Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Cyprus - Guaranteed minimum income benefit

In what situation can I claim?

The purpose of this benefit is to ensure a socially acceptable minimum standard of living for people and their families lawfully residing in the Republic of Cyprus, as long as they meet the relevant eligibility criteria. Specifically, any person whose income and other financial resources are insufficient to satisfy his or her basic and specific needs, as defined by law 109 (I)/2014 as amended or superseded, may seek the provision of a guaranteed minimum income, which is given in the form of financial support and/or services.

The right to the benefit in question is an individual one and is conferred on the applicant as long as all the conditions set down by law have been met.

The benefit varies according to the applicant's income. As the applicant's income rises, the benefit decreases. The total amount received by the applicant varies depending on the number of family members and their specific needs.

This scheme is non-contributory as it is not linked to contributions paid by employers, workers or insured people.

What conditions do I need to meet?

1. A person may submit an application to become entitled to receive the guaranteed minimum income benefit if the following conditions are met:

(a) The applicant must be either:

  • a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus;
  • a European Union citizen;
  • a third country national who has long-term resident status in the Republic according to the Aliens and Immigration Law, as amended or superseded;
  • a third country national who has legal status provided under the Refugees Act, as amended or superseded, with the exception of asylum seekers; or
  • a person who is a victim within the meaning of the law on preventing and combating the trafficking and exploitation of people and the protection of victims.

(b) The applicant must, in the 5-year period immediately preceding the date of submitting the application, have been lawfully and habitually residing in the Republic. The people referred to in subparagraphs (iv) and (v) of paragraph (a) may submit an application and become beneficiaries regardless of their age and the length of their stay in the Republic if no other member of their family unit has submitted an application and/or become a beneficiary.

2. The beneficiary must remain lawfully and habitually resident in Cyprus at all times while receiving the guaranteed minimum income, otherwise he or she ceases to be eligible.

3. The total income of members of the family unit must be lower than their total needs as assessed on the basis of the guaranteed minimum income.

4. Neither the applicant nor any other member of the family unit may own real estate with a value in excess of €100,000. The applicant's privately owned dwelling is not taken into account as long as it does not exceed 300 sq.m.

  • Immovable assets of an additional estimated value of €100.000 can be disregarded if they are not usable due to legal restrictions imposed prior to the enactment of the legislation (July 2014).
  • Immovable property worth between €100,000 and €200,000 is not taken into account, if is burdened the whole or the greater part thereof, due to encumbrance entry or usufruct (before the 11th July 2014).

5. The bank deposits of the applicant and of any member of his or her family unit may not exceed €5,000, raised by €1,000 for each additional member of the family unit. The value of other financial assets must not exceed €5,000. Compensation received as the result of injury or damage from an accident is not taken into account.

  • Special provisions allow for the exclusion from the deposit limit of an additional €20,000 in the case: of persons with severe and total disabilities, when they are not usable because they either have been blocked as a guarantee for a loan or they are deposits of a person under the age of 18 provided that in both cases the event took place before the enactment of the legislation (July 2014), when they are the product of a student loan, when they belong to a parent of advanced age that needs help in accessing them, and, when they belong to children under the age of 18 by means of inheritance or similar reasons.

6. Neither the applicant nor any member of the family unit may have alienated moveable or immoveable assets exceeding the limits referred to in paragraphs (4) and (5) during the 12 months prior to submitting the application unless they can provide satisfactory explanations as to why that alienation was imperative or necessary.

7. Even if they have been lawfully and habitually resident in the Republic for 5 years, people may not submit applications and become beneficiaries of a guaranteed minimum income if they are:

  • a monk in a monastery;
  • a National Guardsman;
  • a full time student, with the exception of students who were in the care of the director of social welfare services when they reached the age of 18, or who are disabled, or who are orphans;
  • intentionally unemployed.

8. The applicant must be:

  • over 28 years old;
  • a married person of any age;
  • a single parent of any age;
  • an orphan of any age;
  • a disabled person of any age;
  • an adult who, before reaching the age of 18, was in the care of the director of social welfare services.

Grants and benefits which are not taken into account when calculating the guaranteed minimum income:

  • funeral grant;
  • childbirth grant;
  • student grant;
  • soldier's allowance;
  • support scheme for pensioners on low incomes;
  • contributions from charities or philanthropic institutions;
  • maintenance from a taxable person if it is demonstrated that it is not being received (evidence must be produced);
  • all benefits and/or subsidies and/or grants provided under legislation or schemes implemented by the department of social inclusion of people with disabilities;
  • all benefits and/or subsidies and/or grants provided to a person with a disability on account of that disability;
  • the first €512 of the monthly income of a child whose earnings are derived from training or acquiring practical experience are not counted as income;
  • any amounts given to the applicant and/or beneficiary and/or any person belonging to the family unit by the Welfare Lottery Fund as financial assistance; or by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance as emergency financial assistance with ministerial approval;
  • out of the monthly income from employment of the applicant/beneficiary or the spouse, if the income is greater than €500 then the first €170 are not taken into account when calculating the guaranteed minimum income;
  • for earnings of under €500, the amount not taken into account is calculated as follows:
    • the first €50 are not taken into account; and
    • from the next €50 up to €200, 40% of that part of the income is not taken into consideration; and
    • from the remaining €200 up to €500, 20% of that part of the income is not taken into account. For example, if the income from employment is €400 per month, €150 are not taken into account.
  • of the monthly income from employment of any adult child under the age of 28, only 50% of the first €480 is taken into account. This means that for a child's income up to €480, the guaranteed minimum income benefit for the rest of the family is not reduced at all since in calculating the monthly benefit €240 will continue to be taken into account for that child. For a child's income exceeding €480, only a small part is taken into account as family income, as follows:
    • of the next €480-1,000, only 10% of that part of the income is taken into account; and
    • of the next €1,000-2,000, 15% of that part of the income is taken into account; and
    • for a child's income in excess of €2,000, 20% of that part of the income is taken into account. For example, if your adult child is under 28 years old and has a net income from employment of €1,500, then for the purposes of calculating the guaranteed minimum income only €367 will be counted as family income, of which €240 relates to the amount counted as the guaranteed minimum income for the needs of that child.
  • if the applicant/beneficiary or the spouse is a disabled person, then the first €512 of earnings from employment are not taken into account as income.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

The guaranteed minimum income comprises:

1. the monthly amount which corresponds to the applicant/beneficiary's subsistence needs included in the minimum subsistence basket; and

2. the monthly amount which may be granted for providing accommodation,

and any beneficiary of the guaranteed minimum income is given payments for:

(a) municipal and other similar charges;

(c) assistance to cover emergency needs and/or care needs.

The monthly amounts corresponding to the subsistence basket are:

  • €480 for the applicant/beneficiary;
  • €240 for the spouse and for each member of the family aged over 14;
  • €144 for each member of the family aged under 14.

Housing allowance is granted when either the beneficiary is living in a rented property or in an owned property for which they pay mortgage interest. The level of the housing allowance is calculated according to the composition of the family unit and the district of residence.

The estimated area of residence:

  • for a single person or couples is 55 m²
  • An additional 25 m²for applicants staying with a disabled person or for dependent: 1 minor child, 2 minors of the same sex and / or an adult child;
  • Additional 20 m²: for every 2 additional minors of the same sex and / or for every additional child.

The amounts ranted by each district are as follows:

  • Nicosia / Limassol / Famagusta: 2,80€/m2
  • Larnaca: 2,45€/m2
  • Paphos: 1,75€/m2

Moreover the total housing allowance can be increased by 20% for people with disabilities and up to 50% for wheelchair dependent people or those with increased needs of care and assistance.

An example is the following table:

Family Composition

Maximum Housing Allowance

Nicosia-Limassol-Famagusta

Larnaca

Paphos

Single or Couple without children

€ 154

€ 134.75

€ 96.25

Couple with 1 child or 2 children under 18 of same sex and Single parent with one child

€ 224

€ 196

€ 140

Couple with

  • 2 children under 18 of different sex or
  • 2 children whose one is under 18 or
  • 3 children under 18

€ 280

€ 245

€ 175

Supplement for persons with disabilities

€ 70

€ 61.25

€ 43.75

Supplement for larger families (extra allowance for every extra dependent over 18 or 2 dependents under 18)

€ 56

€ 49

€ 35

Care services

Beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum income may be provided with care services by the social welfare services. Should a beneficiary of guaranteed minimum income request care (there is a special space on the application form) then they will be assessed by the social welfare services and, depending on their needs, will receive the corresponding care.

Care includes various care services including home care, institutional care, day care, respite care, childcare and protection and incontinence pants where required.

An interested party may submit an application for the GMI benefit to the Welfare Benefits Administration Service of the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance. The application will be considered by the Head of the service, who will initially check that the application has been completed in full and that all the required documents have been submitted. The applicant will be informed if the application is incomplete. If the application is complete, the applicant's real estate and their financial status with credit institutions will be investigated via file interfaces in order to verify the application's validity.

Jargon busters

  • In relation to an applicant and/or beneficiary of the guaranteed minimum income, a family unit is defined as follows:
    • the spouse, if he or she lives in the same home as the applicant and/or beneficiary. This includes people who have not married but live as a couple;
    • minor children (under 18) if they live in the same home as the applicant and/or beneficiary;
    • a child (18-28 years old), regardless of where he or she lives as long as it is within the Republic. The condition about residing in the Republic does not apply if the child is a student.
  • Financial assets: any intangible property which includes money (deposits, bills, bank drafts), accounts receivable, tradable securities (bonds, shares, securities), insurance policies and other such assets.
  • Minimum subsistence basket: the types of needs and the monthly amount to cover those needs whether for one person or for members of their family unit as well.

Forms you may need to fill in

Know your rights

The links below define your rights legally. They are not European Commission websites and they do not represent the Commission's views:

  • Legislation and regulatory and administrative acts on the guaranteed minimum income.

European Commission publication and website:

Who do you need to contact?

Welfare Benefits Management Service

  • Themistokli Dervi 46
  • MEDCON Tower
  • 1066 Nicosia
  • CYPRUS
  • Tel.: +357 22054054

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