If you plan to work in Spain, you should apply for your social security number ideally before working or at least once you’re living here. Whether you work for yourself of for someone else you need a social security for both of you to contribute and benefit from the system.
Contributing to Spanish Social Security means paying for the public healthcare, old age pensions, unemployment insurance, maternity benefit, and other benefits.
You can obtain a Spanish Social Security number by applying for one in person at the closest Social Security office. You will need to fill out and sign a form called Modelo TA.1 and present your passport or Spanish residency card, and the Social Security office should issue a number on the spot.
You have the right to obtain a health card and have full access to Spanish public healthcare, if you contribute to social security. The wide range of health services you will have access to include prenatal care, mental health services, and specialist care.
Unemployment benefits help protect the terminated worker. This does not apply to people who have quit their job or are self-employed. The requirements for claiming unemployment are if your employer terminated your contract and you worked at that job for a minimum of one year in the last six months. Unemployment benefits last for a maximum of two years and are up to 70% of your former monthly salary.
In Spain, the retirement age is 65, and to qualify for a Spanish pension you need to have contributed to social security for a minimum of 15 years. For contributing for that long you will receive 50% of your earnings base, to receive 100% you will have to contributed for 35 years.