Can the self-employed receive unemployment benefits?

Conditions for self-employed people in Spain seem to be, very slowly, improving, and one of the laws which has recently changed is the 2013 law which allows the self employed to claim unemployment benefits or “el paro“, as it’s known locally.

There’s a long list of requirements you need to be able to fulfil to do this, however, and amongst them includes a requirement to pay an extra 2.2% in social security, meaning that your monthly payments will be a minimum of €281.84 instead of €253.36. This is because you choose to include in your social security payments cover for “cese de actividad” (cession of activity).

Other things you must do to claim unemployment benefit if you’re self employed:

  • You must retrace the steps you made when signing up as self employed, and sign off due to cession of activity.
  • You must have been paying into the social security systems for at least a full, continuous year.
  • You must be up to date with your social security payments.
  • You must not be old enough to retire.

The first point in particular seems to cause problems – I’ve read that eight of ten applications to claim unemployment benefits are rejected as it was too difficult to justify the cession of activity. You will need things like a stamped certificate and past records, and will need to prove that your business is making a real loss (ignoring any right you might have to a salary).

Text and photos by Penelope

Posted in Tax

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