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All about unemployment benefits in Spain 2022

The purpose of unemployment benefits is to cover the unemployment situation of a person during the search for a new job, it protects the citizen during a period of vulnerability. Find out below all about unemployment benefits in Spain 2022 and predictions for 2023.

Current labor situation in Spain

Not since the 2008 crisis had there been a higher global unemployment indicator as obtained at the end of the year 2019 with the arrival of the pandemic. After that, during 2021, unemployment was better than expected, decreasing by 0.5% between the years and with 20.18 million people working in the 4th quarter of 2021 with respect to the 19.97 million working at the end of 2019.

One of the main causes of unemployment in Spain is the structure of the labor market, full of deficiencies and linked to the production model, where services account for 67.7% of GDP, with industry representing almost 15% of the economy and manufacturing industry barely 11.1%.

All this means that the total employment of the territory corresponds 78% to the service sector, which means a great impact for the labor situation in the current circumstances.

Projections for 2023 point to the unemployment rate improving by almost 3 points at the beginning of the year to almost 13%. This would imply a slower pace of recovery than in 2021, which was aided by the reopening of the services sector. Although this recovery may also be affected by the rapid increase in costs and the maintenance of competitiveness.

According to INE, BdP and Bloomberg, the evolution of the unemployment situation in Spain is as follows:

The temporary employment regulation law (ERTEs) in force for the pandemic ended on March 31 of this year. And as of April 1, the traditional regulations are modified and new ERTEs are established to face cyclical and sectorial crises with internal flexibility.


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Changes in unemployment in 2022

As mentioned above, the arrival of 2022 has meant the updating not only of the ERTEs but also of the Public Indicator of Multiple Effect Income (IPREM), the base indicator that determines the country’s unemployment subsidies. The change in its amount affects the different benefits that are based on this concept to calculate their amount, once a certain percentage has been applied.

According to the current regulation, if they do not have children, the beneficiaries of the contributory benefit will earn 80% of the IPREM and, if they have children, the amount will rise to 107% of the IPREM.

According to the salary tables shared by the Public Employment Service (SEPE), in 2022 the cap below is 540.41 euros for those without family responsibilities and 722.80 euros for those with at least one child.

Who can collect unemployment benefits?

Technically speaking, unemployment is a contributory economic benefit that protects workers who, although willing and able to work, become unemployed.

This benefit is calculated and paid by the Social Security, acting as an economic coverage fund, in case the person is unemployed. Its duration and contribution will depend on several factors such as the cause of unemployment, time worked or contribution to Social Security. It is important not to confuse it with the unemployment benefit, since the latter is different and is requested by a different entity.

Only dependent workers who have lost their jobs for reasons beyond their control can collect unemployment benefits. The indispensable requirement is that they have contributed for at least 360 days during the last six years. In other words, people who have worked for less than one year will not be able to collect unemployment benefits.

The person who emigrated, but was paying unemployment contributions in the 6 years prior to the date of emigration, and complies with the 360 days, can also collect it, as long as the person does not receive unemployment benefits in another country.

Or temporary agricultural workers who are registered as self-employed before claiming unemployment benefits must have paid contributions for 720 days.

Persons who have requested a voluntary leave of absence or who have resigned from their jobs are exempt from unemployment.

On the other hand, there is also a “unemployment benefit for the self-employed”, which can be applied for by self-employed workers who meet certain requirements. This unemployment benefit is called “unemployment benefit for termination of activity”. In order to apply for it, one must have paid all the Social Security contributions, have a minimum contribution and justify the reason for unemployment.


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Requirements to collect unemployment benefits

In order to be eligible for the aforementioned benefits, it is essential to meet the contribution requirements. If they have worked for less than one year, the contribution period is reduced to a minimum of three months if they have family responsibilities, or six months if they do not.

In the case of unemployment due to loss of partial employment, this amount will be received in proportion to the hours previously worked, except in the case of the allowance for persons over 52 years of age.

If you want to know how to collect unemployment benefits, this is what you need:

  • To be affiliated to the Social Security and to have paid the contributions for unemployment benefits.

  • Commit to actively seek new employment (activity commitment).

  • Contribute at least 360 days in the last 6 years.

  • The cause of dismissal is not attributable to the employee.

  • Registering in the register of job seekers (INEM).

  • Not be older than 65 years of age (retirement age).

  • Not to receive financial compensation for work performed for oneself or for others.

How long unemployment lasts?

The duration of unemployment benefits depends on how much the worker has contributed during the six years prior to the time he/she applies for unemployment benefits.

To be better understood, this means that, in order to access the maximum benefit period, you must have been active for at least 6 years. And at least one year.

Below is the SEPE table:

Table of days contributed to collect unemployment benefits according to SEPE

How much is unemployment payable?

The amount of unemployment benefits also varies depending on the worker. In this case, the contribution base to which he/she is subscribed and the amounts with which he/she has contributed.

The most common is to receive 70% of the regulatory base of the last 180 days of contributions, i.e. based on the salary of the last 6 months worked. This will be the case during the first six months of unemployment, and after that, it will drop to 50%.

By calculating the monthly average of your contribution base, we obtain the regulatory base, but we must take into account that there may be an increase or decrease depending on the salary, and that is when this base varies.

On the other hand, it is important to know that there are maximum and minimum unemployment amounts. That is to say, even if your contribution base is very high, you will not be able to exceed a certain amount when collecting unemployment benefits.

This year, these amounts have changed to the following:


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Applying for unemployment benefits at the SEPE

Unemployment can be applied for in two ways. In both you will have to be registered in the employment registry of your community, as a claimant.

By internet

You must have a digital certificate, electronic ID or Pin key. You must enter the SEPE portal, click on “people” and then on “apply for your benefit”.

Then you will have to fill out a series of data that will be requested in the portal, among them will be:

  • Company certificate, only when the company has not been in charge of sending the information regarding the unemployment registration. Here you will indicate the data of the company that has dismissed you.

  • SLD and data recognition of the benefit as your personal registration data in the SEPE. You will also have to add the direct debit or others to verify the amount of unemployment.

  • Finally, a summary of the data is shown, such as the days contributed. This is where you will indicate whether you want to register the benefit.

  • All that remains is to sign and send.


Through this method, you must make an appointment at the Social Security offices closest to your home and carry out the procedures in person. You can make an appointment online or by phone.


We hope we have been helpful with this information. If you have any questions or need help to apply for unemployment you can contact one of our consultants through or by calling +34 93 737 75 25. Log in to TAS Consulting and check our plans and services.


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