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Cyprus

Bill tabled to relax incapacity conditions

Akel MP Andreas Fakontis

Main opposition Akel has tabled a bill aimed at relaxing the conditions under which incapacitated persons are eligible for disability allowance.

Speaking at the House labour committee on Tuesday, committee chair Andreas Fakondis (Akel) said current regulations are too strict and, in some cases, unfair.

He cited the example of a person who had contributed to the Social Security Fund (SSF) for 40 years and who, due to incapacitation, was unable to work and thus contribute to the fund during the last two years for a period of 20 weeks, as mandated by law.

As such, the person’s application for disability allowance was declined.

Currently, a key condition for eligibility is that the paid or credited contributions on earnings in the previous year of the disability, or the average of the contributions in the last two years, must be not less than 20 times the weekly amount of the basic insurable earnings.

Under Akel’s proposal, the last relevant contribution years would be increased from two to four years.
Fakondis said parliament has given the ministry of labour until March 2018 to study the proposal come back with specific data “in a bid to correct this distortion.”

He said the ministry’s initial reaction is that Akel’s proposal would raise the burden on the SSF.

Beneficiaries of invalidity pension include only employed, self-employed and voluntary contributors working for a Cypriot employer abroad. The invalidity pension/disability allowance can be claimed until the age of 63 (no minimum age stated) and the payment can be transferred abroad.

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