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Acquisition of the right, duration, suspension, termination and renewal

Acquisition of a right to benefits

  • Eligibility commences on the day following the legal situation of unemployment, but claims must be made within 15 days of this date. Application automatically registers the claimant as a job seeker, if registration has not already taken place. On filing their application, claimants are also obliged to sign an activity commitment.
  • Where an application is filed after the deadline, the right to benefits commences from the date of the application and the claimant loses benefits for the number of days that have elapsed since the date when the right to benefits would have commenced had the application been filed within the deadline and the day on which the application was actually filed).
  • When the period of unused annual paid holidays has not been not taken before the end of the employment relationship, or before the end of the working season in the case of permanent-intermittent employees, the legally unemployed status and the entry into force of the right to benefits commences upon the termination of this period, as long as these benefits are requested within 15 days of said termination. This period must be recorded in the Company Certificate.
  • Where there is an additional period corresponding to salaried procedures, the acquisition of a right to benefits commences on termination of this period. Again, this period must be recorded in the Company Certificate.


Period of contributory work in the past 6 years. Duration of the benefit
From 360 days to 539 days 120 days
From 540 days to 719 days 180 days
From 720 days to 899 days 240 days
From 900 days to 1,079 days 300 days
From 1,080 days to 1,259 days 360 days
From 1,260 days to 1,439 days 420 days
From 1,440 days to 1,619 days 480 days
From 1,620 days to 1,799 days 540 days
From 1,800 days to 1,979 days 600 days
From 1,980 days to 2,159 days 660 days
From 2,160 days 720 days


Suspension of the right to benefits means the interruption of benefits and Social Security contributions, without affecting the period of eligibility. Causes for suspension are:

  • The worker moves abroad to search for or carry out work, professional improvement or international cooperation for a continuous period of less than twelve months. A stay in a foreign country for a period of less than 15 calendar days that takes place only once each year will not be considered as a transfer of residence, provided that it has been requested and authorized, without prejudice to the fulfilment of the obligations established in article 231.1 of the Consolidated Text of the General Law of the Social Security.
  • Commencing military service or equivalent community service, or serving time in prison, except if the person has family responsibilities and has no family income, the monthly amount of which exceeds the minimum inter-professional salary (excluding extraordinary pay), in which case the person is entitled to continue claiming benefit as long as he or she files the corresponding application.
  • Taking a salaried post for a period of less than 12 months, or being self-employed for a period of less than 24 months.
  • Being fined for both minor and serious offences according to the terms established in the Welfare Penalties and Sanctions Act during that corresponding period.
  • While a worker is either working or not working, according to the wishes of the employer, during the appeal process against a sentence for unfair dismissal, having chosen readmission, or against the sentence that renders the dismissal or termination invalid.
  • Suspension due to a fine, in addition to a cessation in the payment of benefits, will entail a reduction in the duration of the benefit by a length of time equal to the term of suspension.


The right to unemployment benefits may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  • Expiry of the duration of the benefit.
  • Worker moves abroad, except in cases when this is specified in the regulations.
  • Death of the beneficiary.
  • The beneficiary becomes eligible for a retirement pension or a permanent disability benefit (total, absolute or serious disability), being entitled in the case of permanent disability to choose whichever of the two benefits is most favourable.
  • Working as an employee for a period of 12 months or more, or being self-employed for a period of 24 months or more.
  • The beneficiary reaches the official retirement age, unless he or she is not eligible for a retirement pension, or there has been a work suspension or reduction of working hours approved by an administrative decision.
  • Voluntary renunciation of the right.
  • Imposing penalties in accordance with the terms provided for in the Social Order Violations and Penalties Act.


After all cases of suspension, except where this is the result of a fine, workers are obliged to renew their rights to benefits at their local Employment Offices on termination of the situation that has given rise to the suspension.

Renewal entails the entitlement to claim unemployment benefits for the period of time left in their records, using the same calculation basis and percentages in force at the time of the suspension, as long as they can prove that the situation that gave rise to the suspension has terminated, that they are legally unemployed, and that the same requirements that were presented originally (lack of income or having family responsibility) are still valid.

In the case of suspension as a result of a fine, benefit rights are renewed at the corresponding percentage for the benefit, taking into account the period of time during which benefits have already been claimed, the fine period, and that the worker be registered as currently seeking employment.

The right to renewal comes into effect on termination of the cause of suspension but must be requested within 15 days of this date. Application requires the worker to register as job seeker, and the "activity commitment" is considered reactivated, except in those cases where a new commitment is required.

Where an application is filed after the above-mentioned deadline, the worker loses benefits for the number of days that have elapsed from the day the right would have commenced had the application been filed on time to the day it is actually filed.

Where paid-vacation time has not been used during the time of the contract, the legal unemployment situation and the right to benefits commences after this period, as long as applications are filed within 15 days of the termination of this period.

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