False claims on disability pension in the thousands
A total of 20,000 pensions being claimed by people who are ineligible - and costing state insurance funds an estimated 120 million euros
A total of 20,000 pensions being claimed by people who are ineligible - and costing state insurance funds an estimated 120 million euros - have been traced as a result of crosschecking, Labour Minister Yiorgos Koutroumanis said on Tuesday.
Speaking to a private television station in Athens, Koutroumanis added that "as a result of the inspections, there are many who now conform and declare the deaths of pension recipients instead of unlawfully collecting the money". Koutroumanis said that by the end of the year, Ika, Greece's largest state insurance fund, will need an additional 800 million euros. Of this, 600 million has been included in the state budget.
He said that for years, many businesses were not paying contributions to social insurance funds and that notices have been posted for debts of over one million euros to be followed by notices for debts of over 500,000 euros. Meanwhile, Deputy Health and Social Solidarity Minister Markos Bolaris stated that recipients of a benefit for the visually impaired will be re-examined to ensure they are still eligible, after inspections revealed that an excessive percentage of the population were receiving the benefit on the Ionian island of Zakynthos.
The benefit is currently paid to 625 people on the island, corresponding to 2 per cent of the prefecture's entire population. The findings will be forwarded to the responsible prosecutor to investigate. Similar inspections will be conducted in other regions where such phenomena occur, according to the ministry of health.
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