If you become unemployed in Cyprus, you may be entitled to an unemployment benefit by the Social Insurance Services.
The unemployment benefit is paid to workers or to voluntarily insured people working for a Cypriot employer overseas, aged 16 to 63, who are unemployed. The limit is extended to 65 if the insured person is not entitled to a statutory pension. Self-employed individuals are not entitled to unemployment benefit.
What conditions do I need to meet?
The insurance conditions for the payment of unemployment benefit are:
- to have actual basic insurance equal to at least 0.50 of the insurance point and for at least 26 weeks to have elapsed since the insurance commenced; and
- to have actual or assimilated insurance equal to at least 0.39 of the insurance point in the relevant contribution year.
The person must also:
- be unemployed;
- not be engaged in work from which he or she earns more than 1/12 of the amount of the basic insurable earnings (€15.33 per day for 2021);
- have registered as a job-seeker and be available to the Public Employment Service;
- have registered as unemployed at the district social insurance office to which he or she will report regularly;
- be capable of work;
- be available to work.
An unemployed person who has exhausted the entitlement to unemployment benefit (i.e. who has been paid benefits for 156 days) requalifies to receive the benefit if, after exhausting the right, he or she has been employed for at least 26 weeks and has paid contributions which, in total, are not less than 26 times the weekly amount of basic insurable earnings.
If the unemployed person is over 60 and is not eligible for a pension from an occupational scheme, he or she requalifies for unemployment benefit after working for at least 13 weeks rather than 26, having paid contributions on insurable earnings which, in total, may not be less than 26 times the weekly amount of basic insurable earnings.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Unemployment benefit is paid for a period not exceeding 156 days in each period of unemployment.
The weekly unemployment benefit rate is the same as the sickness benefit rate and is calculated in the same way. It is composed of a basic and a supplementary benefit.
The spouse (regardless of gender) is deemed to be dependent if receiving wages or benefits of smaller value than the increment for a dependent person. Where both spouses are entitled to benefits at the same time the increment for dependants is paid only to the spouse who is entitled to benefit increment at the higher rate.
In% of the weekly value of the insurance points in the basic insurance during the relevant contribution year
In% of the weekly value of the insurance points in the supplementary insurance during the relevant contribution year
50% (cannot exceed the weekly amount of the basic insurable earnings)
Dependent member: 1 (spouse)
Dependent members: 2
Dependent members: 3 (maximum)
If no increase is paid for a dependent spouse, then a 10% increment is paid for each of up to two dependants.
In order to receive this benefit you must be registered with the Public Employment Service as a job-seeker and sign the unemployment register at the district social insurance office.
Unemployment benefit is paid from the 4th day of unemployment, or, in the case of people working overseas on behalf of a Cypriot employer, the benefit is paid from the 31st day.
Relevant information including legislation can be found below:
European Commission publication and website: