Social security insurance is compulsory in Greece. Greek social security benefits are available to Greek and EU citizens. Bilateral agreements have also been signed with the following non EU countries: Switzerland, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Egypt, Libya and Poland.
There are many social security organisations in Greece, but IKA (Idryma Kinonikon Asfaliseon), OGA (Organismos Georgikon Asfaliseon) and OAEE (Organismos Asfalisis Elefteron Epogelmaton) are the primary ones. IKA provides insurance for employees, OGA for the rural sector and OAEE is the insurance for the self-employed. Other insurance funds exist for civil servants and military personnel, as well as for lawyers, bank employees and public utility personnel.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare (Υπουργείο Απασχόλησης και Κοινωνικής Προστασίας) and the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs (Υπουργείο Εργασίας και Κοινωνικών Ασφαλίσεων) are the overseeing government bodies for social security benefits in Greece.
Social security benefits are only available to those who are registered and contributing to the social security system, in the form of contributions paid by the employer and the employee, or by the individual if they are a self-employed worker or business owner.
Every person insured by a Greek Social Security Organisation is entitled to a European Health Insurance Card - EHIC (ευρωπαϊκη κάρτα ασφάλισης ασθένειας/evropaïki karta asfalisis asthenias).
Every individual (employer, employee, pensioner, dependent family member, child) living in Greece needs an AMKA or social security number (Αριθμος Μητρώου Κοινωνικής Ασφάλισης) in order to benefit from social security and to obtain a health booklet.
Applications for the AMKA number can be made at the local KEP office (Citizens Service Centre). The following documents are required:
An AMKA card will be issued.
Depending on the insured person's personal situation they may receive benefits and allowances for the following:
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