Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Spain - Minimum income

This chapter explains what support people in need can apply for if they have no income and have not paid any or enough social security contributions.

Below we will tell you about:

  • Non-contributory invalidity pension (pension de invalidez no contributiva)
  • Non-contributory retirement pension (pension de jubilación no contributiva)
  • Benefit for Spanish nationals residing abroad and returnees (prestación a favor de los españoles residentes en el exterior y retornados)
  • Housing benefits (complemento de vivienda).
  • Social services (servicios sociales)

When can you apply for these?

If you do not have enough income to live on and have not previously paid any or enough contributions, the Spanish social protection system has a series of available non-contributory benefits, so you can survive from day to day:

  • Non-contributory invalidity pension: for people with disabilities and insufficient means.
  • Non-contributory retirement pension: for retired people with insufficient means.
  • Benefit for Spanish nationals residing abroad and returnees: for Spanish nationals residing abroad and Spanish returnees who returned to the country and lived in it for at least ten years.
  • Housing benefits: aimed at facilitating rental costs for people without sufficient means.
  • Social services: benefits that supplement financial support and improve living conditions, especially for elderly or people with disabilities.

What requirements must you meet?

Non-contributory invalidity pension: you should be between 18 and 65 years old and have a degree of disability or a chronic illness of at least 65%. You should be resident in Spain and have lived in the country for 5 years, including the 2 years prior to applying for support.

Moreover, your yearly income should be less than €5,538. But if you live with your family, you should take into account the annual income of all the members of the family economic unit.

Non-contributory retirement pension: you should be 65 years old or over 65, live in Spain and have done so for 10 years between your 16th birthday and the date of applying for a pension, including the 2 calendar years immediately preceding the date of your pension application.

Moreover, your yearly income should be less than €5,538. But if you live with your family, you should take into account the annual income of all the members of the family economic unit.

Benefits for Spanish nationals residing abroad and returnees: you can obtain support for Spanish nationals residing abroad if you are of Spanish origin, born in Spain, or of Spanish origin, born elsewhere, but have resided in Spain for at least 10 years, provided you possessed Spanish nationality throughout this period.

In addition, you should live in a country with low levels of social protection and be older than 65 if you wish to obtain retirement benefits or between 16 and 65 for invalidity benefits.

You can apply for support for Spanish national returnees if you are of Spanish origin, born in Spain, older than 65 and have lived in a country with low levels of social protection. Also if you are of Spanish origin, born elsewhere and have resided in Spain for at least eight years before applying for the benefit, provided you possessed Spanish nationality throughout this period.

Housing benefits: if you are the holder of a non-contributory pension (retirement or invalidity) and you rent your usual residence, you can apply for help that will make it easier to pay rent. For this, you should not own any housing, nor be a family member up to the third degree of affinity of the owner of the house where you live.

Social services: Spanish Social Security social services are intended for the elderly or people with disabilities.

What are you entitled to and how can you apply for it?

Non-contributory invalidity and retirement pension

Both benefits entitle you to the same economic amounts.

Non-contributory invalidity and retirement pension

14 payments of €395.57 a month (€5,538 a year)

Medical care and medicines free of charge

Supplementary social services

The Autonomous Communities, to which the responsibilities and services of the Instituto de Mayores y Servicios Sociales (IMSERSO) were transferred, are responsible for managing and awarding the entitlement to a non-contributory pension. You should apply to them for a pension.

If you receive one of these benefits, you should report any changes in your circumstances which may affect your pension entitlement or amount within 30 days.

In addition, during the first three months of each year, you should send a declaration of the income of the family economic unit for the past year. The information may be checked with the Spanish Tax Agency.

Income support for Spanish nationals residing abroad and returnees

Spanish nationals resident abroad

Benefit annually established by Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Spanish returnees

12 payments of €392 per month

To apply for these benefits you should submit the application form and required documents at the Consejerías de Empleo y Seguridad Social (Department of Employment and Social Security in the Spanish Embassy), in the Secciones de Empleo y Seguridad Social (Employment and Social Security Section), or, failing that, at the Consulate or Consular section of the Spanish Embassy.

Housing benefits

The amount of the benefits is established annually by law. For 2020, this will be €525 per year.

Social services

The Spanish social protection system offers a series of social services, which can be applied for at and managed through IMSERSO:

Homes and residences for the elderly

Day centres and residential homes.

Home care

Personal support, cleaning service, home meals service, etc.

Hydrotherapy

A supplementary service at hydrotherapy centres, for people who have been medically prescribed it (Application form)

Holidays and tourism

Trips arranged for the elderly to places with a warm climate, cultural tours of tourist interest and nature tourism (Application form)

Centres for people with physical and mental disabilities

Treatment and rehabilitation

Jargon busters

  • Insufficient means: to be entitled to a non-contributory pension, a person with insufficient means is one whose total annual income does not exceed €5,538.
  • Family economic unit: is that in which the person receiving a benefit lives with other people, whether they are beneficiaries or not, and is linked to them by marriage or by blood up to the second degree of affinity. 

Documents you will need

Find out about your entitlements

These links will help you to find out about your entitlements in Spain. They are not European Commission links and do not represent the opinion of the Commission:

Publications and web pages of the European Commission:

Who can you contact?

IMSERSO - Instituto de Mayores y de Servicios Sociales (Institute for the Elderly and Social Services)
General Management Sub-Office
Financial Benefits Department
Avd. de la Ilustración, s/n
28029 Madrid
SPAIN
Tel. +34 917033000 
Information Tel.: +34 901109899
Fax +34 917033855
Website: www.imserso.es
E-mail: areaprestaciones@imserso.es

Addresses and telephone numbers of the Autonomous Communities and IMSERSO territorial directorates.

For any problem with your entitlement as a European citizen: EU welfare services.

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