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Permanent Disability Pension



Permanent Disability pension procedure

General Information


This is a financial benefit that seeks to cover the loss of income suffered by a worker whose ability to work is permanently reduced or impaired due to an illness or accident.


People included in any Social Security scheme that meet the requirements of the corresponding disability level.

  • Partial for the usual profession: It causes a reduction in performance of no less than 33% for this profession.
  • Total for the usual profession: Prevents the worker from carrying out his/her current profession, but he/she is still capable of working in another capacity.
  • Absolute for all work: Prevents the worker  from performing any type of work or trade.
  • Serious disability: When the permanently disabled worker  requires the assistance of another person to carry out the most basic activities.

Depending on the degree of disability, some general and contributory requirements apply. If the disability is the result of an accident, whether work-related or not, or an occupational disease, no previous contributions are required.


Determined by the base pension and the percentage applied according to the recognised level of permanent disability.

  • Partial permanent disability, consists of lump-sum compensation (24 monthly instalments of the base pension used to calculate the temporary disability).
  • Total permanent disability, 55% of the base pension. It will be increased by 20% after the worker is 55 years of age if, due to various circumstances, it is determined that it is difficult for the worker to find employment in a different profession from his usual one.
  • Absolute permanent disability, 100% of the base pension.
  • Serious disability, obtained by applying the percentage corresponding to total or absolute permanent disability, plus a supplement, to the base pension.
Economic effects:

When the pension derives from a common disease or non-work-related injuries, it is paid in 14 instalments (monthly with two special payments).
If the pension arises from a work-related injury  or occupational disease, it is paid in 12 monthly instalments, since the extra payments are divided on a pro-rata basis over the 12 months.

It is revalued annually and minimum monthly amounts are guaranteed.  The pension is subject to personal income tax (IRPF), while pensions arising from absolute permanent disability and serious disability are exempt from tax withholdings.

  • Partial permanent disability: Compatible with any work, including the type of work that was being performed up until the disability.
  • Total permanent disability: Compatible with any work-related income, except income obtained from the same position in the company. 
  • Absolute permanent disability and serious disability: May perform activities that are compatible with his/her condition. From retirement age, it is not compatible with work, either as an employee or as a self-employed worker.

In all cases, if employment results in the worker being registered in a Social Security scheme, all registration and contributory obligations must be met, and the management entity must be informed of the situation.


The provincial directorate of the INSS or the ISM, where applicable, will issue a decision within a maximum period of  135 days. If no decision has been issued within this deadline, the application will be deemed to have been denied due to no administrative response.

If a hearing is necessary or if additional documentation is requested, the interested party will have 10 days to argue his/her case or submit the documentation. Also, the employer will be given 10 days to argue its case if deemed responsible due to lack of health and safety measures.

Suspension / Termination:

The pension can be terminated due to a review of the declared disability, the granting of a retirement pension if it is being requested, or the death of the recipient. It may also be suspended.


Applying for the permanent disability pension.


The documentation that must be submitted to process the pension request is listed on the application form.

Where is it processed:

At the provincial directorate of the INSS or the ISM, where the interested party resides, unless living abroad, in which case he/she should contact the provincial directorate of the INSS in the province where  the last contributions paid in Spain were certified. When the ISM is the competent authority, it  will fall to the corresponding regional office.

Competent entity:
  • Establishing permanent disability status: the provincial directorates of the INSS through  the disability assessment teams (EVI), at every stage of the procedure
  • Management and payment of permanent disability: the relevant  entity responsible (INSS, ISM or  Mutual Society). 
Other information of interest:

Review: The disability status may be reviewed if the conditions becomes worse, improves or was misdiagnosed, or in the case of employment while the disabled person is under retirement age. This may lead to the degree of disability being confirmed or changed, or to the termination of the disability status, and therefore, disability benefits.

Permanent disability pensions become retirement pensions, when the beneficiary turns 65.

If the cause of the disability was a work-related injury or occupational disease and the company liability has been established, the financial benefit will be increased, depending on the seriousness of the breach, from 30 to 50%.

In Catalonia the duties of the EVI, are carried out by the Catalonian Institute of Disability Evaluation, and the Disability Evaluation Commission.


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