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      Disability Pension: Minister for Social Affairs Hundstorfer wants to increase pressure on disabled by means of the whip with sanctions

      Compulsory rehabilitation and structural force in the form of sanctions endanger the health of people made disabled!

      (Vienna, May 6th 2014) "Punishments instead of help" seems to continue to be the solution of the minister of social affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer for the artificially created social and health problems created by the economy. Existence endangering sanctions are to be made easier and extended for the "Case Management" at the compulsory rehabilitation by the "Sozialversicherungs-Änderungsgesetz 2014 (SRÄG 2014)" as announced by an amendment to the disability pension sent out by the ministry of social affairs.

      So far the withdrawal of rehabilitation money was foreseen only when the "collaboration" in "reasonable medical measures of rehabilitation" was refused, now they are possible immediately in "Case Management", long before rehabilitation commences. The following provisions for sanctions are to be added to §143a as punishment for "unwilling" disabled:

      "If the person due for rehabilitation thwarts or delays the processes or measures foreseen in the framework of case management by not fulfilling the duty of collaboration, the health insurance can decree that the rehabilitation benefit is withdrawn wholly or partially, indefinitely or for a specific duration, as long as the insured person is pointed out the consequences of his behaviour in writing before."

      Free hand for the desk culprit "Case Manager"?

      The "Case Managers" receive at their disposal a wide range of threats of punishment. Disabled persons often have to struggle with a variety of problems and are not always in a position to react immediately to any requirement imposed from above in a desired way. In this respect it is sufficient if a report or another document is not presented to the "Case Manager" quickly enough. Even if reports and pre-treatments eventually confirm that a disabled person is not suitable to receive rehabilitation treatment, the "Case Manager" can before uninhibitedly endanger or destroy the basis of livelihood through the imposition of a sanction. With this a form of pressure is created to make disadvantaged people in our society compliant.

      Several studies of the labour market show that structural violence by constant threats of livelihood endangering withdrawals or reductions of benefits affect the health of the people concerned markedly negative and create a climate of fear that only hampers a successful "reintegration in society".

      It is further aggravating that the "Case Managers" do up to now have little special training for their responsible work. People affected by the compulsory supervision have no immeadete legal means available against the wrongdoing of "Case Managers" in order not to get into a situation that endangers their livelihood. With this minister for social affairs Hundstorfer throws the gates wide open for arbitrary actions.

      Human rights violation through conpulsory rehabilitation soon order of the day?


      The compulsory rehabilitation is fundamentally against human rights and violates among others Article 26 of the UN Convention of disabled, which stipulates that every rehabilitation is voluntary.

      The compulsory rehabilitation violates not only the basic human right of free choice of doctor, but also the human right of health as well as physical and psychical integrity (Article 8 European Convention on human rights and thereby in the Austrian constitution) because according to Austrian judicature even highly risky compulsory treatments like disk surgery, which are not successful in 20% of the cases and even lead to permanent health damage, can be ordered within the framework of a rehabilitation under threat of (financial) sanctions.

      Especially questionable are psychical compulsory treatments with psycho-pharmaceuticals. They do not only have massive side effects but are also to be regarded as torture under the UN Convention on torture. In many cases are psycho-pharmaceuticals simply useless. According to new studies antidepressants are not effective in over 50% of the patients at all.

      • No person has chosen to be disabled. Every disabled will also choose by himself every apparently sensible possibility of a treatment for the improvement of health.
      • No person and no political system has the right to humble people whose health has often been ruined by the economy and are consequently been sorted out from employment by imposing compulsory treatment from the top and to threaten to withdraw their basis of livelihood.
      • The minister for social affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer extends step-by-step the regime of compulsory measures in social matters, which fundamentally violates human rights and undermines demokracy and the self-determination of people!

      "Aktive Arbeitslose Österreich" therefore demand the removal of the regime of sanctions in the disability pension without substitution!


      Mag. Ing. Martin Mair Chairman
      "Active Unemployed Austria"
      Tel.: +43 676 3548310

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