Cyprus Mail

More than 12m euros wrongly paid in benefits

THE STATE has overpaid more than €12 million on pensions and other benefits due to recipients giving wrong information or incorrect assessments from the relevant departments.

The topic was discussed by deputies during a House labour committee meeting yesterday. It was revealed overpayments have reached €12.4 million.

Of those overpayments, €3.4 million were given through pensions from the social insurance fund.

According to committee head Andreas Fakontis, in some cases the recipients have been asked to return the money, although that has resulted in some problems.

In cases when overpayment was the fault of state services then the government will not ask for the money back, but in cases when recipients gave the authorities wrong information then all the money they have received will be returned, he said.

Fakontis added that the best solution is prevention, and the relevant ministries need to find ways to deal with such problems. He stressed the need to modernise state services.

Fakontis revealed that the troika has demanded a change in the bill involving the requirements for welfare.

DIKO MP, Athena Kyriakidou said many cases involved asylum seekers who continued to receive benefits even after they had left the country.

She added there are also cases of Turkish Cypriots who declared they are living in the south and receive benefits when they are actually living in the occupied areas.

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