Information on State’s Cash Assistance Program
- As of October 2021 UNHCR is no longer providing the cash assistance in Greece, as the cash assistance program was taken over by the Greek authorities and is now implemented by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
- The Ministry of Migration and Asylum provides cash assistance to adult applicants of international protection and their family members, who are accommodated in open reception facilities in the mainland, Reception and Identification Centres (RICs) in the islands, ESTIA accommodation, and shelters cooperating with the Ministry of Migration & Asylum, with the exception of applicants that are in custody.
- Cash assistance varies according to the family size of the family and is distinguished to full amount of cash assistance and partial amount of cash assistance. The partial amount of cash assistance is provided to beneficiaries who receive meals in their place of accommodation, while the full amount of cash assistance is provided to beneficiaries who do not receive meals.
- The amounts of cash assistance are the following:
Where meals are NOT provided:
- 150 Euros for one individual
- 270 Euros for a couple or one parent with one child
- 320 Euros for a family of three
- 420 Euros for a family of four or more
Where meals are provided:
- 75 Euros for one individual
- 135 Euros for a couple or one parent with one child
- 160 Euros for a family of three
- 210 Euros for a family of four or more
- The cash assistance programme is implemented by the state authorities in cooperation with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
- The cash assistance program is regulated by the Joint Ministerial Decision 2857 (Official Gazette B, 3120/29.09.2021.)
Questions and Answers on the implementation of cash assistance programme by the Greek State Authorities
1. How can I access cash assistance?
Cash assistance will be provided to you and your family members at the accommodation facility you have been designated or transferred to by the Greek authorities. These are Open Reception Facilities in the mainland, Reception and Identification Centres (RICs) in the islands, ESTIA accommodation, and shelters cooperating with the Ministry of Migration &Asylum.
The Cash Assistance program is provided to Applicants of International Protection who are residing in formal accommodation offered by the Greek Authorities. Your accommodation actor will be responsible to provide you with the cash card once you enter the accommodation facility.
2. What needs is the cash assistance expected to cover?
Cash assistance is provided to you in order to help you cover basic needs of food, clothing, footwear, personal hygiene, telecommunications, travel within the place of residence as well as basic school and pharmaceutical expenses until the end of the month from the time the amount is transferred to your card.
The card you will receive will not have any balance and you will only be able to use it after the monthly cash transfer.
3. How can I continue receiving the cash assistance on a monthly basis?
In order to continue receiving cash assistance on a monthly basis, you need to follow your accommodation actors’ instructions for the verification of the physical presence of you and your family members in your location. Each month the accommodation actor will confirm yours and your family’s presence and only upon this confirmation you will continue receiving cash assistance.
4. Can I access full cash assistance and in-kind food assistance at the same time?
No, this is not possible. Beneficiaries residing in facilities where they have to cook for themselves, are provided with the full cash assistance. Beneficiaries living in facilities where meals are distributed, are provided with the partial cash assistance.
5. Can I request additional cash assistance if I have spent all my money before the next cash transfer?
No additional assistance will be provided if the money runs out before your next transfer which will take place the following month. This means that you must budget carefully and manage your money so that it does not run out!
If you need support or advice on managing your finances, please contact the CashHelpline.
6. How can I use my cash card?
You can use your cash card at any ATM within the Greek territory, to withdraw money using your card and the PIN issued to you at the time of the card distribution or at shops or malls that accept electronic payments from Mastercard, within the Greek territory. Cash cards cannot be used for electronic transactions.
Please be informed that Greek banks charge ATM transactions fees. You can withdraw the available balance in one transaction, or to use the cards for POS purchases.
7. How can I activate my card?
You will receive your card in a close envelop without any value until loaded. When the loading takes place, you will be notified for the availability of the amount to your cash card. It is important to keep PIN secret and not share it with anyone.
8. What can I do if I lost my card or if my card is not working?
Please contact the Cash Helpline either by calling the landline number 210 330 0170 Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 3.00 p.m. or by visiting http://greecehelpline.crs.org/ to fill in and submit your query; in alternative, scan the below QR code to fill in and submit your inquiry.
Please avoid submitting multiple forms with the same inquiry. Every time you submit a new form, it appears at the end of the list. It is advisable to submit one form for your inquiry and wait for the Helpline staff to contact you as soon as possible.
9. When will I receive a card replacement?
You will receive your card during the distribution activity that takes place in your accommodation facility. Please consult your accommodation actor in your location to be informed of the date the distribution activity will take place.
10. Can my household have more than one cash cards?
Eligible beneficiaries who have the same Asylum Case Number according to the Asylum Service’s database are being issued with one cash card.
11. How do I know when my cash card is loaded?
If you want to receive this information on a monthly basis, you should activate the Viber application so that you will be able to receive the relevant communication. It is essential that you provide a valid mobile number to ensure that any communication with you is continued without interruption either by direct call or by SMS. So,please make sure that your mobile phone number is always credited.
For any general complaints including those related to fraud, corruption, sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment or if you wish to speak directly to a cash helpline operator, you may also contact the landline at 210 330 0170
For more information:
Refugee.Info’s updated articles on the Cash Assistance program in the following languages:
- English: https://www.refugee.info/greece/cash-assistance-in-greece–greece/greece-cash-alliance-hotline?language=en
- Arabic: https://www.refugee.info/greece/cash-assistance-in-greece–greece/greece-cash-alliance-hotline?language=ar
- Farsi: https://www.refugee.info/greece/cash-assistance-in-greece–greece/greece-cash-alliance-hotline?language=fa