Hans Url used an electric saw to detach his left foot hours before unemployment officials were to determine whether he was physically fit for work, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.
He had just learned that his benefits could be taken away if he did not accept the job that was found for him, according to the Daily Mail.
After sawing off his foot above the ankle, he reportedly put it in a wood stove so doctors could not reattach it to his leg. With the risk of death from bleeding, he called an ambulance and was airlifted to the hospital.
Url may still qualify for work despite the loss of his foot, the Daily Mail reported.