The financial staff announced the payment of the majority of DYPA and OPECA allowances through a prepaid card, with a cash withdrawal limit of up to 50% of the amount of each allowance. The card will be issued by the bank where the beneficiary has an account and there will be a cutter for the cash that the beneficiary can withdraw.
The majority of DYPA benefits, such as the regular unemployment benefit and OPECA, will be paid with a prepaid card, such as:
- the Minimum Guaranteed Income
- child benefit
- the birth allowance
For the use of the card and for the remaining 50%, incentives are provided according to the standards of the AADE tax lottery (joint project with the Ministry of Social Cohesion and Family, part of the Recovery Fund).
In this way, the payment process from different agencies is simplified and electronic transactions are increased for the benefit of public revenue.
It is noted that there are certain exceptions to the payment by prepaid card, the main ones being disability allowances and the rent allowance.
In summary, changes that will be made are as follows:
- Prepaid cards are also established for the other important OPECA welfare benefits, such as the child benefit and the birth benefit.
- DYPA’s basic unemployment benefits will be paid by card.
- Cash withdrawal limits will be established for prepaid cards and the amount remaining over the limit will be able to be spent only with electronic payments, i.e. with POS purchases, e-banking, etc.
ET’s disclosure of the prepaid monthly card for all benefits – Lenses for “occupational” benefit holders
We remind you that the new system with the prepaid card had revealed by the Free Press since August 30 and that it will be gradually implemented within 2024 and will include more than 10 benefits, including unemployment benefits, child benefit, guaranteed income, welfare disability benefits and possibly (depending on the implementation path) the heating benefit.
The total of these allowances paid mainly by OPECA and DYPA amounts to approximately 368 million euros on a monthly basis, i.e. more than 4 billion euros a year. Services only know what they pay, but not who gets it. This will be seen with the prepaid card, which will be nominal, meaning that it cannot be used by anyone other than its owner. In this way, phenomena of the use of the card by other persons (e.g. relatives of beneficiaries who do not receive benefits) will be prevented, while many cases of “professional” benefit recipients, who declare very low incomes with the aim of collecting more at the same time, will be revealed. benefits (guaranteed income, housing benefit, child benefit).
The amount that will be put on a prepaid card will not be able to be used by the withdrawal process, as is the case today, for the full amount, but will be linked to the automatic payment of many other goods and services, from food purchases to supermarkets and payments bills up to school supplies, food, transportation, theaters, etc.
The amount that will be left for cash withdrawal will be combined with additional incentives, such as for example with discounts for the purchase of essential products or with an increased heating allowance, etc., if all or most of the amount, which will be outside the prepaid card, will be “spent” with electronic transactions.
The introduction of the pre-paid benefits card is one of the key reforms the government is planning with the aim of knowing who gets what from the state, so that it can then target more effective anti-poverty measures within four years. What has been established is that the 4 billion euros in this case, which are directed every year to benefits of all kinds, do not bring the desired result in reducing poverty.
The new payment mechanism for the benefits will not change the current criteria, as reported to “ET.” responsible officers who process the parameters of the prepaid card.
Some of the benefits, such as total disability insurance benefits, will not be included in the prepaid card, as it is inherently impossible for the beneficiaries to take advantage of it.
The rest will be phased in from 2024 and each month beneficiaries will know that half of the benefit they are entitled to can be spent on buying or paying for specified services, while the other half can be “withdrawn” from their account in cash.
According to estimates by competent officials of the Ministry of Labor (participating in the design of the prepaid allowances), the use of 50% of the allowances in specific markets and services will bring an increase in the state’s tax revenues of the order of 100 million euros per year. These revenues will come from the fact that for pre-paid purchases of goods and services, the tax, mainly VAT, will be withheld automatically, while today the allowances are paid into the accounts of the beneficiaries and from then on no one knows whether or how many of the transactions the beneficiaries do is with a receipt or not, so in the second case their taxes are “eaten” by the black economy.
Tweezers for monkey beneficiaries
The new system will contribute to or put an end to the granting of benefits that fall into the black hole of the underground economy, while cases of “professional” benefit recipients, who appear with minimal incomes, just to avoid losing the benefits they grant, will also be revealed the State.
A competent official revealed to “ET” that one of the tricks of pretenders, so-called beneficiaries, is to declare zero incomes to the tax office, in order to collect not only one but several benefits. For example, with an income of 1,000 or 2,000 euros per year, with rent and with two or more children, OPECA grants the beneficiary three benefits:
*The housing allowance, from 70 euros to 210 euros per month depending on the number of children.
*The guaranteed income, which is 200 euros for the applicant plus 100 euros for each adult member and plus 50 euros for each minor member of the applicant’s family.
*The child allowance, which for incomes up to 10,000 euros starts at 70 euros per month for one child, goes to 140 euros with two, 280 euros with three children and 420 euros per month with four.
In such cases, the amounts paid may exceed 1,100 euros per month! For example, a family with four minors living in a rented house is entitled to housing benefit of 210 euros per month, guaranteed income of 550 euros per month and child benefit of 420 euros per month, i.e. a total of 1,180 euros. Today none of the welfare services know where and how these benefits paid by the state are used.
How the new system will work
Beneficiaries will obtain a personal card with their details and based on this it will be certified that they are entitled to specific benefits. The card will be linked to their account and through it they will have a purchase limit of prepaid goods and services with 50% of the allowance. The remaining 50% will be able to be “withdrawn” from their account for other needs (e.g. buying items from street shops or depositing an amount for a child’s rent, etc.). Any unused prepaid services are carried forward and increase the amount of the prepaid card for the next month. For example:
An unemployed person is entitled to an unemployment allowance of 480 euros per month from DYPA. He is married with two children and gets a 10% top-up to unemployment benefit for each child as long as he declares them as protected members. In total, he receives 576 euros from the unemployment benefit. Based on the family income, he is also entitled to a child benefit from OPECA of 140 euros.
In total, in his name, he collects benefits of 716 euros per month. Today he can spend the 716 euros wherever he wants. With the prepaid card the allowance is split into two parts. At 358 euros which is exclusively for buying food, paying bills, etc. and another 358 euros that he can spend anywhere he wants. Let’s say he has 100 euros left over from the pre-paid amount (358 euros). This 100 euros will be added to the prepaid amount of the following month and thus he will have locked in for specified needs (bills, food, etc.) the amount of 458 euros.