Should I get myself insured?
Absolutely! Spending time without insurance is something you want to avoid, since getting sick could be quite costly.
Which insurer is responsible for me?
Austria’s system of compulsory social insurance draws a fundamental distinction between employees and the self-employed. Artists = so-called “Neue Selbständige” [new self-employed] → responsible for artists is the Austrian Social Insurance Authority for Business (SVA GW). SVA GW coverage consists of accident, health, and pension insurance as well as a pension scheme specifically for the self-employed.
At what point does it become compulsory?
Insurance becomes compulsory → lower earnings limit = income from freelance work (subtracting business expenses) exceeds EUR 4,988 per annum → includes accident, health, and pension insurance plus the abovementioned self-employed pension scheme. If your income is below the lower earnings limit, you should still sign up for health and accident insurance with the SVA GW by “opting in”.
Is there support available to help with payment of insurance contributions?
Support for artists whose income lies below the earnings floor is available from the Social Insurance Fund for Artists (KSVF).
The KSVF grants subsidies of up to € 1,722 for the social insurance contributions of freelance artists and can also provide financial support in emergencies. Your income must be from freelance artistic work. Please note: artistic side-jobs such as teaching qualify only in part!
What do I do?
- Go to www.svagw.at → find the form “Versicherungserklärung für Freiberufler (Neue Selbständige)”
- Fill it out and send it to your SVA GW regional office.
- The SVA GW will then contact you and inform you of the contributions you will be required to pay.
- If you meet the requirements of the Social Insurance Fund for Artists, you can then apply to the KSVF for a subsidy to support your contributions.
Contact your SVA GW regional office and request a consultation—they’ll be happy to help you!
This series of articles, an initiative of the U30 Network of the Austrian Music Council (ÖMR) in cooperation with mica and the mdw, aims to provide help to young artists as they launch their careers. You can find the entire series at: www.mdw.ac.at/mdwclub/diplom-in-der-tasche