Since this social benefit was first applied, many have many doubts (especially when it comes to foreigners). But in this article we will solve them all. If you would like to know what exactly the minimum vital income in Spain is and how it works, what requirements you will have to meet in order to apply for it successfully (plus how to do it step by step); then keep on reading. In this article we answer all these questions and provide you with other useful information about this income.


What is the minimum vital income?


The minimum vital income is a benefit granted by the Government through the Spanish Social Security that aims to guarantee a minimum standard of living to those people who do not receive a level of income considered as basic (or who do not have huge wealth possessions) through a monthly monetary benefit.

In other words, the payment of a fixed amount of money at the end of each month.

The amount of this benefit, as well as all its conditions, are regulated in the Royal Decree-Law 20/2020, and they depend greatly on the particular case of the applicant.

Thus, depending on the situation of each family, the number of members living together, the socio-economic situation, and a set of extra factors, the amount received at the end of the month will vary (below we will see a table with the specific income brackets that are granted).

In addition, it will be very important that you look at all the conditions and requirements that must be met in order to apply for this benefit (which, as we have already mentioned, are quite extensive).

Without further ado, let’s analyze this social assistance in greater detail.

Who can apply for it?


Let’s look at the main groups that can apply for this benefit:

  • First of all, we are talking about individuals who must be between 23 and 65 years old with full capacity to act, and who live alone. This would be the general case.
  • In addition, women over the age of 18 who are victims of gender violence or human trafficking.
  • In the case of receiving a residential, social, or health service benefit that of a permanent nature (financed through public funds), then you can’t apply for this monthly income.
  • Those over 18 years old or below 18 but emancipated who have children or are in charge of minors in adoption.
  • Individuals over 65 years old long as their cohabitation unit is formed only by persons over 65 years of age, or also including minors or persons who are judicially incapacitated.


But what happens if don’t live alone?


People who share a household may also apply for the minimum vital income; that is, when we find family units composed of more than one member, as long as:

  • They are neither registered as a civil union with another person nor married (unless divorce proceedings have been initiated).
  • Have not been living independently for the last 3 years, unless they have done so after initiating divorce proceedings or due to gender violence.
  • Do not form part of another cohabitation unit.
  • They have been registered with Social Security for at least 12 months (regardless of whether this period is continuous or not), and that during the last 3 years have lived at a different address from that of their parents or legal guardians.


Can more than one person at the same house or family unit apply?


No. That is not possible.

There can only be one person receiving the minimum vital income per household, even if there are several families or individuals in the same house.

In other words, only one member of your household can receive this benefit. Although, as we will see, the more people in the family unit, the higher the income received.


Main requirements


Now that we have seen who can apply for the minimum vital income, let’s understand what are the exact conditions or requirements you must meet in order to apply and receive this benefit.

Basically, there are four main conditions:

1. To have legal residence in Spain uninterruptedly for at least one year. Foreigners with a visa would not fall into this group, since the time in Spain with a visa is a time considered as of stay (and not of residency); therefore, it will be important to have a residence permit.

2. Secondly, and perhaps the most important point, if the average monthly income you receive is at least 10 euros less than the monthly amount that this minimum vital income will pay (and this depends on your family situation, as you will receive more or less income depending on that). This is the maximum amount of earnings you can receive if you want to get this benefit.

3. You must also be registered as a job seeker (as long as you are of legal age).

4. Finally, it is important to mention that no member of the family unit that is going to receive this income can be the owner of a company; nor have a patrimony superior to the established limit.

In order to effectively demonstrate that you are in a situation of economic vulnerability, you must comply with points 2. and 4. When it comes to the latter point, below you can see the maximum asset value (in euros) that you can have if you want to apply for this social benefit:

minimum vital income requirements


Minimum vital income simulator


So far we have seen all the situations in which you could apply for this monthly income.

However, it is very likely that you still are not quite sure about if you actually could apply or not, as there are many exceptions and different situations.

Thus, the government created a very useful tool that will allow you to know if you can benefit from this income or not: the simulator of the minimum living income.

You just have to enter the following link, answer the questions that appear there, and you will finally see if your particular case is applicable.

Click here to access the minimum vital income simulator.


Step by step application process


The process is relatively simple, and can be done completely online.

The first thing you will have to do is enter the Social Security Sede Electrónica, and go to “ciudadanos” > “familia”.

You can also access directly by clicking here.

Once inside, select the drop-down menu option “Ingreso Mínimo Vital”.

You will see that different options open up for you after scrolling down a bit; as you can apply with an electronic certificate, with cl@ve, or without a certificate:


minimum vital income application


Once you select the option according to your particular case, you will have to fill in the information that appears on the screen: name, date of birth, ID card, marital status, etc.

It is important that you answer all the questions correctly.

And upload your ID scanned, front and backside.

Finally, you must attach the accreditation of willingness to apply for the benefit (a document with your name and ID number detailing your intention to apply for this benefit); and verify that all the data you have entered is correct.

And that’s it!


Other important documents for your application


In addition to what we have seen so far, there are also a series of documents that will be essential to submit in order to prove that you meet the requirements to receive this benefit:

  • Certificate of census registration (“empadronamiento”) from the town hall that corresponds to your address (in the case of not living alone, the rest of the members of the family unit must be registered in that same census).
  • DNI, family book, or residence card (which must be valid at the time of the application).
  • In the case of being registered as a civil partner with your partner, you must also submit your family book with the certificate from the civil registry that proves it.
  • Document that verifies that you are actually a job seeker in Spain.


What is the exact amount to be received each month?


The exact amount to be received depends greatly on the number of individuals in each family unit or cohabitation unit (i.e., in the same household).

In the following table you can see the different amounts for 2021, divided into two groups: single-parent units and non-single-parent units:


minimum vital income for foreigners

minimum vital income monthly amount


Check the status of your application


Once you have submitted your application, it is very likely that you will want to know its status and find out if it has been approved or not.

And the truth is that you can do so easily and online.

Just enter the Social Security’s platform through on this link, click on the button “Aportar documentación / solicitar estado”, and enter the application code (which you will receive after sending all the documentation), and your ID card.


For any other questions, our lawyers are ready to help you. 


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