Refugees in Greece can get cash assistance. But how does it work? How long will it be available? And can you get cash in private accommodation? What about in a squat? The answers to those questions and more:
What is cash assistance?
Unlike in some other European countries, in Greece, the government does not give refugees a cash allowance. However, nongovernment agencies are now giving cash to refugees in every formal site in Greece.
How long will cash assistance be available in Greece?
Agencies will be giving cash to refugees until the end of 2017.
After that, an integration program for refugees living in Greece will begin. Details about that program are not yet available, but we’ll let you know when we have more information.
Who gets cash?
- If you are a refugee or asylum-seeker living in a formal site in Greece, you will get cash assistance.
If you are in an official site, cash is probably already being distributed there. Contact the site management, or ask around.
- If you are a refugee or asylum-seeker living in a private apartment, you are also eligible for cash.
Cash is also currently being distributed to refugees living in private apartments.
If you are living in a private apartment, but you’re not yet receiving cash, send a message to the Refugee.Info Facebook page. We will pass on your case to the relevant agency.
Who doesn’t get cash?
If you are living in a squat, you are not eligible for cash.
If you are under 18 and traveling alone, you are not eligible for cash.
If you have a regular, stable income from working, you cannot get cash assistance, either.
Note: If you are already receiving cash from one agency, you can’t get cash from a second one. Agencies are checking to make sure you’re not getting double cash, and trying to get cash from more than one agency will get you in trouble.
Do I need ID to get cash?
To be eligible to get cash, you need a valid ID from the Greek authorities. Valid ID includes:
- Police note
- Pre-Registration card
- International Protection Applicant’s Card
- Residence permit
- Restriction of movement notice (if you are on the Greek islands and are applying for cash there)
Note: If your ID/documentation has expired, it will not be accepted, and you will not get cash. If your ID is about to expire, take steps to renew it.
How much cash do I get, and how often?
Your agency will add cash to your card each month.
The amount of cash assistance you get each month depends on how big your family is. It also depends on whether you are living in a place where catering is provided.
If you are living in accommodation where catering is provided, you will get between €90 and €330 a month, depending on the size of your family.
If you are living in accommodation where catering is not provided, you will get between €150 and €550 a month, depending on the size of your family.
I’m moving locations. How do I keep getting cash?
If you move locations, tell the agency currently giving you cash that you’re leaving, and tell your new cash provider where you are moving. If you don’t know which agency will provide you cash in your new location, we’ll help you find out.
I have been asked to move from a camp to private accommodation. Will my cash be stopped?
If you are moving from an official site to private accommodation, you will continue to get cash. However, it might come from a different agency than the one at your camp.
You will not receive any less cash than you were getting at the camp. In fact, if you are moving from a catered camp to noncatered private accommodation, you will receive more cash than you did at the camp.
Before you leave your old site, make sure you tell the cash agency or site management there that you are leaving.
Where can I use my card?
You can use your card in ATMs and point-of-sale machines, which are available in many shops. In Athens, a lot of refugees use their cards in shops around Omonia Square.
Will I be charged for using my card?
Maybe. If you use the ATM to withdraw or check your balance you will be charged a fee. The fee is currently covered by some agencies, but not all.
Please ask the agency giving you cash for more details.
If you use the point-of-sale machine to buy goods, you will not be charged a fee.
Is there a time limit on when I can spend my cash?
There is not normally a time limit on your cash, and any cash that is not spent in a month is carried over to the next month.
However, in April, the way cash programs are funded is changing. We recommend you withdraw the cash on your card before the end of March 2017.
I was on the islands and then moved to the mainland without permission. Can I get cash?
No. If you moved to the mainland without permission, the only documentation you will have is a restriction of movement notice. You cannot get cash on the mainland with a restriction of movement paper from the Greek islands.
Can I use my cash card outside Greece?
Cash cards are valid only inside Greece and don’t work outside Greece. If you are leaving Greece through Relocation or Family Reunification, make sure you withdraw your money from the card before you go.
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