Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Unemployment benefits in Greece

OAEDPhoto from Proto Thema

A salaried worker insured with IKA or another eligible insurance fund is entitled to collect unemployment payments from OAED (Organismos Apascholiseos Ergatikou Dynamikou) for a maximum of one (1) year if fired, laid off or otherwise terminated from a job after two consecutive years employment.

Working illegally or as an independent or self-employed consultant/contractor/freelancer with OAEE (TEBE) does not qualify a worker for unemployment benefits, although the labor minister discussed the possibility of extending them to freelancers in April 2012.

Monthly payments commence after a 30- to 60-day waiting period and are determined on the total length of employment and social insurance contributions (ensima). A half payment is given at Easter and summer and a full payment at Christmas, much like a normal salary.

The monthly rate was reduced 22 percent to 359.97 euros on March 12, 2012.

* Article last updated December 26, 2013. There are three revisions pending for this article, with new info for 2014.

Who can collect unemployment payments?

  • Greek citizens
  • EU citizens
  • Non-EU citizens with a valid residence/work permit sticker or card: If your permit sticker/card expires and is not renewed during the year you are eligible to collect, unemployment payments will be cut off. No exceptions.

Eligibility Rules

First filing:
– Employed for the past two (2) years
— Worked at least 80 days per year, but a total of 200 days for the past two (2) years
— Must have worked a total of 125 days in the past 14 months, not including the last 60 days prior to dismissal

Second and subsequent filing(s):
— Must have worked a total of 125 days in the past 14 months, not including the last 60 days prior to dismissal
* Seasonal workers, such as those in tourism, must have 100 days in the last 12 months; other professions need 120 days in the last 14 months.


Age plays a factor, when determining benefits and counting ensima. For example:
— Up to age 49: To collect for a full year, you must have 250 ensima in the last 14 months.
— Aged 49 and over: To collect for a full year, you must have 210 ensima in the last 14 months.

When should I file?

An unemployment claim must be filed at OAED within 60 days of date of dismissal. My recommendation is to start as soon as possible since some employers provide the wrong or insufficient papers, and the former employee is responsible for gathering them. No mercy will be shown if time runs out.

Seasonal employees need to submit papers from October 1 to November 30. Failure to file during the specified period may result in loss of benefits for the year.

Where do I file?

You can file for unemployment at:

a) Any OAED office.

b) Any KEP Citizen Service Centre.

How much do I receive?

The basic unemployment benefit rate is 359.97 euros/month as of March 12, 2012, with 10 percent added for each eligible dependent. It lasts between five to 12 months, depending on length of employment.

Austerity measures from February 2012 reduced private sector salaries by 22 percent but excluded OAED. Eurogroup negotiations on March 1 determined more cuts were necessary to qualify for the next bailout tranche, and a 22 percent reduction would indeed apply to jobless benefits of 461.50 euros/month, set by a collective agreement on July 1, 2011.

In 2010, it was 454.25 euros/month.

The rate is 61 percent of the legal minimum monthly wage, as stated in “Salaries in Greece.”

How do I get paid?

Persons getting unemployment benefits are expected to have or open a bank account at the National Bank of Greece (Ethnikis Trapeza tis Ellados) to receive direct-deposited payments each month. The benefit is paid as long as the claimant continues to appear in person at scheduled intervals and meet eligibility.

If the claimant does not appear at scheduled intervals, OAED can discontinue benefits.

In the past, everyone was issued unemployment checks that needed be stamped each month by several OAED staff — after the specified date each month and before the expiration date — then cashed at a designated National Bank of Greece branch nearby.

Do you need to file a claim?

If you need to know the specific details on how to file an unemployment claim to collect benefit payments, click “How to claim unemployment benefits in Greece.”


Consult OAED to enroll or find out more information on work and integration programs at: However, take note that most employers do not participate in these programs because of burdensome bureaucracy and the state’s tendency to delay payments, which is why most companies lay off employees. There are also cases where the employer fires employees after getting the money.

Discounts for the Unemployed

Companies and businesses announced discounts for the unemployed, including PepsiCo (Ivi, Tasty Foods), AB Vassilopoulos, Wind Telephony, Everest, La Pasteria, Olympus Plaza Food Parks, Kotsovolos, Goody’s, Nikas (at Sklavenitis only), Flocafe and Papadopoulos. NEL Lines also offers a 50 percent discount on ferry tickets as of February 1, 2012.

Note that beneficiaries must have an OAED card and some restrictions apply.

Insurance for the Unemployed

Persons unemployed up to three (3) years may extended health insurance coverage by producing 50 ensima (stamps) — instead of 80 — in the past 50 days or anytime in 2011. This measure has been in effect since 2011 and has been extended to March 1, 2013.

Shipyard workers can retain insurance until 2013 with no stamps, and women on maternity leave can continue to retain benefits under existing legislation. — To Vima (in Greek)

In the Future

Greece may implement changes to the unemployment system by 2012 that will take into account a household’s total assets and income before claims are approved, thus disqualifying anyone with property, annual earnings of 6,000 euros or financial support from other sources (spouse, family, etc.). However, the minister now in charge since the recent cabinet reshuffle appears to have backed away from this change.

The system in place now allows anyone meeting eligibility to collect unemployment payments in Greece, regardless of how rich they are.


All media sources linked above
Ανάχωµα στην ανεργία” — Ta Nea
Στους εργοδότες μέρος των επιδομάτων ανεργίας” — Eleftherotypia
«Φτωχές» οι εκπτώσεις για τους ανέργους του ΟΑΕΔ” — Eleftherotypia
“Χωρίς περιουσιακά και εισοδηματικά κριτήρια το επίδομα ανεργίας” (article removed) — Ta Nea
Wealthy found collecting Greek unemployment benefits” — Kathimerini
Eκπτωση 50% σε άνεργους στα πλοία της NEL Lines” — To Vima
Από τη Δευτέρα ισχύουν οι μειώσεις στο επίδομα ανεργίας” — To Vima
“OAED: Seasonal benefit to start October 1” — Naftemporiki
Only 1 in 10 jobless receive OAED unemployment benefits” — To Vima

Related posts

OAED offices in Greece
Other types of benefits offered by OAED
How to qualify for additional unemployment benefits from OAED

Updates pending


  crimsonbutterflies wrote @ August 1st, 2009 at 02:26

Thank you for your post, I never knew there was a 30-day waiting period. I filed my papers 31st July 2009 and they told me to come back on the 16tH September 2009 for what could potentially be my first paycheck. I was wondering why in my case, takes longer than a month. Could it be because of August, when pretty much everything is going into slow mode? Also, could you please let me know if there is a chance that I will not receive the unemployment benefit at all, when I go on the 16th? The woman said something about it having to be approved first…Thanks in advance.

Kat Reply:

Public sector offices work with a skeletal staff during summer, so coming back in September is for your benefit. It’s not because your case specifically is taking longer; it affects the majority and depends on the location, staff, etc. All claims must be approved like any bureaucratic process in Greece; unemployment benefits in Greece are not automatic. However, if you’re approved, payments will be retroactive.

  Olivia wrote @ October 12th, 2009 at 12:30

Hello everyone, I am very confused with the Greek system, maybe someone can help me, please. i have worked in a hotel (therefore I am a seasonal employee) since April, meaning I will have worked for 7 months in the end. Do I qualify for unemployment money or any other type of payment? I understand tourism workers have a special status, but which? different people tell me different scenarios every time. Thank you

Kat Reply:

Different people give you different answers either because they don’t know the right answer, or you’re not giving them enough information. Tourism workers do have a special status and qualify for certain benefits. My advice is to take all of your documentation and go straight to OAED to speak to someone; they may ask you for a certified printout of your ensima from IKA, so it’s up to you if you want to get that before or after going to OAED. Addresses are provided in the link under ‘Related posts’ in the article above.

  christina wrote @ October 15th, 2009 at 22:48

I have been working for a tourist company here in Athens for the past 5 years as a seasonal worker. Last year I worked April-October, this year May-October. Submitted my paperwork and was told to collect my check 11/12. Went and was given a printout paper saying I was rejected. Every time I go there is a different answer from the staff. What papers do I need and how do I proceed?

Kat Reply:

Eligibility to collect unemployment depends on several factors. There is an article on this subject, but I will not make it available again because other websites have plagiarized it and broke my rules. More importantly, I cannot advise you because I am unfamiliar with your case and do not work for OAED.

It’s frustrating to get a different answer from different people, but you know that’s a side effect of having a ‘flexible’ or ‘free’ system where rules are bent and public sector workers are not accountable. If you are displeased with how you’re being treated and want a result, you can file a complaint with the Greek Ombudsman. It’s very easy to file, and he does get results. See “Greek Ombudsman” for contact details.

  crimsonbutterflies wrote @ October 18th, 2009 at 11:55

Thanks for your previous reply. I did get my first “paycheque” from OAED; I am entitled to it for 8 months. I was able to withdraw money from the bank somewhere on the 20th September but on my paper with the table of impending payments it clearly states that payments are to be paid on the 30th of (each) month.

However, thinking that I was able to withdraw money last month before the 30th, I went to the bank to see if I can withdraw anything but there was no new balance. Does it have anything to do with my renewing my OAED card first (which is due on the 30th as well?) On the table of the payments it is stated that the first day of payment for this month starts is 30th September and the last 29th November. I am confused. I thought that the benefit was given every month but there is clearly a two-month gap in this “deadline”. How do I know when the money will be added in my account without popping into the bank every couple of days? Many thanks for your patience in reading this!

Kat Reply:

There’s no way that I or anyone can accurately answer your question without reviewing all of your documents.
— If your OAED payments say that they’re due for deposit on the 30th, you should never expect them to arrive early. If by some luck one payment does arrive early, be grateful but don’t expect it to happen every month. This is Greece. Further, if you follow Greek news, the Greek economy is in a state of emergency and OAED is having funding problems.
— Payment checks or deposits have two dates on them — the first is the earliest date it can be deposited; the second is the latest date it can be deposited, usually 60 days later (meaning, there is an expiration date or deadline).
— If your bank doesn’t provide online or telephone banking, the only way you can check your balance is to go in person.
— If you don’t have a valid OAED card, your payments will stop.
— If you’re a non-EU citizen and don’t have a valid residence/work permit, your payments will stop.

Since your payment/deposit isn’t due until the 30th, it’s not late and there is no issue to resolve.

Instead of posting questions in forums of questionable credibility (which I know you’ve done), or asking a stranger to conjecture about a problem that currently doesn’t exist with incomplete information, why not at least wait until after the 30th? You can also use the OAED contact info I’ve provided above in English and take control of your life by inquiring directly with people most familiar with your case.

  crimsonbutterflies wrote @ October 19th, 2009 at 20:58

Thank you very much for your time and answer. I am a Greek citizen therefore there is no residence permit issue. I can just wait until the 30th October if it all comes down to it but as you can understand, bills and expenses wait for nobody and waiting for another 10, maybe more, days is really not convenient for me right now. Hence the urgency of my question, which must have inevitably sounded the lazy girl’s way of figuring it all out. I must be honest and say that your last paragraph disappointed me. “Instead of posting questions in forums of questionable credibility (which I know you’ve done), or asking a stranger to conjecture about a problem that doesn’t exist with incomplete information”: I thought the purpose of this site is to answer people’s questions in a non-critical way; had I found reliable information even in “forums of questionable quality”, I would not have come here asking for your insight (which I obviously trust, with you having lived and worked in Greece for so long). I realize that my problem practically might not exist, but it is still an issue that I need to figure out. Thank you very much for taking the time to help me figure it out. God bless.

Kat Reply:

I never suggested you were lazy or criticized you. But if you’re a Greek citizen, then you should know better than I do that the Greek government and OAED do not care if you have bills that can’t wait until the 30th; they figure you’ll seek employment, withdraw funds from your savings account or get a loan from a friend/relative if you need money. We all have our own challenges and concerns.

There was no way for me to know your nationality since you never stated such, thus I provided information that covered every possibility. This is the reason I prefaced each with “if.”

If you’re disappointed with the assistance I provide for free and the straightforward approach in which I dispense it, please allow me to reserve time and energy for myself or invest it in people who are not. Thank you, and all the best.

  tereza wrote @ November 4th, 2009 at 14:16

Hi, I have just discovered this website and think it is great. Please can you tell me why some articles are password protected, and if/how I can have access to them. Thanks

Kat Reply:

Hello, and thank you. Answer to your question is already elucidated in “Comments, Questions, Contacting Me.”

  olive wrote @ November 11th, 2009 at 06:49

I have just submitted all my papers to Oaed (10 Nov), and have been told to return to sign for my first payment on 22 January !

Luckily I have enough money to support myself until then, but I think this is a long time to wait.
I would have to assume that if I had a family to support or if I pleaded poverty they would have to supply me with funds before this date, (or I would hope so).

Kat Reply:

There has always been a waiting period before unemployment payments start; in other countries, this is also the case. Also note that OAED is broke and is getting cash injections from the state to sustain itself.

  Stella wrote @ November 11th, 2009 at 15:09

Can I still collect unemployment benefits if I am abroad?

Kat Reply:

It depends. You did not provide enough information for me to help you. Therefore, I recommend contacting OAED.

  olive wrote @ December 2nd, 2009 at 16:17

There are a lot of rumours going around that all seasonal workers are entitled to an extra payment this winter (on top of the Christmas bonus). Have you heard anything about this ?

I tried asking at OAED on the island I live on. But they are still busy with signing on the unemployed and are so rude and unhelpful, that even after queueing for 2 hours to see someone they tell you to come back after Christmas when they are not so busy.

I’m not sure if the extra benefit would just be for people with children. Any info would be greatly appreciated..

Kat Reply:

Don’t believe the rumors, especially since OAED, IKA and OAEE/TEVE are all bankrupt. There are no extra doros on top of the doro already being paid.

Several social solidarity subsidies are available to those with low income (pensioners and salaried workers), long-term unemployed and people with children. There are very strict income ceilings and ensima requirements, and everything must be documented and certified. To determine if you qualify, visit the nearest KEP office and inquire.

  f.portoglou wrote @ March 3rd, 2010 at 13:55

Please be so kind to inform me when the IKA insurance entitlements for Easter date is for employed persons. Thank you.

  Ruby wrote @ March 26th, 2010 at 09:32

Hello, I just have few questions. I want to go to O.A.E.D. to make unemployment card. Maybe you know what documents I need to bring them? Should I better go with a Greek friend because my Greek isn’t perfect? How long it takes to get that card? Thank you very much.

Kat Reply:

The article detailing what documents needed to file an unemployment claim at OAED is currently password protected due to abuse.

You should definitely bring a Greek friend if you cannot manage; even if staff speak English, it’s helpful to have someone verify that your personal info is correct on all forms (in Greek, of course). The card is issued immediately if you qualify and provide the required documentation.

  Bijay wrote @ April 16th, 2010 at 00:22

If i move to greece from the uk to find work, do i register as unemployed when i get there? As and when i find a job can i claim unemployment benefit until that point?

Kat Reply:

It’s best to consult someone who has more knowledge on unemployment claims as their pertain specifically to UK citizens and coordinating between the UK and Greece. See, “Unemployment” from Living in Crete, written by a UK citizen with expertise on living in Greece.

  hameed wrote @ September 1st, 2010 at 22:52

hi i work in greece on a political stay card, and i work round about 13 months and i have proof for this but it’s my first time. now i am fired and don’t have work, so could you please tell me if i am able to apply for unemployment payments or not. i have 2 months work then 6 months no job and again got a regular job for one year or 13 months, and now again no job, so how much is needed to apply for unemployment payment in my situation?

Kat Reply:

Hi Hameed,

I’m unable to give you a yes or no answer because it is necessary to calculate how many days you worked in the past two years, and also the last 14 months. It’s my opinion that you do not qualify for unemployment benefits based on the information you provided, but I recommend you consult an OAED office nearest your residence to get an official answer.

Before you go to OAED, you need a printout of any insurance stamps you collected. If you had IKA, you need to go to the IKA office nearest your home and get a printout of all the contributions that you and your boss paid. See, “IKA offices in Greece.”

Take this printout along with your passport or other ID, political stay card, former work contracts, you last tax statement (or a dilosi stamped by the eforia/tax office that you owe no taxes) and the paper from your boss that ended your job, and go to the OAED office nearest your residence. You can find the address at “OAED offices in Greece.”

  hameed wrote @ September 7th, 2010 at 18:07

hi, kat thank you for your answar,
But now problem is every thing is ok, but they are saying that my dilosi from 2010 I have done this from a lawyer, and he make it 3000 more. don’t know how. he ask me that if I like to increase it. I said if he can, there is no problem then you can, and increase the dilosi and I got back from the eforia too. It’s all well, but in OAED they are saying that there are showing two jobs, one regular and other overtime and where you was working over in overtime, and something i don’t know, what i do now, the lawyer is not in connected with me now. how he done this, is there any way to fix the problem?

Kat Reply:

The problem is a result of you and your lawyer’s decisions and actions. Therefore, the only people who can fix it are you and the lawyer.

It’s a bit rude to ask me for free advice, not follow it, then come back and ask for more free advice to resolve a problem with a person you did pay. Good luck.

  hameed wrote @ September 8th, 2010 at 12:05

well you are right kat, but that lawyer, he is gone he leave his office not picking up the phone and i don’t know other one trying to search some one who can help me in this, can you advice me some lawyer, or logusti. i am in athens egalio, if you know some one for this, will be so thankful to you, :-)

Note from Kat: The advice I originally gave you was to help yourself for free. You did not need a lawyer, who has now cost you money and added trouble. I do not know any lawyers in Aigaleo; in 13 years, I only use a lawyer to handle my court cases and plagiarism disputes in Greece.

  Elodie wrote @ September 27th, 2010 at 15:03

Hey! Thanks for this information.

I’d just like to know what means first “filing” and second “filing”.

I am a Belgian citizen and i have worked in 2007 and 2008 in Greece during 7 months each time. This year I’ve spent 135 days working in Greece again. In between I was working in Belgium.

I’d like to claim for the unemployment salary but I’m not sure it will be accepted. I’ve always worked in tourism as seasonal worker.

Tomorrow, I’ll go to OAED and try to get any information from them, although I know it’s very difficult to find someone competent there.

Kat Reply:

‘First filing’ means the first time you file for unemployment. ‘Second and subsequent filings’ means the second time you file for unemployment, and each time after that.

If OAED is (or ever gets to the point of) cross-checking employment records with other EU nations, collecting unemployment from one member state while working in another would logically be grounds to be disqualified.

  durdina wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 22:12

is anyone know what would happened this year with unemployment benefits?
I am working in tourism like season worker and i am worried so much! it would be so helpful to me! i am listening all the time different stories and i get very depressd! thank you very much!

Kat Reply:

I’m not sure what you mean by “what would happened this year.” OAED started accepting claims from seasonal workers in September, just as they do every year.

Read the article above and find the heading, “Where do I file?”, choose a location and file a claim. You receive unemployment benefits, as long as you are eligible and entitled. All best.

  brian wrote @ November 17th, 2010 at 18:13

Can i still claim unemployment benefit, if i am not here for the 1st signing on date, as i might after go back to the Uk, for a few weeks. Thank you very much

Kat Reply:

The most important thing is to file your unemployment claim in Greece by the deadline. Once your claim is approved, there is a waiting period before payments begin and an absence of a few weeks does not make a difference since there is a grace period that allows you to still collect it.

If you don’t file your claim by the deadline, it may not be approved and no payments will follow.

  maxzi wrote @ November 30th, 2010 at 10:20

Hi great site, my friend and her husband submitted their papers and got dates of 13th and 16th. the problem is they booked to go to their homeland months ago on hearing a member of family is not well in order to have xmas altogether, so they leave on the 11th for 3 and a half weeks. will they lose their money or should they go and explain, thank you

Kat Reply:

If they already filed their claim and it was approved, they should not be in danger of losing money. I haven’t collected unemployment in Greece in a long time, but back then there was a grace period during which you could collect payments up to 60 days. They didn’t expect you to show up on the exact day though most people did because they needed money.

If your friends would like to confirm, they should go to KEP or OAED and ask.

  Robert wrote @ May 3rd, 2011 at 13:58

I have worked in Crete for the last 5 summers, all stamps paid and OAED collected as normal each winter. Just as the season was getting under way this year (2011) I was told that there was no work for me. I’m 59 and have not been able to find any other work. An enquiry at KEP resulted in being told that I may be able to claim some benefit but OAED basically told me that KEP doesn’t know what they are talking about and I cannot claim.

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Kat Reply:

From what I know about unemployment benefits, and going only by what you told me, there are two possible benefits:
a) Long-term unemployment benefit for those aged 45-65: However, you must have been unemployed for more than a year. I’m not sure about the ensima requirement.
b) Long-term, low-income unemployment benefit: Anyone unemployed for 12 full months since the termination date with a total household income less than ___ . Last I checked it was somewhere around 9000 euros; I do not know what it is now.

You do not qualify for either of these because you have not yet been unemployed for 12 full months.

KEP Citizen Centres are not necessarily reliable sources of information, as staff are forced to be generalists because of the diversity of bureaucracy they handle and it’s overwhelming to keep up with changing laws and updates. Staff at OAED are specialists…or at least, more likely to be. Therefore, I’m more inclined to consult with OAED. If you want a second opinion, try a different office.

All best.

  Slabu wrote @ July 6th, 2011 at 11:31

Buna ziua.Din 1 iunie 2010 figurez ca angajat si seful plateste la ika.Am 25 zile pe luna platite la ika.Pe data de 4 iulie 2011 seful m-a concediat.Am drept de somaj chiar daca nu am lucrat 2 ani?Somajul va fi pe 6 luni sau 12 luni?Multumesc frumos.

Translation: Hello. From June 1, 2010 I was included as an employee and the boss pays IKA. We have 25 days per month paid to IKA. On July 4, 2011 the boss fired me. Do I have the right to unemployment even though I didn’t work two years? Unemployment will be 6 months or 12 months? Thank you very much.

Kat Reply:

If you only worked a total of one year in Greece, you do not qualify for unemployment benefits. You must meet all eligibility rules to collect payments. You cannot fulfill half the requirements and collect half the payments. It’s all or nothing.

  Mary wrote @ October 8th, 2011 at 23:38

This is my second year working at a tourist resort and my first time trying to apply for unemployment in Greece due to the fact my contract ends, and I can’t find employment. I worked six months last year and five months this year. This resort hires with contract from April to September usually. Do I qualify for assistance until I can find a job? I have two kids 6 and 2 years old. Do I get more aid financially for dependents? Thank you very much.

Kat Reply:

First question: You did not provide enough information. Consult OAED in Greece at one of the locations listed under, “Where do I file?”

Second question: Already answered under, “How much do I receive?”

  diane wrote @ October 19th, 2011 at 18:09

hi could you help me i have been told i can claim ikea in my first year working for the summer season if i have a full national insurence history in england is this right do you know thanks

Kat Reply:

I don’t know what UK laws and insurance entitle you to do in Greece. Best to head over to and look at the website and forum postings of a UK citizen living in Greece. She would know better than I would.

Btw, the national insurance is called IKA as explained in “IKA vs. IKEA in Greece.”

  Angie wrote @ October 25th, 2011 at 12:37

Hey hi, i was wondering if any one could help with a problem im experiencing trying to claim unemployment here. Ive worked for two full years at a bar here on the island, my employer has paid all the correct payments in order for me to claim unemployment. I opened a bussiness here three years ago that never traded as i was unable to get the final liecense to operate, my ex accountant never closed the bussiness, crazy because it never opened and i took no money, im now being told im a professional and i cant claim, my new accountant is saying because the bussiness never opened and i took no money that i can. Pleeeeease i need some advice any help would realy be appreciated. Thanks.

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you, and it’s not as simple as what your new accountant claims because everything must be documented with official papers.

Instead of consulting accountants and strangers, just go straight to OAED, ask them if you qualify and be prepared for them to request proof of everything. Use the links I provide to find an office nearest you, take all of your documentation and bring someone who speaks fluent Greek if you do not.

  farina wrote @ November 2nd, 2011 at 11:20

Thank you for explaining everything so clear! My Greek is not that good but i try to watch the news and i still can’t understand if the OAED money went up, down or stayed the same. I’m a single mom with twins of 16 and of course they go to school. I’ve worked 5 months and 11 days in the summer with IKA. Do you know how much i will receive? Thank you for reading my question.

Kat Reply:

Based on the little information you gave, there’s no way to know if you qualify for unemployment payments. You need to visit an OAED office as I instruct above.

Assuming you are eligible, I’ve already answered the question of how much under “How much do I receive?” Take a look.

  Ian wrote @ November 29th, 2011 at 21:52

I live in Greece and collect the payments in winter, my papers are ready to collect from my accountant but i am held up in the UK.

How long do you you have to complete your forms at OAED? from the date your employer stopped paying the IKA and makes you redundant? if you can help i would be very greatful.


Kat Reply:

The answer is in the above article under “When should I file?”

  maria wrote @ December 31st, 2011 at 14:25

hallo … ich habe mein erstes geld am 20 dez vom oaed zum abholen, (habe alles am 3 nov. eingereicht) bin jedoch ueber weihnachten in osterreich bei meiner familie …wie lange kann ich das geld vom oaed abholen. bitte um antwort

lebe schon seit 6 jahren auf kreta ….und in diesem winter musste ich endlich wiede zu weihnachten ..alle meine verwandten besuchen.
… ….
besten dank um rasche antwort ..danke

Kat Reply:

OAED payments should be direct-deposited into your National Bank of Greece account. If you are not having that done, you should have a batch of checks issued to you and the expiration date is on the check. There’s no way for me to know what it is since I cannot see what you were given.

  jean-Marie wrote @ March 26th, 2012 at 13:50

Thank you so much for this site. Maybe you can help me. My husband worked last summer from may until september. His boss refused to give him the papers to go to oaed. Instead she accused him of steeling her childrens ika book (!) and a gps! She even had him arrested. This was very sad because he used to be a policeman himself. They let him go obviously.

The police told his boss that she should give him the papers. Until now we didn’t recieve anything.

When we went to ika we discovered that she paid only for 81 stamps instead of 101 as they had agreed.

Now I think it’s too late for the money but he needs the papers for tax this year. What can we do?

Kat Reply:

Regarding papers she never gave your husband to file for OAED, you can file a complaint with the epitheorisi.

Regarding the 20 missing IKA ensima (stamps), he can file a complaint against his ex-boss with IKA.

Regarding the TAXIS paper, unfortunately the only way he can get this is to go there and get it or have her send it to your address. She is obligated to provide it by law.

I know that all of this is uncomfortable, but I did the same in a similar situation to your husband. See “My ex-boss is on Greek time…again” and “Wanted: Woman with telepathic power.”

  Robert wrote @ April 8th, 2012 at 14:46

Hy! This year i will put the paper for payment in winter and is first year! I want to know exactly wich step i need t move for this and what paper! I have AFM, AMKA, IKA, page with ensima and from police ade paramony! Thank you!

Kat Reply:

I cannot give advice because you did not provide enough information. Visit the office and inquire. Find a location nearest you in the section above called: ‘Where do I file?’

  virgie wrote @ May 18th, 2012 at 00:27

Comment 1:
hi, am i qualified to apply for the unemplyment benefits? i was working in a house and I’ve heard a rumor that only those worked in an office or restaurant can apply for this? pls. I relly need your advice regarding this matter because my employer released me already, so as of now I don’t have yet work. thank you in advance.

Comment 2:
hello, I’m from Philippines and was paying my IKA since October 2009 until December 2011. I’ve been working for my employer From 2009 until April 2012.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
There’s no way I can give you an answer based on so little information. I would have needed to know your nationality, what social insurance you have, the number of ensima, how long your employment lasted, etc.

Answer 2:
I still don’t know how many ensima you have. Repeating what I said in my first answer, please look at ‘Where do I file?’, choose a location nearest your registered residence and take your papers to inquire about eligibility.

  Gaz wrote @ July 24th, 2012 at 19:21

in this awful situation… it does not seem fair that some are claiming unemployment benefit while working under their son’s name and taking cash in hand.

How does one report this??

Kat Reply:

You’re right. Fraud is rampant, and the government does not conduct enough audits to catch people before millions are gone (aka, one of many elements contributing to Greece’s current economic situation).

I don’t know what the correct procedure would be. Two options come to mind: a) OAED (they have a complaints department); and b) Financial Crimes hotline at ‘1517’ where you can report cases anonymously.

  Djurdjina wrote @ September 1st, 2012 at 21:47

Hi Kat,
Do you have any idea about unemployment benefits? Will the gov cut it?or stop it? i Have heard that is something new about but i haven’t understood anything!

Thank you very much to doing this web site! it is really good and helpful!


Kat Reply:

Hi, nice to see you again.

Everything being discussed is in a proposal or draft phase, as the troika has not approved anything and it could change a dozen times before it’s published into law.

If/when anything changes, it will be announced on the Twitter feed and the article above will be updated.

  carlito wrote @ February 5th, 2013 at 11:21

what should i do if we were not receive ENZIMA regularly because only year 2008-2009 we did receive together w/ my wife and note that year (2008-2009) only few months Enzima that we receive wherein we work all year even holiday we were working until now 2013…what should i do.

Kat Reply:

If you are/were not getting ensima, it means you agreed to work unofficially and only for wages.

The only way you can get ensima is:
a) sign an official work contract with your employer; and
b) accept a lower wage (ensima cost money, which you and the employer pay); and
c) register with IKA; and
d) file tax papers every year.

If you have an official work contract with your employer and filed papers at the tax office every year since 2008, and he/she did not give ensima, then you need to file a complaint with IKA. If you are working without an official work contract, then you have no right to complain and nothing can be done.

  Nelson wrote @ May 8th, 2013 at 07:04

I left job due wages were 4 months behind and were paid irratic and was advised to not return by employment office until all of my salary paid. I have been receiving unemployment through OEAD OAED. If and when back wages are paid do I have to return OEAD OAED payments received?

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you. Please ask your question at OAED.

  Zoi wrote @ July 4th, 2013 at 23:15

Hello, I would need some assistance if is possible. I was working for UN in Afrika where I met my husband (Greek) and we moved to Greece 6 years a go. Since then we didnt have any job. I have permit to live and work in Greece and he is Greek sitizen. Do we have write for any health insurance or children benefits ( two children), or unemployed benefits? Hope I gave you enough info.
Thank in advance

Kat Reply:

As it says in the article above under eligibility rules in section ‘Who can collect unemployment payments,’ you need to be employed for at least 2 years and earn the required number of ensima. Being unemployed assumes you were once employed, when in fact you never were. Therefore, you qualify for nothing.

Also, no health insurance and no children’s benefits.

To collect any sort of benefit or subsidy (almost anywhere in the world), you must do more than exist. You must have worked, made social insurance contributions and paid taxes.

  Hans de Vries wrote @ July 11th, 2013 at 15:31

Your comment/question was transferred to, “IKA offices in Greece.”

  Anna wrote @ December 18th, 2013 at 19:02

Hello! I would like to ask a little help because nobody could tell me information till now! I work for 3 summer now in a hotel in Rhodes, and this is the first year i stay on the island for the winter and I apply for unemployment benefit. So In Rhodes the system is that first you have to go to OAED to get a stump with a date, when you have to appear with all your papers. My problem is that after I finished the job, 2nd day I went for the stump stamp, but they gave me a date for 8th of november, when I couldnt appear. So I went again for a second stump stamp (within 60 days that I finished the job),and they gave me 20th of january. So till now nobody saw my papers I will just sign after. My question is, if I will get the whole 5 months benefit or did I loose lose november and december already? I dont understand the situation, cause 1 person told me in OAED that if I get the stump stamp when I have to appear with my papers within 60 days that I finished the job is no problem. But now somebody told me that maybe I loose lose half of the benefit, cause I couldnt sign yet. Thank you for your answer in advance!

Im a foreigner and I work for 3 summer now in a hotel in Rhodes. i finished my job this year on 27th of october, so on 29th i went with my papers to OAED, for a stump with the date when i have to appear and show them all of my papers and sign. But I couldnt appear that day (8th of november). so i went back in december, they gave me a new stump for 20th of january. so the point is that till now nobody saw my papers, my first date will be 20th of january. My question is: if I loose the benefit for november and december or am I entitled for the 5 months period even if they will start the procedure in january? I mean can they pay me back in time from november? Sorry for asking help but nobody could give me any useful information about that and this is my first year to apply for the benefit. Thank you for your answer in advance!

Kat Reply:

Only OAED can answer this question because they have all the relevant information, dates and papers in your file. I cannot help, and this “somebody” who told you that you would lose half is only guessing unless he/she has seen all your OAED records.

If you can’t make it on the date you’re given, you are obliged to contact OAED or appear ASAP after that date and explain.

*In the future, please do not leave identical comments and questions on different articles. It doesn’t make me respond more quickly, as I work full time and run this website in my unpaid spare time.

  angela wrote @ December 29th, 2013 at 17:05

if a man who has worked in greece and leaves his wife to ho and live abroad, is his wife who doesnt work able to claim unemployment benefit in his abcense?

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information to answer this question specific to your situation.

According to Greek law, the claimant must qualify, live in Greece and appear in person at regular intervals to claim unemployment benefits in his/her name. The location and job status of a spouse or children are irrelevant, and benefits are not transferable.

  Ioannis wrote @ January 15th, 2014 at 13:34

Hello and good day.

I m a Greek National that I left Greece in 1988 and return recently on September 2013.
I do not posess any wealth, assets, or anything, my curent situasion is homeless, I do not have a family, I am 45 years old and I had been working all my life until August 2012, which I was left unemploy.
I do not have any documents either, my Police ID card has been lost alone with my passport.
My questions are:
1. Am I eligible for any financial help from the Greek Goverment?
2. How can I get an “unemployment card” from OAED, where my curent status i m Hospitalized in Hospital.
3. When I request assistance from the “kinoniki Litourgos” of Pronia for my Hospitalization, I was told that I have no rights and I m considered as “Alodapos” is this true?
Any guides and suggestions you could provide me with, would be very much appreciated.
Looking forward to a favorable reply.

Yours Truly

Kat Reply:

1. Don’t know. A lot more info is needed to understand how/if you qualify.
2. You’re not eligible for OAED. Applicants typically need to have a significant amount of ensima acquired by working in Greece, an ID, proof of residence (i.e., a tax statement) and a bank account.
3. Again, a lot more info is required for anyone to help you.

a) Get a Greek ID by following instructions at “How to get a Greek taftotita.” It costs pennies and takes minutes to issue if everything is in order;
b) Verify what I said at an OAED office;
c) Direct inquiries to the nearest KEP Citizen Service Centre.

  kuhu wrote @ March 12th, 2014 at 19:58

I paid IKA for 9 years in Greece and now moved to U.K . Is there any provision to get my money that I paid to transfer to U.K or it just went in Drain.Is there any possibility of continuing the insurence insurance.

Looking forward

Kat Reply:

a) The EU is not one country. Each member state has different laws governing everything;
b) You can walk into the relevant UK office and ask. I don’t know UK laws.
You don’t get a refund, and the money is not lost. At the time of retirement you present evidence of where contributions were made, and the country in which you file for a pension then calculates payments according to cross-border agreements.

When you’re in the UK, you get UK insurance. Whatever you had in Greece cannot be continued or transferred. Why? See (a) above.

*I only know you’re a non-EU citizen based on previous questions. Please consider giving back to the website in exchange for the many times I helped you.

  Sarah wrote @ July 10th, 2014 at 01:20

hello and thank you for taking the time to read.
I worked full time (8 hours a day 6 days a week) last season (2013) in Greece and gained 96 full time ensima stamps.
I am now working this season (2014) but only 5 hours a day.
My question is, because my hours are reduced to 5 hours a day rather than 8 hours, (but again 6 days a week) will I need to gain a lot more extra stamps this season to qualify for any unemployment this winter? thank you n advance.

Thank you for your prompt reply and very rude of me to completely forget the site I posted my question! My accountant advised that part time stamps will only affect my pension & not unemployment so I keep my fingers crossed that the rules do not change by the time I file my papers! Lol! I wish you a good winter.

Kat Reply:

You did not provide enough information for me (or anyone) to give an answer specific to your case, and qualifying depends on more than ensima. Further, requirements were revised in 2013 and benefits were cut for seasonal workers in 2013 and 2014. I recommend consulting directly with OAED, as they have access to all your records.

  Grace wrote @ August 12th, 2014 at 17:02

Hi there, Great informative site, I have a question that i hope you can answer. My Unemployment payment is due in the bank on Friday-15th August. Will I be able to withdraw the money that day as it is a holiday. I am worried as i rely on this payment. I went to sign at oead a couple of days ago and i got told the money has been paid in to the bank, but i can’t have access to it until the Friday. So will i get access on Friday if i go to an ATM.

Kat Reply:

There’s no way for me to know the answer or help you, as I don’t work for the National Bank of Greece or have access to your private information.

It depends on when NBG processes and posts the OAED payment to your account. It’s not the same for every branch or every account. All you can do is visit the ATM on Friday and do an ‘balance inquiry’ or try to withdraw money. There’s no penalty to inquire or to withdraw cash, even if you don’t have sufficient funds.

All best.

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