TN 3 (04-04)

GN 01721.020 Spanish Social Security Benefits – Eligibility Requirements

A. Introduction

Although Spain pays many different categories of benefits, this section describes only the retirement, disability and survivors benefits. These are the only Spanish benefits included within the scope of the agreement.

B. Policy – Worker

1. Retirement Benefits

The eligibility requirements for Spanish retirement benefits are as follows:

  • Age 65, reduced benefit at age 60 under certain conditions,

  • Must have made contributions for at least 15 years, including at least 2 years in the last 15 years, and

  • Must have stopped working.

2. Disability Benefits

Under the Spanish Social Security system, people who are incapacitated for work are eligible for three types of benefits.

  • Temporary disability (cash sickness) benefits are payable for up to 18 months following incapacity for work.

  • Provisional disability benefits are payable for up to 4 ½ years following temporary disability (cash sickness) benefits.

  • Permanent disability benefits are payable if the worker’s incapacity continues beyond the period of eligibility for provisional disability benefits.

NOTE: The agreement applies to provisional and permanent disability benefits, but does not apply to temporary disability (cash sickness) benefits.

The eligibility requirements for Spanish disability benefits are as follows:

a. Provisional Disability Benefits

  • Must be incapacitated beyond the period of eligibility for temporary disability (cash sickness) benefits,

  • Must be registered with the Spanish Social Security system (i.e., covered under Spanish Social Security or met various alternative criteria) at the onset, and

  • Must have credit for 180 days of contributions during the last 5 years.

b. Permanent Disability Benefits

  • Under age 65,

  • Must be incapacitated beyond the period of eligibility for provisional disability benefits,

  • If not registered with the Spanish Social Security system at time of onset, must have credit for 15 years of contributions, with at least 3 years in the 10-year period before onset,

  • If registered and between 16 and 25 years old at onset, must have paid contributions during at least ½ of the period between age 16 and onset,

  • If registered and age 26 or older at onset, must have paid contributions during at least ¼ of the period between age 20 and onset (but not less than 5 years). Also, at least 1/5 of the contributions must have been paid in the 10 years before onset.

C. Policy – Dependents of retired or disabled workers

1. Spouse

There is no provision for spouses’ benefits. However, a supplement may be paid to the worker if the worker receives the minimum benefit and has a spouse.

2. Divorced Spouse

There is no provision for divorced spouses’ benefits.

3. Children

There is no provision for children’s benefits. However, workers with limited income may receive a supplement for each child under age 18 or disabled.

D. Policy – Survivor benefits

The deceased worker must have been registered with the Spanish Social Security system (i.e., covered under Spanish Social Security or met various alternative criteria) at time of death and paid contributions for at least 500 days during the 5 years before death, or received a retirement or disability benefit at the time of death. The survivor must meet the following requirements:

1. Widow or Widower

A widow’s or widower’s benefit is payable at age 65. If the widow or widower is under age 65, a reduced benefit is payable at any age.

2. Divorced Widow or Widower

Same as for widow or widower but the benefits are proportional to the time the divorced spouse lived with the deceased worker.

3. Children

Benefits for children are payable as follows:

  • Under age 18, or any age if disabled, or

  • Under age 21 at the time of worker’s death (or under age 23 if both parents deceased) if not working.

4. Other Family Members

Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and gr