27 Mar Guide to applying for the COVID-19 self-employed unemployment benefit
Which workers can get this payment, what they must do, how much money they will get and where they must apply
The Government has approved a specific severance payment for self-employed workers whose activity has been suspended by the State of Alarma measures or for those whose business has been significantly affected by the coronavirus crisis. For the time being, these are the fundamental questions about this new aid
Who can collect it?
All self-employed workers whose activities have been suspended by the declaration of the alarm state (according to the annex to RD 463/2020) or in the event that their turnover in the month prior to the one in which the service is requested is reduced by at least 75% in relation to the average turnover of the previous six-month period. This second requirement could have some adjustment in the next few days, although it is not certain.
Also included among the beneficiaries are self-employed workers with dependents who have had to close down because of the declaration of the alarm state or have suffered a reduction in their turnover of at least 75%. However, to benefit from it, they must present an ERTE for their workers and apply for this extraordinary benefit in turn.
Also included are the self-employed workers of the Special Regime for the Sea, as well as the working partners of the associated work cooperatives.
What are the requirements?
In addition to their activity being included in any of those that were suspended by the Royal Decree of State of Alarm or later, or proving a 75% drop in business, it is essential that the self-employed be registered with the Social Security on the date on which the State of Alarm was declared (14-03-2020). Therefore, if the self-employed person has previously cancelled their registration, they will not be able to receive this aid. However, it is not required to have contributed for at least 12 months due to cessation of activity.
Another requirement is to be up to date in the payment of Social Security contributions. However, if this requirement is not met on the date of cessation of activity or reduction of turnover, the self-employed worker may, within a non-renewable period of 30 calendar days, regularise the situation and thus receive the aid.
What is the amount of the benefit?
It will be 70% of the regulatory base, calculated with the average of the bases for which the self-employed worker has paid contributions during the twelve continuous months immediately preceding. If the applicant has not paid contributions for at least 12 months prior to ceasing activity, the amount will be 70% of the minimum contribution base for the Self-Employed or Sea Workers’ Scheme (‘661.04).
How long will this aid be paid?
It will last for one month, and will be extended until the last day of the month in which the Alarm Statement ends if it is longer than expected.
Does the self-employed person have to register with the Social Security or Tax Administration?
No. For as long as the worker receives this assistance, the State will pay contributions for the worker. For this reason the period during which he receives the benefit will not be subtracted from the periods of benefit for cessation of activity to which the beneficiary is entitled in the future.
What happens to self-employed workers who receive bonuses or flat rates linked to being registered?
The decree that regulates this aid indicates that the time that this extraordinary benefit is received will count as effectively contributed. For this reason, the self-employed who are receiving this aid may apply for it and will not lose the bonuses that are conditional on maintaining the activity.
Where do I apply for the benefit and what documentation do I need to present?
Self-employed workers must contact their mutual insurance company and apply online. For self-employed workers whose activity has been suspended by the State of Alarm, they must attach form 145; a photocopy of their National ID card; the last two receipts for contributions; the family book if they have dependent children; and the account number where they want the benefit paid.
For workers who apply for aid due to a drop in activity of more than 75%, in addition to the above documentation, they will have to prove this drop with the documentation requested by the mutual insurance company. In the case of the self-employed who pay tax by modules and are not obliged to invoice, the Social Security is studying how to adapt this benefit, according to Ibermutua.