Whether you are living in Cyprus, thinking to relocate or just planning a short visit to the sunny island, it is important to know your social rights, how to apply for public or emergency services to avoid any unpleasant situations. 

The social security system and the welfare services are meant to cover various social risks and to provide social protection and solidarity to all citizens or individuals leaving in the Republic of Cyprus. They compose the Social Insurance Scheme which is administrated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance through the Social Insurance Services Department and Social Welfare Services Department.

The individuals insured under the Social Insurance Scheme can apply for various monetary benefits such as pension, unemployment, illness, disability, marriage grant, maternity allowance, orphanhood, widowhood, death and other social security benefits.

The social security in Cyprus includes three categories:

  1. Social insurance: a compulsory contribution-funded system which aims to protect the working population by providing certain compensations against specific risks.
  2. Social assistance or social welfare: a tax-financed system which aims to support the poor individuals or households, with insufficient income and means of supporting themselves.
  3. Universal protection: a tax-financed system which aims to provide a certain income to individuals of specific risk groups. These benefits are flat rate or correlated to earnings.

The categories of welfare services that you can benefit of in Cyprus are listed on the left side menu. Each section includes information about the available benefits, application procedures, eligibility conditions as well as the relevant application forms.

According to the Cypriot Social Security Scheme any employed person is entitled to all social security benefits and welfare services with some exceptions:

  • Self-employed persons are not entitled to unemployment benefit or benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.
  • Voluntary contributors working abroad for a Cypriot employer are not entitled to benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.
  • Other voluntary contributors are not entitled to sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, invalidity pension as well as benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.

As a general rule, applicants can receive one benefit at a time. Persons entitled to more than one benefit for the same period of time will receive the highest benefit allowed. However, there are a few exceptions in case one of the allowed benefits is widow pension, missing person’s allowance and short-term benefit (sickness, unemployment, injury or maternity allowance, injury benefit). Moreover, disablement pension approved before 6 October 1980 is paid without increases for dependants, in addition to any other benefit. When a person is entitled to receive simultaneously more than one disablement pension as a result of multiple injuries from accidents or occupational diseases, the total amount of paid pensions cannot exceed the amount of pension for 100% disablement.

Benefit payments are made either by cheque or by bank transfer. Cheques must be cashed within three months from the date they are issued. In some cases the cashing of the cheque can be extended.

Any person offended or aggrieved in any way by a decision of the Director of Social Insurance or of a claims examiner, can appeal to the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance within fifteen days after being notified of such decision. If the offended person is also aggrieved by the Minister's decision, then he / she can appeal to the Court within seventy-five days after being notified of such decision.

A person who makes a false statement to obtain a benefit / pension, either for himself / herself or for another person is guilty of an offense and is liable to prosecution.

The social security system and the welfare services are meant to cover various social risks and to provide social protection and solidarity to all citizens or individuals leaving in the Republic of Cyprus. They compose the Social Insurance Scheme which is administrated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance through the Social Insurance Services Department and Social Welfare Services Department.

The individuals insured under the Social Insurance Scheme can apply for various monetary benefits such as pension, unemployment, illness, disability, marriage grant, maternity allowance, orphanhood, widowhood, death and other social security benefits.

The social security in Cyprus includes three categories:

  1. Social insurance: a compulsory contribution-funded system which aims to protect the working population by providing certain compensations against specific risks.
  2. Social assistance or social welfare: a tax-financed system which aims to support the poor individuals or households, with insufficient income and means of supporting themselves.
  3. Universal protection: a tax-financed system which aims to provide a certain income to individuals of specific risk groups. These benefits are flat rate or correlated to earnings.

The categories of welfare services that you can benefit of in Cyprus are listed on the left side menu. Each section includes information about the available benefits, application procedures, eligibility conditions as well as the relevant application forms.

According to the Cypriot Social Security Scheme any employed person is entitled to all social security benefits and welfare services with some exceptions:

  • Self-employed persons are not entitled to unemployment benefit or benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.
  • Voluntary contributors working abroad for a Cypriot employer are not entitled to benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.
  • Other voluntary contributors are not entitled to sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, invalidity pension as well as benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases.

As a general rule, applicants can receive one benefit at a time. Persons entitled to more than one benefit for the same period of time will receive the highest benefit allowed. However, there are a few exceptions in case one of the allowed benefits is widow pension, missing person’s allowance and short-term benefit (sickness, unemployment, injury or maternity allowance, injury benefit). Moreover, disablement pension approved before 6 October 1980 is paid without increases for dependants, in addition to any other benefit. When a person is entitled to receive simultaneously more than one disablement pension as a result of multiple injuries from accidents or occupational diseases, the total amount of paid pensions cannot exceed the amount of pension for 100% disablement.

Benefit payments are made either by cheque or by bank transfer. Cheques must be cashed within three months from the date they are issued. In some cases the cashing of the cheque can be extended.

Any person offended or aggrieved in any way by a decision of the Director of Social Insurance or of a claims examiner, can appeal to the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance within fifteen days after being notified of such decision. If the offended person is also aggrieved by the Minister's decision, then he / she can appeal to the Court within seventy-five days after being notified of such decision.

A person who makes a false statement to obtain a benefit / pension, either for himself / herself or for another person is guilty of an offense and is liable to prosecution.

The residential property prices (houses and apartments) continued to decrease on the third and last quarter of 2013, though the price index recorded a slighter smaller quarterly decrease in the third quarter of 2013 than in the previous quarter.

The largest quarterly decreases were recorded in the house prices in the district of Famagusta of 3.8% and in the apartment prices in the district of Larnaca of 3.7%. In Paphos district the apartment prices remained relatively stable at -0.4%, while in Nicosia and Limassol the apartment prices decreased by decreased by 2,4% and 1,4%, respectively, compared with the property prices of the second quarter of 2013.

Also, according to the reports from the Department of Lands and Surveys, the property sales in 2013 recorded annual decreases in every district, except Nicosia. In particular, the property sales contracts in Famagusta recorded the largest annual decrease of 53,1%, while in Nicosia the number of sales contracts increased by 4,0%, reflecting mainly demand by foreigners.

In general the number of property sales contracts with Cypriot buyers had an annual decrease of 28,5%, while the sales contracts with foreign buyers recorded an annual increase of 2,6%, mainly as a result of base effects. As indicated by the CBC Bank Lending Survey, households continued to have limited access to housing loans. The interest rates on housing loans increased by 0.4% from the second to the third quarter to an average of 5,4%.

The construction sector has been also affected in the past few years as the prices of construction materials have not decreased to the same extent as residential property prices.

In conclusion, the residential property prices continued to decrease in 2013 while the unemployment rate increased and the lack of liquidity and confidence drew out. 

In Cyprus, healthcare is provided through government (public) services and hospitals as well as through private clinics and medical centers. Any individual can access the public medical services at reduced rates or free of charge if the qualifying conditions are satisfied. The private medical services are usually available at a higher cost.

Emergency care in Cyprus is provided free of charge to all individuals who arrive at the accident and emergency departments of the government hospitals, irrespective of their income or nationality, including tourists. However, if hospitalization is needed, subsequent care fees may be charged. Public hospitals that have an accident and emergency section are available in every city. Due to the small size of the country the access to medical centers and hospitals is very quick and easy.

More information about the public and private healthcare services available in Cyprus can be found under the health and medical care scheme section of this website.

The Cyprus Ministry of Health (MOH) runs various health programmes such as treatment for specific diseases, prevention of disease or educational programs. The programmes are available at reduced rates for the Medical Card holders.