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Benefits included in the Regulations

1. General Information:

They apply to the following Social Security benefits:

  • Benefits for illness and maternity (health care, temporary disability and maternity).
  • Disability benefits, including those intended to maintain or improve the recipient's ability to earn a living
  • Old age benefits
  • Benefits for survivors
  • Benefits for work-related injuries and occupational disease
  • Death Grants
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Family Benefits

For these benefits, you must be aware that:

To gain entitlement to the contributory and non-contributory benefits included in the Regulations, periods of insurance, employment or residence spent in another member state of the European Union, in a country that is part of the  European Economic Space or Switzerland can be added together.

Contributory pensions, income for work-related injuries and occupational diseases and death benefits can be received by the interested party, regardless of where they are resident or are currently located in the European Union, European Economic Space or Switzerland.

Non-contributory benefits to which the Regulations apply can only be received by the beneficiary when they are resident in a member state of the European Union, a country that is part of the European Economic Space or Switzerland and in accordance with the applicable legislation.

Each country will pay its own benefits directly to the beneficiary.

2.- Special information about the benefits:

Important: When the term "country" is used in this information, it refers to a member state of the European Union, a country that is part of European Economic Space or Switzerland.

Benefits for illness and maternity (health care, temporary disability and maternity)

For entitlement to the benefits for these contingencies, the competent institution of the country involved will add up the periods of insurance, employment or residence covered by the legislation of any other country.

Entitlement to health care is recognised according to the national legislation of the country where the worker is insured, or, in the case of a pensioner, of the country responsible for the pension, and is provided in the country where the recipient is currently or has residence, according to the applicable legislation of that country.

Normally, health care benefits are provided by the country that recognises them. However, the people listed below who are entitled to healthcare benefits in a country (e.g., Spain) can receive these benefits during the time they spend in other countries (for short stays or residence, as the case may be):

  • Workers and their family members who temporarily move to any country (for example: holidays).
  • Workers who are transferred to work in another country (stationed) and their family members.
  • Workers (who are sick) who have been authorised to move to another country.
  • Pensioners, students (who move to another country to pursue official studies), as well as their family members, during their temporary stay in the other country.
  • Pensioners and their family members who change their place of residence to another country.

Necessary documentation

Entitlement to health care benefits in a country other than the competent one is proved by the appropriate document (a European Health Card or appropriate form) issued by the competent institution. In the case of Spain: National Social Security Institute (INSS) -Provincial Directorates and Support and Information Centres of the Social Security-,  and the Social Marine Institute (ISM)

Disability benefits

The method of determining entitlement to a disability pension is conditioned by the legislation under which the interested party has been insured.

The legislation for disability in the various countries can be of either type A or type B.

Countries with Type A legislation:

The amount of the disability pension bears no relationship to the length of the periods of insurance (Belgium; Spain - except for the special schemes for civil servants -; Estonia, France -except for the special scheme for mining -; Greece - only the agricultural scheme -, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom).

Countries with Type B legislation:

The amount of the disability pension does have a relationship with the length of the periods of insurance (Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain - only the special schemes for civil servants -, Finland, France - only the special scheme for mining -; Greece -except for the agricultural scheme -, Hungary; Iceland; Italy; Liechtenstein; Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Sweden and Switzerland).

Payment of benefits:

When a worker has only been subject to type A disability legislation, the payment of the benefits is the responsibility of only one country, the one whose legislation was applicable when the risk occurred. If necessary, the competent institution in that country will add up the periods of insurance and/or residence that were fulfilled in compliance with the legislation of any other country (but always a type A country).

When a worker has been subject to both type A and type B disability legislation, the payment of the benefits is made in the same way as for old age pensions. Therefore, the competent institution of the country in which the worker was insured at the time the risk occurred calculates the national pension according to that country's legislation, taking into account only the periods of insurance accredited in that country.

Also, it calculates the amount of the theoretical pension that the interested party would be entitled to by adding up the periods of insurance and/or residence that are covered by other legislation, as if all these periods of insurance/residence had been fulfilled under the legislation that applies to this institution. Then the competent institution calculates the amount of the prorated pension, according to the periods of insurance fulfilled in accordance with the applicable legislation.

The competent institution recognises the larger amount that the interested party is entitled to (national and/or prorated).

These actions are taken by all the institutions with which the interested party has accredited periods of insurance.

To determine the degree of disability, the institutions in the various countries must take into account the documents and medical reports that have been transferred to them by the competent institutions. However, each institution has the ability to decree that a doctor that it designates should examine the applicant, in this person's country of residence.

Old age and survival benefits (pensions)

When the legislation of a country subordinates the acquisition, preservation or recovery of entitlement to benefits due to periods of insurance, the competent institution in that country will calculate, as necessary, any period of insurance fulfilled in another country as if it had been fulfilled under its own legislation and according to specific rules when the periods overlap (totalling).

When an individual has accredited periods of insurance in various countries, each competent institution pays the benefits in the following way:

  1. It calculates the national pension, taking into account only its internal legislation (fulfilling periods of insurance or residence under the terms of that legislation and the rest of the requirements established in it).
  2. Then, it calculates the theoretical pension after adding up the periods of insurance or residence in other countries. It will then determine the effective amount of the benefit  - the prorated pension -  by prorating the theoretical amount specified above between the duration of the periods of insurance or residence that were fulfilled in accordance with the applicable legislation, in relation to the total length of the periods of insurance or residence.
  3. After that, it compares the national pension and the prorated pension and grants the larger amount.

When granting and calculating the theoretical pension, the following points are taken into account:

Meeting the requirement for affiliation: The Spanish institution considers workers to be affiliated if they are insured under the legislation of the other country or, if there is none, receive a benefit (pension) in accordance with the legislation of the states listed for this event.

Making up a specific lack: If there must be a minimum period of insurance immediately prior to the causal event in order for a benefit to be granted, this requirement is also considered to have been met if the interested party can present accreditation for the period of time immediately prior to the granting of the benefit under the terms of the legislation of another country.

Determining the regulating base: If it was necessary to add up periods of insurance or residence in other countries in order for the Spanish pension to be recognised, the theoretical pension will be calculated using the actual contribution bases of the insured person for the years immediately prior to the payment of the last contribution to the Spanish Social Security. The amount obtained from this calculation will be increased by the annual revaluations made for the same type of pension.

Entitlement to orphan's pensions will be recognised and the pension paid as explained above, if the deceased was subject only to the legislation of countries that offer pension protection for orphanhood (Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland).
[The cases in which the legislation of a country protects against orphanhood with subsidies or supplementary benefits are discussed in the special information on family benefits].

Benefits for work-related injuries and occupational disease

Entitlement to benefits due to work-related injuries or occupational disease is determined by the country whose legislation is applicable to the worker on the date when the accident occurred or the disease was contracted.

In the case of occupational disease, if the worker was exposed to a risk of contracting this disease in various countries, the benefit will be the sole responsibility of the country to whose legislation he or she was last subject, if the required conditions are met. If necessary, the periods of insurance fulfilled in other countries when carrying out activities during which the worker was exposed to this risk will be added together.

Death grant

To be entitled to a death grant, if necessary, the periods of insurance or residence fulfilled under the legislation of any country will be added together as if from one country.

If this person dies in a country other than the one in which he or she was affiliated, the death will be considered to have occurred in that country.

If the deceased was an active worker or a pensioner, the subsidies are paid by the State institution to which the interested party or the person responsible for the pension is affiliated, even if the deceased was resident in a different country.

If the pensioner is due to pensions from more than one country, the death grant is the responsibility of the legislation of the country where the deceased was residing at the time of death, if he or she was receiving a pension from that country. Otherwise, the death grant will be the responsibility of the country where the longest period of accredited insurance or residence was spent.

Family Benefits

A) Workers:

Workers are entitled to the family benefits listed in the legislation of the country to which the worker is subject for the members of their families.

If there is an entitlement to family benefits under the legislation of that country and under the legislation of the country where the members of the family reside due to exercising a professional activity in that country, the family benefits are paid by the State institution of the country of residence of the dependent children. However, the legislation of the competent country must pay a supplement if the family benefits listed in its legislation are higher than those of the country of residence of the members of the family.

B) Pensioners:

Family benefits for dependent children, regardless of the country of residence of the recipient or the children, will be granted in the following way:

  • If the pensioner is the holder of a pension from one single country, in accordance with the legislation of this country.
  • If the pensioner is a holder of pensions from two or more countries, in accordance with the legislation of the country where the pensioner is resident, if, according to this legislation, they are entitled to family benefits. Otherwise, family benefits will be granted if the individual is entitled to them, in accordance with the legislation of the country in which the pensioner has been insured for the longest period of time.

Despite this, if the amount of the family benefits granted by the legislation of the country that is competent to grant them is less than those that the recipient would be entitled to under the legislation of the other country, the pensioner will receive a supplement from the institution in the latter country that is equal to the difference between the two amounts.

For orphans' benefits due to the death of a worker or a pensioner who was subject at some point in his or her working life to the legislation of a country that offers protection to orphans with family subsidies and not pensions (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom), entitlement is determined in the same way as entitlement to family benefits.
[The cases where the legislation of a country protects orphans with pensions are listed in the special information on old age and survival benefits (pensions)]

3.- Applying for benefits and information

To submit applications  for benefits and to request information, interested parties should contact the competent institution in their country of residence.

In Spain:

In other countries, at the competent institutions that are specified for this purpose.

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