Home care or long-term care is provided by the State to all persons legally residing in Cyprus whose resources are insufficient to satisfy their special needs for care.  This type of benefit may be provided both in-kind and in cash. Free of charge long-term social care is provided to beneficiaries of public assistance services such as old persons, persons with disabilities, dysfunctional families etc.  There is no qualifying period.

The allowance is provided according to the applicants’ needs and it is not mandatory in every case. The following criteria are considered during the evaluation of the applications for long-term care:

  • the applicant’s degree of disability and dysfunction, for example the ability to cover her / his personal needs such as personal hygiene, house cleaning, cooking, visits to doctors, etc;
  • the existence or not of a family network;
  • the applicant’s choice for the type of care needed.

The evaluation of each application is also based on a personal care plan developed by a welfare officer considering the applicant’s needs, medical reports and the frequency of required services, according to the relevant legislation.

Long-term care is not provided if:

  • the applicant has assets or savings of more than € 3,417 and more than € 1,709 for every dependant. The total worth of assets or savings per family should not exceed € 8,543. The value of the applicant’s own house, where she/he lives, is not taken into consideration.
  • the applicant has transferred assets to other individuals worth more than € 17,086;
  • the applicant owns other properties except the house where is currently living;
  • the applicant’s house can be used in a way that could increase her/his income.

There are some categories of income and assets that are exempted. Check with the Social Welfare Services’ Information Department if your current income or assets can be exempted from the above conditions.

The applicant can choose the type of social care (in cash and/or in kind) she/he needs. The frequency of the long-term care provided depends on each individual’s needs. The long-term social care services include:

  • home care;
  • day care;
  • residential care and tele-care. 

The long-term care can be provided by the government, as well as by non-governmental organisations and by the private sector. Informal care can be provided by spouses / partners, other members of the household and relatives or neighbors. Private home carers (including family members) may be compensated (in part or in full) by the State. In these cases, a contract is signed between the Social Welfare Services, the applicant and the caregiver.

Another category of caregivers are the ‘home helpers’ who can be anybody legally residing in Cyprus. In most of the cases, home helpers are third-country nationals. Home helpers are usually employed by the person in need of home care under the terms of a contract. Their salaries and social insurance contributions are paid by the Social Welfare Services, although the contract remains between the home helper and the applicant.

Home-Care Services

The home care service aims to:

  • help vulnerable groups of people to stay as long as possible in their own environment by creating the necessary conditions for a decent life. This category includes old and disabled people, as well as families with special needs.
  • support the families of  elderly / disabled people who look after them;
  • support people with special needs for proper functioning of their family.

The home care includes regular visits at the beneficiary’s premises and necessary care services according to the beneficiary’s needs, such as personal hygiene, house cleaning, washing clothes, cooking, payment of bills, shopping etc. The visits are done by the public or the private home carers as described above.

Day-Care Services

The day care service gives the elders and disabled people the opportunity to spend their day time at their local day-care center while in the evenings they return to their own houses. This type of care allows the beneficiaries to live in their own houses for as long as possible. The day-care centers provide them with cooked meals and laundry facilities. 

The day care centers of the Community Welfare Councils are financed by the State.

Residential Care Services

Residential care service is strictly provided to people who need constant care and whose needs cannot be met by their family members or other caregivers and supported services on a 24 hour basis.  People in need for residential care are placed by the Social Welfare Services Department in governmental, community or privately owned Residential Homes.

The Social Welfare Services Department is responsible for the registration and supervision of the community of Residential Homes for the Elderly and the Disabled People, as well as for the privately owned ones, to ensure a good level of service.

Residential care can also include special grants for the approved community and private Residential Homes for Elderly and Disabled People as well as for approved caregivers. 

The Procedure of Applying for Long-Term Care

To apply for long-term care the public assistance application form must be filled in and submitted to the Social Welfare Services Office of the district where the applicant lives, together with the following documents:

  1. Persons under 63 years old who are not working have to provide a medical certificate (or the form YKE 73) which proves that neither the applicant nor her/ his spouse are able to work and states the applicant’s need for special care and a photocopy of the applicant’s unemployment card and her / his unemployed dependants’, if any.  If the dependants are disabled, their medical certificates which describe the physical or mental disability must be submitted within the application.
  2. Persons under 63 years old who are working should provide a certificate from the applicant’s employer or her/ his spouse’s employer which states the net amount of earnings. Self employed persons must provide the last contribution to the Social Insurance and the account of the insured monthly earnings.
  3. A medical certificate (or the form YKE 73) signed by a doctor which states the disability of the applicant and/ or her/ his dependants.
  4. The last proof of payment in case the applicant or her/his dependants pay for a caregiver. If the caregiver is foreigner then the applicant must include a copy of the caregiver’s passport booklet from the Department of Immigration, a copy of the employment contract and a proof of payment for social insurance contributions, if available.
  5. If the applicant pays interest on mortgage loan for residential purposes, then she/ he must attach a copy of the promissory notes/ policy or certificate from the lender which states the exact amount paid as interest on the previous year.
  6. In case the applicant pays rent, a copy of the contract and the last proof of payment must be provided.
  7. If the applicant receives any income from property she/ he owns, the relevant certificates must be attached.
  8. A photocopy of passbook accounts or time bills or statements of any shares held by both the applicant and her/ his dependants as members.
  9. A statement of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) signed and stamped by the applicant’s bank with the full details of the bank account where payment will be transferred.
  10. If the applicant has minor dependant children for whom she/ he pays child minders centers, schools or institutions it is important to include in the application the last certificate or proof of payment.
  11. If the dependant children are students at an educational institution recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the application must contain also one copy of any certificate or school statement that proves they are students.
  12. In case the dependant children are militiamen the application should include a certificate from the National Guard, which states the enrollment date and the expected date of dismissal from the National Guard.
  13. If the applicant is not a refugee from the occupied part of Cyprus and has children over 18 years old who live in the controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus, then her/ his children have to complete the relevant form and submit the necessary certificates to prove their current financial situation.

If the applicant is divorced, the following documents must be provided:

  1. Copies of divorce certificate or order;
  2. In case of open conflict, the applicant must provide copies the following documents, when available: Family Court application for order of custody, divorce petition, request to property disputes, request of financial assistance for the applicant or children and a statement from the municipality or the district office where the applicant resides;
  3. Written consent from the other parent of the children, that she/ he is aware of the application for public assistance and approves any investigations on the dependants children as part of the application approval process.

In case the applicant is a foreigner, she/ he must submit also a copy of the residence permit in Cyprus or copy of her/ his yellow slip. The original will be presented during the investigation of the application. Asylum seekers are not required to provide the certificate of survey from the Land Registry.

The application YKE6(a) should be completed and signed by the applicant. If the applicant is a minor disabled person than the form must be completed and signed in front of an adult witness/ guardian. If any of the above mentioned documents is missing, the application will be delayed.

Duties Involved in Long-Term Care Applications

The Department of Social Welfare reserves the right to request additional documents or proofs that may be needed during the application examination. Home visits at the applicant’s residence may be required as part of the investigation.

By signing the YKE6 (i) form, the applicant authorizes the Social Welfare Services Department to request any personal information from banks or other financial institutions that handle the accounts of the applicant as stated in ΥΚΕ 6(iβ), her/ his spouse or other dependant family members.

Upon submission of the application for long-term care, the claimant agrees that the Social Welfare Services Department may contact her/ his dependence members who work in order to provide information on the applicant’s current socio-financial situation. This information will be used in order to calculate the amount of the applicant’s allowance.

If the applicant is an adult unmarried person living with her/ his parents, than she/ he will be considered as dependant of one of her/his parents. In this case the applicant must provide in the application the name of her/ his parent. This does not apply in the case of disabled persons with special needs.