Social Security in Spain

Find out about entitlement to welfare, benefits and other forms of social security in Spain...

It is compulsory for all workers resident in Spain to be enrolled with the General Social Security Fund (Dirección General de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social - TGSS). Provincial social security offices are located throughout the country.

The social security system works in a similar way to other European countries. Each month employees make social security contributions and this entitles them to a series of benefits. An employer is responsible for registering employees and an NIE number is necessary. Workers paid cash in hand may not be eligible for social security benefits. Self-employed persons should visit their local social security office and complete the necessary paperwork.

The Social Security website has some information available in English.

The National Institute of Social Security (Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social - INSS) provides information regarding social security benefits (excluding unemployment benefits), including eligibility. Provincial National Social Security Institute offices are located throughout the country.

The European Commission has published a detailed pamphlet containing more information regarding social security in Spain entitled Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in Spain (PDF).