Asylum seekers receive these benefits – Amounts and conditions

The amounts and conditions for granting allowances to asylum seekers

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A reduction in asylum applications by 51% in the last six months, announced on Tuesday (05/09), after the end of the session of the ad hoc Parliamentary Committee for the Study of the Demographic Problem, the Minister of the Interior, Konstantinos Ioannou, speaking of a historic change of balance of inflows and returns of immigrants to Cyprus.

At the same time, the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou, referred, among other things, to the plan that the government is working on, regarding the rationalization of benefits for immigrants, but also the connection of benefits with social work.

The amounts and conditions for granting allowances 

But what is the current situation regarding benefits? What benefits are given to asylum seekers and what are the amounts for each benefit? SigmaLive requested and received information from the relevant state agencies.

The allowances are given upon completion of the appropriate procedures at the First Reception Center for Immigrants "Pournara" and concern financial assistance to cover basic needs (food, clothing and footwear), assistance to cover small personal expenses, including electricity and water costs, as well as assistance to cover rent allowance.

The amount of the Material Reception Conditions, as they are called, for applicants for International Protection, is determined based on a Decision of the Council of Ministers. The amounts are determined according to the number of members of a family and in no case may they be exceeded.

With regard to food, clothing and footwear allowance, the amount is determined according to the number of family members, as shown in the table below. For example, a family of three receives €372 per month, while families with five or more members receive €558.

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For the allowance that covers electricity, water and small expenses, in order to be given the full amount, a rental document is required, while in case it is not presented, the amount granted is greatly reduced.

For example, the amount for a family of two is €100. However, in case a rental document is not presented, this amount is reduced to €37.

Rent allowance

As far as the rent allowance is concerned, this is determined both according to the number of family members and according to the province where the applicant will reside.

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The rent allowance is granted after the asylum seeker presents a tenancy document, and is given directly to the owner of the property and not to the applicant.

A well-informed source from the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare told SigmaLive that after the allowance is granted, Social Welfare Services officials go to the address given by the applicant to verify the details.

The same source noted that conditions have been established for the provision of rent allowance. First, a valid stamped rental contract must be presented, as well as a responsible statement from the owner and his commitment to immediately inform YKE of any changes in the number of tenants residing in the property.

It is noted that in order to facilitate the evaluation of the applications for the granting of the above allowances by the Social Services officers, an interconnection of the systems was ensured by the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data, for the exchange of information and data between YKE, the Department of Labor and the Social Insurance Services, so that information and data on employment or registration of applicants in the Public Employment Service, to be accessible to them.

Source: Sigmalive