Social Security in Spain everything you need to know

Social Security in Spain: everything you need to know

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Are you looking for information about Social Security in Spain? When moving to another country, in this case to Spanish territory, it is important to know the fundamental aspects about the social security system such as requirements or benefits.

In this BMI Spain blog post we tell you all the keys information about Social Security in Spain and how to access it. Read on and take notes to find out everything you need:

Social Security in Spain

Social security in Spain is a right contained within Article 41 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which establishes “that the public authorities shall maintain a public social security system for all citizens, guaranteeing sufficient social support and benefits in situations of need, especially in the event of unemployment, and that additional support and benefits shall be free of charge”.

In other words, social security in Spain consists of a system that has the objective of protecting Spanish citizens in case of need by providing benefits such as in case of unemployment, sick leave or retirement.

The funds for the payment of the different sums are obtained from social contributions, in other words, from the payments made by both companies and workers to the social security system in Spain.

Through the payments of contributions, both payers and their families or dependents will have the necessary protection in the event of any type of eventuality and which is provided for by law.

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If someone lives in the national territory, Spanish or non-Spanish residents in Spain, as well as foreigners in a legal situation in Spain, will be able to access Social Security.

Who should contribute to Social Security in Spain?

In Spain, contributions are made according to the type of work you do, depending on whether you are employed or self-employed. The law also includes special regimes for some specific types of work, which we will see below.

If you are an employee in Spain, you must pay contributions under the General Scheme, which includes all workers who work for a company or organisation.

All persons working for others such as companies must be registered in the Social Security system, pay taxes and make contributions in order to receive social security benefits in Spain, such as illness, maternity, or occupational accident benefits, among others.

In this case, part of the contributions are made by the employee by deducting part of his or her salary, and the other part is made by the employer or the company.

If, on the other hand, you are self-employed, that is, you carry out a self-employed activity or have a company or business, then you must pay contributions under the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (RETA).

Self-employed workers are also required to pay taxes and social security contributions in Spain in order to access benefits such as those for sick leave or accidents at work.

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Finally, there is the Special Regime for Home Employees and School Insurance. The first comprises all those employees who provide services to third parties related to domestic tasks or care of people. The second covers those under 28 years of age who are matriculated in the last two years of secondary school, high school, higher education or university studies.

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If you are a citizen or resident of a European Union country and you or a family member has paid social security contributions in that country for two full years, you will be able to access health care (depending on the case in question) as long as you provide adequate justification to the National Institute of Social Security in Spain (INSS).

What kind of benefits do beneficiaries of the Social Security in Spain receive?

These are the main social security benefits in Spain, although the law provides for some more depending on the type of contingency:

Pension for retirement

In order to qualify for a retirement pension, the employer must have contributed for at least 15 years, two of which must have been within the 15 years immediately preceding retirement.

The purpose of this type of contribution is to cover the termination of the person’s income when he or she ends or reduces his or her working life upon having reached retirement age. It is a lifetime pension that only expires upon the person’s passing.

Temporary Disability Pension

If the worker suffers an accident or illness that makes him/her incapable to work temporarily, he/she will be entitled to a benefit.

In the case of an illness or accident that did not occur during working hours, the worker shall receive 60% of his or her salary as an allowance from the 4th day on which he or she was off work until the 20th day, and 75% from the 21st day on.

If the illness or accident occurs during working hours, 75% of the worker’s salary shall be paid as compensation from the day following the leave.

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Maternity or Paternity Benefit

Workers who have interrupted or suspended their employment contract on the occasion of leave of absence due to the birth, adoption, guardianship or fostering of a child and who have ceased to receive income are entitled to a maternity or paternity benefit from the Social Security in Spain.

Those who meet the requirements for obtaining this benefit do so from the same day that the worker begins his right to time off.

Social security vs. Private Health Insurance

Although Spain has one of the best social security systems in the world, in some cases, such as health care or retirement, it is always advisable to take out private health insurance or a pension plan given the innumerable advantages they offer.

As an example, some of the benefits of having private insurance include:

  • Faster medical care compared to the slow pace of the Social Security system in Spain, especially when it comes to making an appointment with the doctor.
  • Private insurances always have hospitals that you can choose freely.
  • Same damage coverage no matter the location
  • Second medical opinion at no extra cost.

Now that you know everything about Social Security in Spain, if you are interested in contracting a private insurance policy at BMI Spain, we can help you find one that meets your needs.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about health care in Spain for foreigners, we will be happy to help you.