family members living in the United Kingdom ends on the date on which the United Kingdom leaves the EU. Family members can therefore no longer claim benefits from the NHS (National Health Service) at the expense of Austrian health insurance. However, under UK law there may be a right to treatment from the NHS based on residence in the UK. Please contact the NHS for further information.

I live in Austria and I only receive a pension from the United Kingdom (not an Austrian pension). Is my e-card still valid?

The e-card becomes invalid on the day the United Kingdom leaves the EU. However, it is possible to take out voluntary health insurance in accordance with § 16 of the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG). This voluntary insurance provides the same rights as the previous protection under EU law. The insurance should be taken out with the regional health insurance (“Gebietskrankenkasse”) of the place of residence within 6 weeks after Brexit at the latest. In this case, the insurance would become applicable retroactively as of the date of withdrawal. 
For treatments taken between Brexit and the conclusion of the voluntary insurance one will have to pay as a private patient. Subsequently, reimbursement according to the tariffs of optional doctors (“Wahlarzt”) can be claimed. 
It is already now possible to take out the voluntary insurance with the responsible regional health insurance (“Gebietskrankenkasse”), subject to the condition of a no-deal Brexit to happen. Once the voluntary insurance becomes effective, i.e. as of the date of withdrawal, contribution based on the amount of the pension and other income must be paid. For further details, please contact the Gebietskrankenkasse in your place of residence as soon as possible.

I am a British citizen. Will I continue to receive family allowance for my children after Brexit?

After Brexit, you can claim family allowance if you and your children are permanently residing in Austria holding a residence permit under the Settlement and Residence Act (for example the ‘Rot-Weiß-Rot Karte Plus’).

For children who are permanently residing in the UK, no family allowance will be paid once the UK left the EU.

Am I still entitled to child care allowance after the Brexit?

In case of a Hard Brexit, the EU Social Security Coordination regulations are no longer applicable in relation to the UK. That means that as of the withdrawal date, UK citizens won’t be entitled to the Austrian child care allowance for their children living in the UK, even if they are employed in Austria. Furthermore, for receiving the income-related child care allowance future periods of employment in the UK will not be taken into account anymore.

Due to the loss of the right of residence under European Union law as of the withdrawal date, UK citizens will no longer be entitled to child care allowance for their children living in Austria. In this case, in order to retain their right to child care allowance, the parents concerned should immediately contact the competent residence authority and apply for a residence permit for themselves and for the child (see further details under the item Residency and access to the labour market) and provide evidence to the health insurance institution.

More detailed information for British citizens in Austria on