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27 May, 2024
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Lottides orders payment of single-parent allowance after 2,5 years

Welfare Administration Service refused to re-examine parent's 2022 application


Maria Stylianou Lottides, the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights, has strongly recommended the swift disbursement of a single-parent family allowance to a complainant. In her report released Thursday, she highlighted the case of a woman who had been repeatedly denied the benefit over the past 2.5 years without a valid explanation.

The complainant, who filed a formal complaint with the Commissioner Against the Administration of Welfare Benefits (HYDEP) in July 2023, detailed her struggle to secure the allowance despite fulfilling all necessary requirements and submitting supporting documents. Despite numerous attempts to engage with welfare officials, she faced rejection without clarity on the reasons behind it.

Of particular concern was the rejection due to lack of paternal recognition for her daughter, born in Greece, while her son, born in Cyprus, had obtained paternal recognition. Commissioner Lottidis emphasized that the law's definition of a single-parent family includes children born out of wedlock. Thus, the presentation of additional documentation should not have been necessary to establish the complainant's eligibility.

Furthermore, the complainant provided ample evidence, including maintenance orders for both children, a decree of parental care for her daughter, and an affidavit from the father confirming their unmarried status and separate living arrangements.

Despite the complainant's efforts, the Welfare Administration Service refused to re-examine her 2022 application, citing the absence of required certificates. Commissioner Lottides criticized this decision, noting that it violated principles of good faith and administrative law.

She underscored the importance of considering all evidence presented and urged the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare to promptly review the complainant's application, acknowledging the history of suffering endured and the entitlement to any retroactive payments.

The report has been forwarded to the Secretary of State for Social Welfare, with a copy shared with the head of the Welfare Administration Service, for necessary action.

[With information sourced from CNA]


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