How do you make money spiritually

Disabled people want more than pocket money

Disability organizations criticize that intellectually impaired, nonetheless working people in this country do not get a wage and are not covered by social security. Since they lose the right to their own pension as a result, "the federal and state governments have to take legal steps quickly," demands the Lebenshilfe.

The realization of these wishes could take some time. There has been a lot of debate about modernizing social security laws for years, but nothing has happened to date. Current Austrian law contradicts the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The delay in finding a solution is likely to be due to the tight budget situation.

Not worthy of an adult's pocket money

Currently, around 20,000 people with intellectual disabilities are doing their work in the day-to-day structures of organizations for the disabled without receiving any corresponding remuneration. They are paid a small amount of pocket money for their work, which varies depending on the federal state and fluctuates between 50 and 150 euros, writes the Lebenshilfe. "The income must be secured by a regular wage", demands its general secretary Andreas Brandstätter.

Co-insured with parents

If the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has its way, then a person with a mental handicap is insured with social security himself and not - as in Austria - with relatives. There is also the reason why, in the end, they don't get a normal pension, but an orphan's pension. "The family-related benefits come from a time when the average life expectancy of people with intellectual disabilities was very low," said Lebenshilfe President Germain Weber. The majority of people with intellectual disabilities nowadays celebrate the 70s and more and "want to enjoy this time too".

In doing so, Lebenshilfe also links up with the home child scandals. It was about people who were "legally classified as capable of work at the time, and where the payment of their work with pocket money represents massive discrimination," it says in the broadcast.

Hundstorfer's working group

In Austria, the National Action Plan for People with Disabilities, originally planned for 2010, was adopted in July of this year. It provides protection under social security law. That still comes up against the rigid 50 percent disability limit, under which many mentally handicapped people fall. Labor Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer (SPÖ), who has set up a working group, is currently examining whether there can be independent insurance for these relatively more severely affected people. Social assistance and orphan's pensions would then be a thing of the past.

It clashes with the money

At the latest when it comes to the question of money, things get exciting. Since social insurance is based on a person's wages, it must first be worked out how the earnings could also be adapted to the limited performance capacity. Since many disabled people make use of assisted living, the costs should actually be deducted from the wages. Ultimately, however, the countries would have to dig deeper into their wallets one way or another. In any case, Lebenshilfe sees the way there as a dead end because the countries would have to spend more funds that they currently did not want to provide, reports "Ö1". The federal government will therefore have to inject funds.

The way to a fair remuneration of mentally impaired people still seems distant, but not as distant as it was ten years ago. It is becoming apparent that they too will be able to live independently in the future. (Hermann Sussitz,, August 30, 2012)