With this change in the procedure, they would return only the one corresponding to March if they do not meet the requirements. The self-employed associations denounce "that documentation of the entire month is required instead of March 14, as it should be."
The pandemic has especially affected the self-employed group, and as a consequence, almost 1.2 million of these workers have had to resort to the benefit for cessation of activity, having to close their business totally or partially.
They did so thanks to royal decree-law 15/2020, which allowed those self-employed workers who had had a decrease in their income below 75% or who had been forced to close their businesses due to the state of alarm decree to take advantage of this benefit. . This extraordinary benefit has been processed by the mutual collaborators with Social Security, who decided to give the go-ahead to practically all of them, without making exhaustive checks, which they warned would be done a posteriori.
At the time of verification, without the state of alarm having yet been lifted and with most businesses still with restrictions, some mutuals have begun to send communications to thousands of freelancers to request the relevant documentation so that they can justify the request what they did to benefit from the cessation of activity. Something that many of them will not be able to deliver, especially those who are attached to the module system, since they do not have the supporting documents for it, so they will be forced to return the money granted.
Specifically, the mutuals are asking that the aid corresponding to the month of March be justified, so they must send the receipts for that entire month and not from March 14, the day from which the state of alarm came into force, since the law stipulates that the losses must be computed over the entire calendar month prior to the one in which the benefit is requested.
From AMAT, the employers' association of the Mutuals collaborating with the Social Security, it is explained that these requirements had been limited to a couple of mutuals and that, specifically, "the presentation of this documentation was not being required, what they are doing is putting An instrument is available to the self-employed who request it so that, in the event of possible errors with respect to the application submitted in March, and in order to prove their reduction in billing, they can check the requirements for their access, granting them the possibility that in the event If you do not meet them, you will be allowed to modify the date on which you prove the reduction in billing, or withdraw your request, only in the event that your billing is greater than 75%, proceeding, where appropriate, to the subsequent regularization ”. In this way, the mutuals intend to "regularize the situation of the self-employed with respect to the applications recognized provisionally, as regulated in article 17 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, and to subsequently avoid , that the request for undue income must be processed, in case of not meeting the requirements that give them the right to access the benefit", which would oblige them to return everything paid and not only the proportional part corresponding to the month of March. The mutuals justify that they are asking for the reduction of the full month "because it is what the law requires of us, and we have to comply with it, even if we understand that it may be unfair", they asserted from AMAT.
The self-employed associations do not agree at all and have reacted with indignation with what they consider another lack of respect for self-employed workers, not on the part of the mutuals, but on the part of the Government, which, as has been customary since this began crisis has improvised its responses and changed the criteria on several occasions, in some cases contradicting itself. This is the case of the benefit for cessation of activity, in which the General Directorate of Social Security Organization made a change of criteria at the end of April that "substantially" modified the "conception" that had been made in March , something that the mutuals understand that "they must apply because it is what has been approved".
For Lorenzo Amor, president of ATA, "it is unfortunate that thousands of self-employed workers have already received communications from the mutuals requesting documentation on the cessation of activity that they have been granted, since many self-employed workers will not be able to prove the fall required in March and they will be forced to return the benefit, which is going to become a trap aid. It's kind of sad."
Along the same lines, the general secretary of Uatae, María José Landáburu, has stated that she believes that it is "inexplicable" that Social Security and mutuals demand that, "in order to collect the extraordinary benefit from March 14, you have to justify the drop in income since the 1st of that month, when the containment measures due to covid-19 had not yet been activated and the economy had not stopped. We ask them for flexible and fair criteria”.
For his part, the president of UPTA, Eduardo Abad, asked the Ministry of Social Security to unify once and for all the criteria that must be applied by mutuals, "that they must not and cannot apply their own regulations at will, but must follow those that have been established in the decree laws published in the BOE, and to prevent each mutual from going its own way and having different criteria”.
These extraordinary benefits have been paid so far in two tranches to the self-employed for the period between March 14 and April 30, which accounted for 1,320 million euros, according to the latest official data from AMAT, whose associates with those in charge payment, with an average income per person of 730 euros, which benefited, up to April, 1,144,089 the total number of beneficiaries between the two processing periods, with which the percentage of files approved since last March 14 reached 96,94% over the total requests.