Minimum Vital Income

The Minimum Living Allowance is a benefit aimed at preventing the risk of poverty and social exclusion of people living alone or who are part of a cohabitation unit and lacking the basic economic resources to meet their basic needs.

It is defined as a subjective right to an economic benefit, which is part of the protective action of the Social Security, and guarantees a minimum level of income for people in a situation of economic vulnerability.  It seeks to ensure a real improvement in opportunities for social and employment inclusion for the recipients.

It operates  as a protection network aimed at allowing transit from a situation of exclusion to participation in society. It design will contain incentives for employment and inclusion, based on different forms of cooperation between administrations.


Beneficiaries

1. Individual beneficiaries:

  • People between 23 and 65 years who live alone or who, although they share a residence with a household unit, are not part of that unit, provided that:
    • They are not married, unless they have initiated separation or divorce proceedings.
    • They are not part of a domestic partnership.
    • They are not part of another household unit.
    • They have lived independently for at least three years prior to the application, unless they left their habitual residence as victims of gender-based violence, have initiated separation or divorce proceedings or other circumstances that may be determined. A person is understood to have lived independently if they have been registered with the Social Security for at least 12 months, whether continuous or not, provided they accredit a residence other than that of their parents, guardians or foster carers for three years.
  • Older women victims of gender-based violence or victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
  • Permanent users of a social, health or public health residential service benefit financed with public funds are not entitled to the benefit, except in the case of women victims of gender-based violence or victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

2. Household unit beneficiaries:

MVI beneficiaries, i.e., the persons who receive the benefit on behalf of and represent the household unit, must have full legal capacity and be aged between 23 and 65.

The following may also be beneficiaries, provided they have full legal capacity:

  • Adults  or emancipated minors when they have children or the custody of minors for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care.
  • Persons aged over 65 if the household unit is only formed by persons over 65 and minors or legally incapacitated individuals. 

    In any case, there may be a maximum of two beneficiaries at the same address.  

3. Household unit:

  • The household unit consists of all persons living in the same home, united by marriage or as domestic partners, and their family members up to the second degree by consanguinity or affinity, adoption, and other persons living with them for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care.
  • The following are also household units:

    • A unit formed by a victim of gender-based violence who has left their habitual family home accompanied by their children or minors in their custody for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care, and their family members up to the second degree by consanguinity or affinity
    • A unit formed by a person who has initiated separation or divorce proceedings and their children or minors in their custody for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care, and their family members up to the second degree by consanguinity or affinity.  
    • A unit formed by two or more people aged between 23 and 65 living in the same home without any of the relationships indicated above, under the terms established and provided that have lived independently for at least 3 years prior to the application, unless they have left the habitual residence as victims of gender-based violence, they have initiated separation or divorce proceedings or other circumstances as may be determined. These household units, or an individual beneficiary , may share a home with another household unit made up of family members or with a similar relationship.
  • The household unit have been continuous for at least one year prior to submitting the application.
  • Household units need not be continuous one year prior to submitting the application in the following cases:
    • Women who have left their habitual home as victims of gender-based violence, accompanied by their children or minors in their custody for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care, and their family members up to the second degree by consanguinity or affinity.
    • Persons who have initiated separation and divorce proceedings, accompanied by their children or minors in their custody for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care, and their family members up to the second degree by consanguinity or affinity.
    • Victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
    • Household units with new members due to birth, adoption, custody for the purpose of adoption or permanent foster care.
    • Other cases that are determined by regulations.

  •  Cohabitation is not deemed interrupted due to temporary separation because of studies, work, medical treatment, rehabilitation or other similar circumstances.
  • One person may not be part of more than one household unit.

Requirements

The following requirements must be met both at the time of submitting the application and at the time of its revisions, and must be maintained when the decision is issued and during the term of the benefit:

1. Be resident in Spain:

Individual beneficiaries or members of household unit must have their legal and effective residence in Spain on a continuous and uninterrupted basis for at least one year before the application is submitted, except for:

  •  Persons joining the household unit due to birth, adoption, custody for adoption or permanent foster care.  
  • Victims of human trafficking and of sexual exploitation , circumstances that shall be accredited with a report issued by the public services responsible for the comprehensive care of these victims or by social services.
  • Women victims of gender-based violence accredited by any of the means set forth in article 23 of Framework Act 1/2004, of 28 December, on Comprehensive Protection Measures against Gender-Based Violence.

2. Be in a situation of economic vulnerability:     

Determining economic vulnerability takes into account the economic capacity of the individual applicant or of the household unit, calculating the resources of all members.

This requirement is met when the average calculable monthly income and annual income of the previous year is at least 10 euros less than the monthly amount guaranteed by the minimum vital income according to the modality and the number of household unit members. Social wages, minimum insertion income or similar social assistance payments granted by the Autonomous Regions are not calculated as income.

An individual beneficiary who owns assets, without including the habitual residence, valued at a sum equal to or more than three times of the amount of the income guaranteed by the minimum vital income for an individual beneficiary is not considered to be in a situation of economic vulnerability. In 2020 this amounts 16,614 euros.

Household units are not considered to be in a situation of economic vulnerability when they own assets, not including the habitual residence, valued at a sum equal to or more than the amount indicated in this table according to the size and configuration of the household unit.

                                                       
Increment Scale

Limit in euros

One adult
16,614 16,614.00
One adult and one minor 1.4
23,259.60
One adult and two minors
1.8
29,905.20
One adult and three or more minors
2.2
36,550.80
Two adults
1.4
23,259.60
Two adults and one minor
1.8
29,905.20
Two adults and two minors
2.2
36,550.80
Two adults and three or more minors
2.6
43,196.40
Three adults
1.8
29,905.20
Three adults and one minor
2.2
36,550.80
Three adults and two or more minors 2.6
43,196.40
Four adults
2.2
36,550.80
Four adults and one minor
2.6
43,196.40
Other
2.6
43,196.40

Regardless of the value of their assets, individual beneficiaries or members of a household unit in which any of the members are the legal administrator of a company are not considered in a situation of economic vulnerability.

3. Have applied for the pensions and benefits to which you may be entitled, in the terms set out. Social wages, minimum insertion income or similar social assistance payments granted by the Autonomous Regions are exempt.

4. Adults or emancipated minors who are not working must be registered as job seekers.

Receipt of the minimum vital income benefit shall be incompatible with receipt of the economic allocation per child or minor in foster care, without disability or with disability of less than 33 per cent, when there is an originator or beneficiary, notwithstanding the possibility of exercising the right to opt for one of these benefits.

Accreditation of requirements

1. The identity of both the applicants and those who form the cohabitation unit will be accredited by means of a national identity document in the case of Spaniards or a family book or full birth certificate, in the case of minors under 14 years of age who do not have a national identity document, and by means of an identity document of their country of origin or provenance, or a passport, in the case of foreign citizens.

2. Legal residence in Spain will be accredited by registration in the central registry of foreign nationals, in the case of nationals of the Member States of the European Union, European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation, or with a family member’s card of a Union citizen or a residence permit, in any of its forms, in the case of foreign nationals of other nationalities.

3. Addresses in Spain will be accredited with city registration certificates.

4. The existence of the cohabitation  unit will be accredited by means of the family  book, civil registry certificate, inscription in a domestic partner register and certificate of registration at the same house.

5. The existence of the following types of cohabitation units will be accredited with a city registration certificate where all the people registered in the applicant’s home are listed:  

    • A person who is a victim of gender-based violence and who has left their family home accompanied by children or minors in foster care for the purpose of adoption or permanent family placement, and members of their family up to the second degree by blood or marriage. This circumstance shall be accredited by any of the means established in Article 23 of Organic Law 1/2004 of 28 December on Comprehensive Protection Measures against Gender-Based Violence.    
    • A person who has initiated the procedures for separation or divorce and their children or minors in custody for the purpose of adoption or permanent family placement and their relatives up to the second degree by blood or marriage. In this case it must also be proved with the submission of an application or court decision.
    • The one formed by two or more persons over 23 years old or under 65 years old who live in the same home without maintaining one of the relationships indicated in the previous points, under the terms that will be determined and provided that they have lived independently for at least 3 years prior to the application, unless they have left their usual home because they are victims of gender-based violence, have initiated separation or divorce proceedings or other circumstances that will be determined.    

6. Verification of compliance with the income and asset requirements for access to and maintenance of the minimum living allowance economic benefit will be carried out by the managing entity in accordance with the information obtained by electronic means from the State Tax Administration Agency and the Provincial Tax Offices of Navarre and the historical territories of the Basque Country. For this purpose, the information recorded by these tax authorities for the financial year prior to that in which the recognition or control activity is carried out, or otherwise, the information that is most up to date in these tax authorities, will be taken as a reference.

In their application, each interested party will expressly authorise the administration processing their application to obtain their tax data from the State Tax Administration Agency, the Tax Administrations of the Autonomous Communities, the Navarre Tax Office or the Provincial Councils of the Basque Country and the General Directorate of Property Register.

7. The status of job seeker shall be evidenced by the document issued for that purpose by the competent administration or by electronic access by the managing body.

8. The applicant will not be required to provide evidence of facts, data or circumstances that the Social Security Administration should know for itself, such as the beneficiary’s situation in relation to the Social Security system; or the receipt by members of the cohabitation unit of another economic benefit that is recorded in the register of public social benefits.  

Amounts

    1. Establishing the amount

The amount of the minimum vital income for an individual beneficiary or household unit will be the difference between the guaranteed income and the sum of their revenues or income, provided the resulting amount is equal to or more than 10 euros per month.

The monthly amount of the guaranteed income is:

  • For an individual beneficiary: 100 per cent of the annual sum of non-contributory pensions divided by 12. In 2020, 461.53 euros.  
  • For the household unit, the above amount increased by 30 per cent per additional member as of the second member, with a maximum of 220 per cent. For 2020, the amounts are:

    • 599.99 euros for a household unit formed by two adults.         
    • 738.45 euros for a household unit formed by two adults and one minor or three adults.
    • 876.91 euros for a household unit formed by two adults and two minors, or three adults and one minor, or by four adults.  
    • 1,015.37 euros for a household unit formed by two adults and three or more minors, or three adults and two or more minors, or by four adults and one minor.

  • The above amount is increased by an additional 22 per cent of the annual non-contributory pension divided by 12 in the case of a single-parent household unit (a single adult living with one or more minors, or one or more minors under permanent foster care or adoption, when they are the only wage earner in the household unit). For 2020, the amounts are:

    • 701.53 euros for a single-parent household unit formed by one adult and one minor.
    • 839.98 euros for a single-parent household unit formed by one adult and two minors.
    • 978.44 euros for a single-parent household unit formed by one adult and three or more minors.

To establish the amount, children, minors or adults with disability included in the household unit in the event of joint custody established by the court will be considered to form part of the unit where their residence is registered.

Beneficiaries of the minimum vital income are exempt from contributions paid by users to the outpatient pharmacy benefit.

GUARANTEED INCOME AMOUNTS IN 2020
                                                         
Euros year
One adult
5,538
One adult and one minor
8,417.76
One adult and two minors
10,079.16
One adult and three or more minors
11,740.56
Two adults
7,199.4
Two adults and one minor
8,860.8
Two adults and two minors
10,522.2
Two adults and three or more minors
12,183.6
Three adults
8,860.8
Three adults and one minor
10,522.2
Three adults and two or more minors
12,183.6
Four adults
10,522.2
Four adults and one minor
12,183.6
Other
12,183.6

2. Changes to the amount

Changes in personal or economic circumstances, or assets, of the minimum vital income beneficiary, or of any of the household unit members, could entail a change in the amount of the financial benefit as reviewed by the competent managing body.

The change shall be effective as of the first day of the month following the date on which the event causing the change occurred.

In any case, the amount of the benefit shall be updated as of 1 January each year, taking as a reference calculable annual income from the previous year. If the variation in calculable annual income from the previous year causes termination of the benefit, this shall also be effective as of 1 January of the year following that income.

Obligations of beneficiaries

  1. Beneficiaries of the minimum vital income shall be subject to the following obligations while receiving the benefit:

      a) Provide accurate documentation and information for the accreditation of requirements and the maintenance of the service, as well as to ensure the receipt of notifications and communications

      b) Communicate any change or situation that could lead to the modification, suspension or extinction of the service, within thirty calendar days from the date of its occurrence.

      c) Reimburse the amount of benefits unduly received.

      d) Inform the managing body in advance of trips abroad by the beneficiary and members of the household unit, indicating the expected duration of the trip.

    1. One trip abroad each year of no more than 15 calendar days shall not be considered a stay or change of residence.

    2. A trip and stay abroad by any member of the household unit for a period of up to a maximum of 90 calendar days per calendar year, whether continuous or not, must be notified and justified in advance      

      e) Present an annual personal income tax return.

      f) Adults or emancipated minors who are not working shall be registered as job seekers except in the cases determined by regulations.

      g) Where the minimum vital income is compatible with income from work or economic activity, fulfil the conditions established for access to and maintenance of that compatibility.

    3. h) Participate in the inclusion strategies promoted by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.

    4. i) Any other obligation that may be established by regulations.

  2. Household unit members shall be obliged to:

      a) Report the death of the beneficiary.

      b) Notify the administration of any fact that distorts the purpose of the benefit granted.

      c) File a Personal Income Tax return each year.

      d) Fulfil the obligations of the beneficiary established in the previous section when the former, for any reason, does not fulfil them.

      e) Adults or emancipated minors who are not working shall be registered as job seekers except in the cases determined by regulations.

      g) Where the minimum vital income is compatible with income from work or economic activity, fulfil the conditions established for access to and maintenance of that compatibility.

    1. h) Participate in the inclusion strategies promoted by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.

    2. h) Fulfil any other obligation that may be established by regulations.

Return of benefits that were unduly collected

The National Social Security Institute may review ex officio, to the detriment of the beneficiaries, actions relating to the minimum vital income benefit, provided that this review is carried out within the maximum period of four years following the unchallenged administrative decision. In this case, it may also declare and demand ex officio the return of benefits that were unduly collected.

The managing entity may at any time correct material or factual errors and arithmetic errors, as well as reviews motivated by finding omissions or inaccuracies in the beneficiary's declarations, and also claim any amounts that were unduly collected for this reason.

In cases other than those indicated in the above paragraphs, reviews to the detriment of the beneficiaries shall be carried out in accordance with Act 36/2011, of 10 October, regulating Social Jurisdiction.

When a resolution is issued to terminate or change the amount of the benefit as a result of a change in the circumstances that determined its calculation and when there is no right to the benefit, or the amount to be received is lower than the amount paid, beneficiaries shall be obliged to return the amounts unduly collected according to the procedure established in Royal Decree 148/1996, of 5 February, regulating the special procedure for the reimbursement of unduly collected social security benefits, and in Royal Decree 1415/2004, of 11 June, approving the General Social Security Collection Regulation.

Beneficiaries and all persons who participate in fraudulently obtaining a benefit by facts, omissions, legal business or actions shall be jointly and severally liable for returning unduly collected benefits. Individuals jointly and severally liable may be required to pay the principal, surcharges and interest which must be demanded of the first person liable, and for all costs generated by collecting the debt.

In the above cases, if the debt is not paid within the voluntary payment period, the relevant surcharges shall be applied and late payment penalties shall accrue, notwithstanding that the latter are only enforceable during the executive collection period. In the cases determined by regulation, the manging body may agree to offset the debt with the monthly minimum vital income up to a certain maximum percentage of each monthly payment.

Payment

The benefit will be paid monthly and is made by bank transfer to an account of the holder of the benefit.

Entitlement to the minimum living allowance will arise from the first day of the month following the date of submission of the application.

The minimum living allowance is non-transferable. It may not be offered as security for obligations, nor may it be the subject of total or partial assignment, or of offsetting or discount, or of retention or attachment.

Duration

The right to the benefit begins on the first day of the month following the application submission date. This right shall remain in force while the reasons for granting the benefit remain and the requirements and obligations provided for in the Act are met.

  • Suspension of rights

The right to the benefit shall be terminated for the following reasons:

a) Temporary loss of any of the requirements for recognition.

b) Temporary breach by the beneficiary, holder or any member of their household unit of the obligations assumed by accessing the benefit.

c) Provisionally in the event of evidence of a breach by the beneficiary, holder or any member of their household unit of the requirements established or obligations assumed by accessing the benefit, as resolved by the managing body.

In any case, the benefit shall be provisionally suspended in the event of transfer abroad for a period over 90 calendar days, whether continuous or not, without having notified the managing body in advance and without due justification.

d) Failure to meet the terms associated with the compatibility of the minimum vital income with income from work or self-employed economic activity.

e) Any other cause that is determined by regulations.

Suspension of the right to the minimum vital income shall entail the suspension of benefit payment as of the first day of the month following the causes for suspension, or the month in which the competent managing body has knowledge of the causes, and notwithstanding the obligation to return amounts unduly collected. Suspension shall be maintained for as long as the circumstances leading to suspension persist.

If the suspension is maintained for one year, the right to the benefit shall be terminated.

If the causes leading to suspension of the right disappear, the right shall be resumed ex officio or at the request of a party provided the requirements that led to recognition are maintained. In this case, the benefit shall accrue from the first day of the month following the date on which the causes leading to suspension ended.

If the causes for suspension are maintained, the right shall be amended or terminated, as appropriate.

  • Termination of rights

The right to the minimum vital income benefit shall be terminated for the following reasons:

a) Death of the beneficiary. However, in the case of household units, any other eligible member may submit a new application. If the request is submitted  within three months from the day following the date of death, the economic effects of the right the household unit may be entitled due under its new circumstances shall be effective from the first day of the month following the date of death, provided the application is submitted within the period indicated.    

b) Definitive loss of any of the requirements to maintain the benefit.

c) Resolution entered in a penalty proceeding establishing termination.     

d) Departure from national territory without notification or justification to the managing body during a period, whether continuous or not, of over 90 calendar days per year.

e) Waiver of the right.

f) Suspension of the benefit for a period of more than one year.

g) Repeated failure to meet the terms association with the compatibility of the minimum vital income with income from work or self-employed economic activity.

h) Any other cause that is determined by regulations.

Termination of the right to a benefit shall be effective from the first day of the month following the causes for termination.

Minimum Living Allowance Calculator

This simulator will ask you a series of questions about your situation and, based on the answers, you will be able to check if you are eligible for the Minimum Vital Income benefit and find out the approximate amount you would be entitled to.

Note that this simulation does not process the benefit, and the result is merely informative.

You can access the calculator at the following link: Minimum Living Allowance Calculator.


FAQ

In Frequently Asked Questions there are a series of questions published about the minimum living allowance that can clarify the most common doubts about this new benefit. They will be updated to include those that arise.

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