The Social Security Number
What is the Social Security Number about?
As mentioned before, Seguridad Social means Social Security. The social security includes the social well being and protection of people. The Spanish government provides this protection and support to people in case of health care problems, poverty, old age, disability and unemployment. The people in Spain that pay income taxes have the right to social security. With the social security you are automatically covered by national health insurance.
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Pay Attention! After your enrolment at the social security you should go to the local health centre (centro salud) and take your registration certificate with you. With this registration certificate and your Empadronamiento you apply for a public health card, named Tarjeta Sanitaria. This card gives you the right to use public health care facilities. So don't forget to take this card with you every single time you visit a doctor or hospital.
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If desired, you could opt for complementary insurance, in order to skip the long queues and receive higher quality care. Your Social Security Number is personal and keeps track of how much you earned and paid to taxes. Based on these numbers the government determines the payments in case of unemployment or pension. In order to receive the full amount of pension, you need to pay taxes for 35 years.
If you do not have an Empadronamiento yet I recommend you look at the article below. This article tells you exactly what to do in a step-by-step guide and tells you which documents are required.
- How to get an 'Empadronamiento' in Barcelona All necessary information and advice to get the Empadronamiento in Barcelona.
Who is the Social Security for?
- Every citizen and resident.
- Employees: employers are obligated by the law to have a Social Security Number. The process itself is fulfilled by the employee.
Required documents for your Social Security Number
To get a Social Security Number you will need the following documents:
- TA1 Form - You can download the form here. The first page gives instructions on what to fill in. You only need to fill the blanks on the second page, header 1 (Datos del solicitante) and header 3 (Datos relativos a la notificación). Don't forget to mention the place (lugar), date (fecha) and leave your signature (firma) at the end of the page.
- Identification. Passport, drivers license, DNI or NIE.
- (Copy of) Labor contract or internship contract. Officially this is not mandatory, but some civil servants could refuse to help you if you don't have it with you.
How to obtain a Social Security Number?
You have 2 options to obtain the Social Security Number: at a local office or online. There is NO NEED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, as is the case with the NIE. Anyway, in the upcoming paragraphs I tell you what to do and I share my own experience of getting a Social Security Number. It is useful to read this, so you know what to expect.
Go to the closest Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social and take the required documents with you, as described in the paragraph above. Once at the office, tell them that you want to get a Número de la Seguridad Social. To obtain the Social Security Number, you will need a Spanish phone number, at least at some Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social. If you do not have a Spanish number, they will send you to another location where it is possible to get the Security Number without the Spanish number.
To find the closest Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social click here. Or just search for Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social in Google to find the closest to you.
Once in the (correct) office, go to the right floor and take your ticket out of the machine. On the ticket is a number that tells you when it is your turn. If you didn't have the TA1-form, you probably received one at the desk. Fill in the blankets and move to the right table once it is your turn. 5 minutes later you are ready to leave with your Security Number.
When you received a digital certificate from the Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social you could also get your Security Number online. At the top right of your screen, you click on 'Tu Seguridad Social'. This will open another tab. On this new tab you are able to register yourself or login. Unfortunately this part of the website is only available in Spanish. So if you don't speak Spanish, there is no other option than to go to the office.
On Friday morning, the 1st of June I applied for my Social Security Number. I went to the Instituto Nacional De La Seguridad Social, located at Carrer d'Aragó, 273, just a few streets away from the metro stop Passeig de Gràcia. After I passed through the security I went to the desk (left to the main desk, just around the corner) and handed over my NIE and left my e-mail and phone number on a piece of paper. 15 minutes later it was my turn and unfortunately the civil servant couldn't help me because of my Dutch phone number. He gave me a piece of paper and showed me 4 other locations where I could go to. Moreover, the civil servant stressed that I had to take my internship contract with me.
Once I had printed my internship contract I moved on to Arc del Tearte, 63-65, the closest Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social. To visit this office, take the purple line all the way to Paral·lel or the green line and get out at Drassanes. This was mentioned on the paper that I received from the civil servant. Once I arrived at the office, I went to security and told the lady behind the desk that I needed a Número de la Seguridad Social. She gave me the TA1 form and marked which parts I had to fill in (see paragraph required documents for your Social Security Number --> TA1 Form).
I took the elevator to the third floor and a ticket out of the machine. I completed the TA1 form and within 10 minutes it was my turn. I gave the civil servant the form together with my NIE and within 5 minutes I was able to leave the place with my lovely Social Security Number. To conclude, a fast and easy process!
What's next? Public Health Card!
Now that you have a Social Security Number it is time to move on and obtain your Public Health Card, also referred to as Tarjeta Sanitaria. Together with your Social Security Number and Empadronamiento you should visit a Centro Salud. There is also the option to apply for the Tarjeta Sanitaria online. How? Check out the article below. See header 1. More Paperwork --> Social Security Number.
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