Minimum Vital Income
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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.
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.
|One adult and one minor
|One adult and two minors
|One adult and three or more minors
|Two adults and one minor
|Two adults and two minors
|Two adults and three or more minors
|Three adults and one minor
|Three adults and two or more minors
|Four adults and one minor
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.
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.
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.
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.