Working in Spain For Members

El paro: How to claim unemployment benefits in Spain

The Local Spain
The Local Spain - [email protected]
El paro: How to claim unemployment benefits in Spain
To apply for unemployment benefit in Spain, you can do it online or in person at an employment office. Photo: SEBASTIEN BERDA/AFP.

If you need to claim unemployment benefits in Spain, there's a couple of ways to apply. Here's how and what you need to know.


In Spain, unemployment benefits are known as el paro. In order to claim them, you'll first need to apply, something you can do online or in person at your local SEPE (Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal) office.

The Local has put together a step by step guide, starting first with online applications.

How to apply online for unemployment benefit in Spain

You can apply for unemployment on the SEPE website.

Whether you have a digital certificate, Cl@ve PIN or DNI-e, you must follow these instructions to access the application:


Once you're on the SEDE site, you should see the following page.


From there go on the 'Procedimientos y servicios' tab as shown above and a menu will appear with two options: 'Personas y empresas'.

Click on the 'personas' (people) tab for individual applications.

On the next screen, a series of different sections should appear on the left-hand side of the screen. Fortunately for us, the one it highlights is 'Protección por desempleo' (unemployment protection) so we can go straight ahead.




On the right of the screen, you will see a list of the available procedures. In the second position, you should see a link to 'Solicite su prestación o subsidio por desempleo' (Apply for your unemployment benefit or subsidy).

Select it, and it will take you to the "apply for benefits" page. There you'll find some PDF manuals that will guide you in completing the document and/or setting up your electronic signature. 

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will find the available applications.

READ ALSO: Can I claim Spanish unemployment benefits if I'm not in Spain?

The first should read 'formulario para presolicitud individual de prestaciones por desempleo' (form for individual pre-application for unemployment benefits) which is some background information you'll need as part of your application.

Click on it and you should be taking to the following pre-application page.


Once that's done, go back to the previous page and click on the 'reconocer tu prestación' page on the solicitud de prestación contributiva line.

To continue, you must click on the blue iniciar reconocimiento (start recognition) button at the bottom.

You'll then be taken to another authentication page, where you must again choose to access via Cl@ve, digital certificate, or electric DNI/NIE. Select the one that corresponds to the type of digital ID you have.

After ticking the option, you will be taken to a screen where you will have to authorise the data you've put in your application. If it's all correct, click on "Continue".

From this point on, the SEDE platform will check the information you uploaded in your pre-application. If you meet the requirements and are entitled to unemployment benefits, a new screen will open. 

Finally, you must sign the application with your digital certificate, DNI-e or Cl@ve, and with the code that will be sent automatically to your mobile phone.


Applying for unemployment benefits in person in Spain

If you have difficulties navigating the Internet or problems with the SEPE website, you can apply for unemployment benefit in a SEPE office instead.

However, you'll need to get an appointment first.

First, go to this SEDE page.

At the bottom of the page, there is a blue box that says: 'iniciar solicitud/anular cita'.

From there you'll automatically be taken to the unemployment section, and the following box should pop up:



You'll be prompted for you código postal (post code) in order for the system to locate your nearest SEDE office, and you'll also be asked to choose a specific office, depending on the size of your town or city (a hand map pops up) and also your personal details, which date and time you'd like for your appointment, and so on.

Once that's all filled in you just need to confirm all your details and your appointment will be made. You'll receive confirmation by e-mail, so make sure your contact details are up to date.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also