Healthplan Spain


What Is Spain’s Minimum Vital Income And Who Can Benefit From It? Expat Tips

Nobody likes the idea of falling on hard times.

Unfortunately, many Spanish citizens each year find themselves out of work and unable to afford the most basic of essentials.

Fortunately, the Spanish government’s department of social security introduced the Minimum Vital Income in June 2020, to help prevent people from falling into poverty.

Below we highlight the basics of the minimum vital income and cover the most important topics including:-

  • What is the minimum vital income?
  • Who is eligible for it?
  • How much is the payment?
  • How long it can be received for
  • What the eligibility requirements are
  • How to apply for the minimum vital income
  • And more..

Let’s take a look.

What is the minimum vital income?

Spain’s minimum vital income or IMV (Ingréso Mínimo Vital) serves as a protective measure within the country’s Social Security system, providing a safety net for individuals living alone or within a cohabitation unit who lack the financial means to fulfil their basic needs.

Its objective is to mitigate the risk of poverty and social exclusion, while simultaneously promoting opportunities for social and employment integration.

This initiative, which was included in the agreement signed by political parties within the Executive and highlighted in the President of the Government's investiture speech, was approved by the Council of Ministers on May 29, 2020.

As of the end of February 2023, 576,097 households, totaling 1,633,474 individuals, have benefited from the Minimum Vital Income according to recent statistics published by the country’s National Institute of Social Security.

Who benefits from the minimum vital income?

The Minimum Vital Income (IMV) benefits different groups of people, including:

  • Individuals who are at least 23 years old but not integrated into a coexistence unit, even if they share the same home.
  • Adult women who are victims of gender-based violence or human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
  • People aged 18-22 who come from residential child protection centres or are absolute orphans.
  • Homeless individuals.

Those who receive the IMV benefit on behalf of the cohabitation unit and represent it are called holders. Holders must have the legal capacity and be at least 23 years old. In some cases, adults or emancipated minors with children or minors in foster care for adoption or permanent foster care can also be holders.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Along with the requirements above, there are a few more that will need to be met in order to qualify. This includes:-

  • Have uninterrupted legal residency in Spain for at least one year. Having a visa is not enough, you need a residence permit.
  • Your average monthly income should be at least 10 euros less than the monthly benefit amount, which depends on your family situation.
  • You must be registered as a job seeker if you're of legal age.
  • None of the family members receiving the benefit should own a company or have a patrimony exceeding the established limit.

How much is the payment?

The amount of the Minimum Vital Income for the individual beneficiary or the cohabitation unit is the difference between the guaranteed income and the set of incomes and incomes of such people. The monthly amount of guaranteed income in 2023 is:

  • For an individual beneficiary: EUR 565.37
  • For the cohabitation unit: the previous amount increased by 30% per additional member from the second, with a maximum of 220%.
  • The amount indicated in the previous point is increased by a supplement of 22% in the case of a single-parent cohabitation unit.
  • To the monthly amount corresponding to the cohabitation unit will be added a supplement equivalent to 22% in the event that the cohabitation unit includes a person with a degree of recognized disability equal to or greater than sixty-five percent.
  • In addition, a monthly supplement of child support will be paid for each minor member of the cohabitation unit.

Changes in the personal circumstances of the beneficiary or cohabitation unit may affect the amount of the Minimum Vital Income. The managing entity will review the benefit accordingly, and the new amount will take effect from the first day of the following month.

Additionally, the benefit amount is updated every year starting from January 1. The update considers the previous year's annual income.

How long can I receive the minimum vital income?

The entitlement to receive the benefit commences on the first day of the month that comes after the submission date of the application. This entitlement will continue as long as the grounds for awarding the benefit persist, and the conditions and responsibilities stated in the legislation are fulfilled.

What about assets and savings?

There are thresholds in terms of the assets and savings that you own and whether you can receive IMV.

This can range from between 17,698.80 euros to 46,016.88 euros.

For example, if a single person has savings of more than 17,698.80 euros they will not be eligible for the benefit.

At the other end of the scale, if the household comprises four adults and one child, the maximum amount of savings is 46,016.88 euros.

You can see a full list of the thresholds here.

How can I apply for the minimum vital income?

This is relatively straightforward and can be done online via the SEDE Social Security website here or here.

Application can be done with a digital certificate, @clave electronic identity or if you do not have either, you can apply without one.

A simulator is also provided where you can get an idea of how much you may be eligible for. Once you have run through the simulator, it will tell you if you are eligible and how to proceed.

You can see the official page for the minimum vital income and a page which covers all the most common frequently asked questions.