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Concept, Classes and Characteristics of Benefits

In the area of Social Security, financial benefits, largely contributory, include a monetary entitlement which, once granted after having met certain conditions, is awarded to the beneficiary, in the event of protected situations or contingencies provided for in the law.

There are four classes of benefits:

  • Pensions: financial benefits paid periodically which last for life or until reaching a certain age.
  • Benefits: temporary benefits paid periodically.
  • Compensation: financial benefits paid in a single payment.
  • Other benefits: such as unemployment benefits and non-financial family protection benefits.

In addition to financial benefits it would be worth mentioning health care, the pharmaceutical benefit and social services which, in reality, are benefits in kind but which have an undoubtable financial impact.

Financial benefits of the Social Security have the following characteristics:

  • They are public, since they are included in the public scheme of the Social Security described in Article 41 of the Constitution.
  • They are non-transferable and non-waivable, since beneficiaries cannot transfer or waive their entitlement to them, irrespective of the exercise of the right to choose in the event of incompatibility of benefits.
  • They enjoy guarantees against third parties, in other words, they cannot be subject to withholding, compensation or discount, except in the established cases (maintenance obligations, debts to the Social Security, etc.).
  • They can only be frozen according to the terms and amounts set by the Civil Procedure Act for pensions and wage income.
  • They are preferential benefits, they have the nature of credits with a general preference.
  • They have a specific tax treatment, given that they are subject to taxation according to the terms set forth in the regulations for each tax.
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