ECONOMY

Applications for heating oil subsidies get the go-ahead

The General Secretariat for Information Systems (www.gsis.gr) on Tuesday launched the online application for the 2013-2014 winter heating oil subsidies following a delay of a few weeks.

Existing beneficiaries of the subsidies, which is aimed at propping up low-income households in the cold winter months, can use their codes from previous years to apply for the subsidy, while new applicants will have to type in their tax identification number (AFM) and the clearance code of a tax declaration from the past five years in order to receive their user identification.

Advances for this year’s subsidy will begin within a few days after applications are cleared, the Finance Ministry said, adding that the benefit will be deposited within 20 days of the approval of the application.

This year’s heating oil subsidy has been set at 0.35 euros a liter from 0.28 euros last year and will range from 210 to 1,050 euros depending on the geographical location of the applicant.

The recipient base has been broadened this year mainly by raising the eligibility limits, which have gone up from 25,000 euros of annual income to 30,000 euros for unmarried taxpayers, from 35,000 euros last year to 40,000 euros for married taxpayers with an extra 3,000 euros per child, while the same applies to single-parent families.

Assets also play a role in eligibility.

The level of the subsidy has been set according to four different geographical categories based on the average winter temperatures of each zone, with people living in colder areas receiving a larger subsidy and those living in parts of Greece with a more clement climate eligible for less.

In Zone A (Grevena, Kozani, Kastoria, Florina, Drama and Evrytania) beneficiaries will receive subsidies for 25 liters of heating per square meter of their property, or a maximum of 1,050 for the season.

In Zone B (Ioannena, Larissa, Karditsa, Trikala, Arcadia, Pieria, Imathia, Pella, Thessaloniki, Kilkis, Halkidiki, Serres, Kavala, Xanthi, Rodopi and Evros), beneficiaries will be covered for 15 liters of heating oil per square meter with a maximum of 630 euros.

In Zone C (Attica, Corinth, Ileia, Achaia, Aitolokarnania, Fthiotida, Fokida, Viotia, Evia, Magnisia, Lesvos, Chios, Corfu, Lefkada, Thesprotia, Preveza and Arta) the maximum subsidy is 336 euros for the season, at 8 liters per square meter.

In the last area, Zone D (Crete, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Samos, Messinia, Laconia, Argolida, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Kythera and the islands of the Saronic Gulf), the maximum subsidy will be 210 euros at 5 liters of heating oil per square meter.