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CYPRUS: Applications for GMI state aid exceed 20,000

13 August, 2014

More than 20,000 applications have been received so far for the guaranteed minimum income (GMI) benefit to needy and low-income families, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou told the Cyprus News Agency, adding that the allowance will be disbursed by the end of September to those who have submitted their application in time.
Emilianidou added that the number of applications is rising vis-a-vis the deadline of September 1 for public assistance recipients and of September 8 for low-income pensioners.
Concerning the latter group, the Minister told CNA that low-income pensioners need to apply for GMI, regardless of whether they are entitled to the allowance or not. The same applies to public assistance recipients, in order to continue receiving state aid, she explained.
Emilianidou also said that a small number of applications has already been approved and that the GMI will be disbursed later in September. “The sooner one submits the application, the sooner he or she will receive the GMI,” the Minister added.
According to Emilianidou, some 45,000 low-income pensioners and 20,000 public assistance recipients are expected to submit their application for the GMI. Moreover, some 15-20,000low-wage workers and unemployed are also expected to apply for the allowance.
The GMI was unveiled in the summer of 2013 by President Nicos Anastasiades, in an effort to reform the country’s welfare system. The scheme, which was sanctioned by the Troika of international lenders, is expected to attract 70,000 applications. It has been set to 480 euros per person, with the allowance rising by an additional 50% for the spouse, while additional provisions apply for children.