The Social Solidarity Income (K.E.A.) is a social welfare benefit paid by the Greek government to people living in extreme poverty. The amount you receive, depending on the size of your family and your financial situation, is only available to recognized refugees.
In Greek, it’s called “Κοινωνικό Εισόδημα Αλληλεγγύης,” named KEA.
You can use this article to learn more about the Social Solidarity Income, including:
- The eligibility criteria
- The application process
- What documents you need
- Where to apply and ask for support
Accessing this benefit is quite a complex process, even for Greeks. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to message us on Facebook.
Who can access the Social Solidarity Income
You are only eligible for this benefit if you are a recognized refugee and you have submitted a tax declaration for the previous year. Here are 3 important criteria you need to meet:
- Legal residence. You are a recognized refugee and you have a valid residence permit. You have legally and permanently lived in Greece for at least one year.
- Housing. You either rent a house for at least six months or own a house or are homeless. In the last case, you will need to provide a lost certificate from the Municipality of your area.
- Income. You have zero income or income that does not exceed a certain monthly amount according to your household size. You can check these amounts with a Center for the Integration of Refugees and Migrants (KEM) or Community Centers of the Municipalities.
Please note that you are not eligible to apply for the Social Solidarity Income if:
- Your first Residence Permit hasn’t been issued yet.
- You are in the middle of appealing α negative asylum decision.
How much will I receive?
You will receive a fixed monthly payment, which depends on your family size and your financial situation.
Depending on your situation, you could receive the following:
- Less than €100, if you or your adult family members earn additional income
- €200, if you are single with no other income
- An additional €100 per month for each adult member of the family
- An additional €50 per month for each minor member of the family
- Up to €900 maximum for bigger families with no other income
If you receive the Social Solidarity Income, you also get the following:
- Reduced utility bills
- Free medical and pharmaceutical care if you’re uninsured
How will you receive your payments
You will receive the Social Solidarity Income for 6 months, during the last week of each month, unless your financial situation changes (for example, if you get a job).
Up to €100 of the payment is deposited in cash to your bank account, and if you receive more than €100, the remaining amount is charged to a prepaid credit card. The bank will automatically issue a prepaid card under your name if you are eligible for the Social Solidarity Income. You could then use this card to shop for basic goods.
You will be able to receive this financial benefit for as long as you are eligible for it, but you will need to renew the current application every 6 months. Greek authorities will thoroughly check each application from the beginning.
How to apply
To apply for the Social Solidarity Income, you need to visit:
- A nearby KEM - Center for the Integration of Refugees and Migrants
- The community center of your local municipality
Documents to bring
The documents you need to apply for the Social Solidarity Income are:
- Your valid Residence Permit
- Your tax number - AFM
- Your social security number - AMKA
- A bank account in a Greek bank, an IBAN number, and recent bank statements
- Your email address
- A tax statement showing that you have submitted a tax declaration during the current or previous year; this also proves that you have access to the Taxisnet platform.
- The housing contract, where you have been living for at least 6 months before the date you submit your application or Homeless Certificate
- A copy of the electricity bill under your name
- Unemployment Card or Monthly earnings (if you are working)
If you rent or own an apartment or house
You must bring a copy of your contract and an electricity bill under your name to prove your address. Both documents need to have a date at least 6 months before the date you submit your application.
If you are homeless
You need to be registered as homeless at an official shelter and get a certificate that proves this from the social service of your local municipality or the municipality’s community center.
If you have children
You need to prove that all your children have been enrolled in school. To prove this, you have to visit the school’s principal and ask for a certificate of attendance for each one of your children enrolled in school.
If you had a birth or death in your family
If you are unemployed
You must bring your unemployment card and a recent certificate stating that you are unemployed, issued by the nearest Greek employment authority, DIPA (OAED). You can look up the nearest DIPA (OAED) office, called “ΚΠΑ2”, in this database (in Greek).
Any adult member of your family who is not employed needs to issue a separate certificate proving this.
If, for any reason, you haven’t been able to register as unemployed at DIPA (OAED) registry, you will need to provide a letter from OAED that explains why you haven’t been able to register at the Greek employment authority.
If you have any other income
You need to bring detailed documentation and declare any source of income you may have.
You will be asked to declare any payment you received during the previous 6 months, whether this came from:
- Cash assistance through the ESTIA program
- Working as an employee
- Working as a freelancer
- Working in the agricultural sector
- Receiving any social benefits, such as those for the unemployed, disabled and severely ill
If you are divorced or separated from your spouse
You need to bring the relevant official documentation, such as a copy of the divorce decision or a court document that proves that you and your spouse are separated.
How authorities check your eligibility
A Community Center or KEM employee will fill out an electronic application with your financial details and eligibility criteria.
Once you submit your electronic application, the online platform will automatically screen every detail in your application and block out any applicant who doesn’t meet the Social Solidarity Income requirements.
If the online platform accepts your application, Greek authorities will then thoroughly examine and cross-check all the information you provide, with a special focus on your financial records, to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. The Greek authorities will do this during and after your application process.
If the authorities find out you receive additional income or other benefits that you haven’t declared, they will automatically stop your payments and may ask you to pay back all or some of the money you received — even if they previously approved your application.
Where can I ask for support?
Check in the Refugee.Info Service Map to find an organization close to your place that can help you prepare an application for the Social Solidarity income for free. Access the homepage and scroll down to find the Service Map. Choose your region and city and find a list of NGOs that can support you.
Cover Image: P. Pleul