Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quick summary of getting unemployment in Spain

In answer to a reader question and to satisfy my own curiosity, here's a quick look at what you need to do to claim unemployment benefits (protección por desempleo) if you're teaching in Spain (or doing any other job that comes to an end!). I'll do a more thorough run-down of the steps and add it to my Web site All Things Spain when I've got more time.

First off, in order to claim unemployment, you need to have contributed to social security for at least 360 days. For the purposes of this blog, I'm going to assume you're teaching English in Spain. If you're like most English teachers in Spain, and you only have a contract that runs from September or October until June, you won't be able to claim unemployment until after your second year of teaching.

Assuming you are eligible, the first thing you need to do is get a document from your employer that verifies that your contract has come to an end (finalización del contrato). Any decent academy in Spain should know this, so you shouldn't have to ask for it. Once your contract has ended, you have 15 days to present your application for unemployment. This 15 days will be counted from the date on the finalización del contrato, so make sure it's correct!

You will need to go to the offices of INEM to submit your documents. Find your province on this page, and it will bring up a list of unemployment offices in your area.

What you need to submit to claim unemployment benefits in Spain:

*A copy of the solicitud de la prestación, which you can find online.

*Proof of identification: DNI or tarjeta de identidad de extranjero. (If you're British and you have a NIE but didn't receive an actual foreigner's identity card, bring the NIE certificate along with your national identity card.) They don't specify whether you need to just show the ID or submit a photocopy, so to be safe and avoid having to wait in line another time, just bring a couple copies of your ID documents.

*Proof that you are now unemployed -- in other words, the end of contract document from your employer.

*If your employer does not use the Sistema de Remisión Electrónica de Documentos (RED) de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social, you need to submit a copy of official documents that show what you have contributed to social security in the past 180 days. At any rate, my friends who have applied for unemployment in Spain have always brought in copies of all of their nóminas from the past year, as these show the breakdown of pay and taxes.

So there are the basics. If anybody has gone through the process of collecting unemployment in Spain and can give any advice or point out info that is missing, please let me know!


bird said...

quite literally awesome. thanks eslhell!

Barbara said...

Photocopy all the documents mentioned three times over. You can never have too many copies for Spanish red tape! It totally depends who you get at the INEM office as to whether you have to provide copies or not. Be prepared to look and sound eager to do any reasonable sort of work they might suggest putting on your computerised form - I made myself available for translation work when I spoke about four words of Spanish because the funcionario wanted to put something down. You will get asked this at the interview you have, particularly when you are applying for the first time. Ask around in adult classes - you must have funcionarios in there somewhere, and they are sure to know others in the INEM office. Having a contact in there can shorten the interminable waste-a-morning process considerably!

Rob in Madrid said...

also how long is it good for and what is the maximun amnount you can collect?

eslhell said...

Hi Rob,

The amount you receive depends on what you were earning for the 180 days prior to claiming unemployment. For the first 6 months you get 70% of your "base earnings" and after that you get 60% of your base earnings each month.

The length of time you can get unemployment also depends on how many days you were working and contributing to Seguridad Social during the previous 6 years. You can check out a chart on the INEM Web site that tells you how many days you can claim benefits based on how many days you've contributed:

cari said...

Hey! Ok so does anyone know if you still have a right to collect your unemployment if you are let go-- but voluntarily? Does it have to be they let you go?
Also- I have heard that if you are a foreigner, that you could choose to collect your umemployement as a lump sum if you decide to leave the country and not work there any more.

Anyone know anything about this? thanks!

Daniel said...

Hey, Rob

I am an Australian working legally in Spain (I have a NIE). My contract is 6 months long. Will they take into account the 4 years I worked previously in the UK and the other 6 years I worked in Australia? My husband is from Spain and they did count the time he worked in those countries and got 2 years of unemployment money. Does that apply for foreign residents too' Any idea?