Unemployment benefits in Spain extended

Last week the Spanish government announced the creation of a new subsidy to be made available to people without jobs whose unemployment benefits had run out (unemployment benefits in Spain are issued according to former salary and length of former employment and the maximum period it is paid is two years).

While initial reports suggested that the subsidy would be available to all unemployed, this has not proved to be the case and there have been scenes of general confusion and protests at unemployment offices this week as queues of unemployed were turned away because they did not fulfill the requirements.

Who qualifies for the unemployment aid in Spain?

These are the requirements for those wishing to apply for new financial aid of 421 euros:

Income: Those wishing to apply for the new financial aid of 421 euros per month for a maximum of 180 days must have monthly incomes under 468 euros. If the unemployed person in question lives with their parents, a spouse or children under 26 years the income of all the members of the family will be added together and then divided by the number of members.

The end result must not be more than 468 euros.

Date when former unemployment benefits end: In order to be eligible for the subsidy of 421 euros a month your unemployment benefit must have run out. The programme, which came into effect yesterday, is valid for 6 months (until 15th February 2010). This means that those people whose benefits run out between 1st August and 15th February 2010 and fulfill all other requirements can apply for the aid.

Application period: Those people whose benefits run out have 60 days to apply for the financial aid of 421 euros a month. If the application is not made within the 60 period they will lose their rights to receive the aid.

Obligations: The unemployed person who receives the aid must agree to participate in a programme to help them join the workforce again.

Incompatibility: This financial aid is incompatible with any other type of financial aid granted by public bodies.

Extension: The programme is forecast to last six months although this period could be extended by the government depending on circumstances. The government has said that it will renew the programme if the unemployment rate rises above 17%.