The quantitative income limit to be able to receive the unemployment subsidy refers exclusively to the beneficiary, not to the members of the family unit

The Supreme Court (TS) has set a doctrine on the quantitative income limit of applicants for unemployment benefits for people over 52 years of age. The Social Chamber has resolved that said maximum amount refers exclusively to the beneficiary seeking the subsidy, without the calculation being conditioned on the number of members that make up the family unit, and it is only possible to prove family responsibilities when the limit is exceeded.

The main actor in this case, for which the doctrine has been established, was receiving unemployment benefit for 243 days between 2013 and 2014, and after that, an unemployment benefit for 337 days.

In December 2015, the plaintiff submitted another application for unemployment, having received that same year his own income due to the expiration of the so-called "World Giant 5-year Barclays structured bond" in the amount of 7,500 euros. Therefore, the Public State Employment Service (SEPE) sent you a statement on the proposal for termination and improper receipt of unemployment benefits, in the amount of 4,984 euros, for not having communicated the exceedance of income on the expiration date of the Bond .

The plaintiff filed a previous claim that was dismissed and later appealed to the Labor Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJM), which did accept the appeal, annulling the resolution and declaring the claim inadmissible. refund of the amount received in its day by unemployment subsidy.

The ruling handed down by the TSJM understands that the amount received by the plaintiff at the expiration of the contracted bank bonds must be divided by the total number of members of the family unit, without the result thus exceeding 75% of the minimum interprofessional wage, recognizing the right to maintain the subsidy during the period in dispute.

The State attorney, on behalf of SEPE, formalized an appeal for the unification of doctrine, providing as a contradictory judgment with the appealed one the one issued by the TSJM, of July 13, 2017 - rec. 3634/2015-, for understanding that the contested sentence had infringed the provisions of articles 215.1. and 3 from the LGSS. The Supreme Court has resolved this issue by estimating the appeal, quashing and annulling the appealed ruling.

TS Reasoning

The introduction of the subsidy in favor of those who accredit family responsibilities is intended to protect the unemployed located in a family in a situation of economic precariousness.

Both in the appealed sentence and in the contrasting sentence, it is established that, in order to solve this question, it is necessary to start from the provisions of article 215.2 LGSS, "Family responsibilities shall be understood as having children under the age of twenty-six in charge of the spouse or disabled minors, or foster minors, when the income of the family unit as a whole, including the applicant, divided by the number of members that compose it, does not exceed 75% of the minimum interprofessional salary, excluding the proportional part of the payments extraordinary”.

For this reason, the Supreme Court has proceeded to maintain the interpretation made by the contrasting ruling. It has stated that the quantitative income limit legally established as a requirement to receive the subsidy refers exclusively to the beneficiary seeking the unemployment benefit, without the calculation of the indicated limit being conditioned on the number of members of the family unit.

To be entitled to the subsidy, the applicant must meet a first requirement: not have their own income, of any nature, that exceeds the aforementioned amount. Only when this "sine qua non" requirement has been overcome is it when family responsibilities can be accredited. This would be the correct way to operate to resolve this issue, and not to start by dividing the beneficiary's income by the total number of members of the family unit to later check if the resulting amount exceeds the legal limit.

In this way, the court ruling is confirmed and the undue benefits amounting to 4,984 euros that were granted and received at the time as unemployment benefits are reimbursed.

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