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Contributory and professional level

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The contributory level provides a series of benefits to people who work, as well as their dependents,  to guarantee adequate protection in certain situations. This level is primarily financed by contributions made by active workers.

Most contributory benefits are economic in nature although the catalog varies from country to country. Below is a list of the main contributory benefits.

1. Healthcare Assistance

The purpose of healthcare is to provide the medical and pharmaceutical services necessary for workers to maintain or restore their health and fitness for work. These services are aimed at guaranteeing the worker’s complete recovery.

2. Temporary Incapacity

Temporary incapacity is a situation in which the worker is unable to do their job for a limited period of time due to illness or accident.

3. Maternity and paternity benefits

Economic benefits for maternity and paternity are intended to cover the lack of income suffered by workers when their contract is suspended or their activity is interrupted so that they can enjoy the legally established periods for maternity, paternity, adoption and foster care leave.

4. Permanent Incapacity

This occurs when the worker has severe anatomical or functional impairment that can be considered definitive and that diminishes or eliminates their ability to work.

Usually, this situation is determined by special disability assessment teams belonging to the official agencies in charge of the country’s public social security system. These teams determine the person’s degree of disability and, based on the assessment report, the amount of the benefit is established.

5. Retirement

A retirement pension is the financial benefit that is paid to workers, once they reach the established age and stop working. In order to obtain this benefit it is necessary to satisfy a series of conditions which, in general, are based on age, time worked, years during which contributions have been made to the public social security system, and so on.

6. Unemployment benefit

The public welfare system usually provides certain benefits aimed at covering the needs of people who are unemployed.

They usually include contributions or payments to the social security system and the appropriate job search activities. In order to receive this benefit it is necessary to be legally unemployed, in other words, at a time when, although the person is willing and able to work, they are unable to do so, either due to dismissal or termination of the contract.

In Spain, for example, the duration of this unemployment benefit is not indefinite and, in order to calculate how long it should last, each country has a scale that takes into account the time during which the worker has been contributing to the public system.