Questions on social security services and welfare benefits can be directed to the 1450 call centre as of Thursday.

The new contact centre, offered free of charge, launched its operations earlier in the day as a move to better assist residents on social welfare issues.

It will be open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm.

In total 20 employees, contracted with a private company, staff the call centre and will have access to the computer systems of the social insurance department. For a period of two months, the contact centre will operate on a pilot basis, while staff will be continuously trained.

Direct answers will be given only to specific questions which will be categorised, while other questions will be sent to the relevant departments for examination.

There are three types of questions, the officer managing the benefits at the deputy ministry of social welfare, Christos Diomidos told Alpha TV.

The first concerns general questions, with the answers drawn from a database, while the second type of questions has to do with data from computerised systems. To provide such information, the caller will be identified beforehand to ensure that the information is given to the right person.

He added that the third type of questions concerns more difficult or complicated questions, which will be sent to the relevant services to be answered by an official of the service concerned.

The service is available on 1450 for calls within Cyprus (free of charge) and on +357 22008020 for calls from abroad (toll-free).