“It’s not for Christmas, it’s because we have the whim to eat”


Publication: Thursday, December 31, 2020 07:31

On the outskirts of any social security office, the landscape has changed since this year. Not only because of the Covid, because of the previous appointments that were installed as a basic pillar of the new normal, but because six months ago, when the end of imprisonment was just in sight at the end from the month of May, different citizens began to request a new benefit.

It was an unknown aid, but announced with great fanfare: the minimum living income (IMV). The summer bars were starting to ring, and this non-contributory social security benefit that would guarantee “a minimum income for those who lack it” brightened the start of what he called the new normal.

Six months later: little … or nothing. The blockages, the difficulty of the process and the very high demand, based on a social and economic crisis derived from the effects of the coronavirus, have taken effect. Aid is there, yes, but only a few receive it.

For others, limbo. It’s not even planned anymore, not even like a dreamed Christmas present.

“Excessive expectations” have been created

It was May 29 when, with all the glitz, Moncloa announced the approval of the Royal Decree-Law that regulated the IMV. “At that time, I thought that, finally, at Christmas, there would be hardly any household without an income,” says Joaquín García Martín, president of the Association of Unemployment Victims, in conversation with LaSexta . But the reality is very different.

This half-year of life involved in the service was used to ensure that, in the words of the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, in an interview with LaSexta, “excessive expectations have arisen. created “, because” in a few months it is impossible to achieve everything “.

The forecast for this Christmas was to have reached nearly a million homes. More precisely, 850,000. The reality leaves a very different figure. Unfortunately, only 160,000 families will benefit from this assistance during these dates, which covers, in figures from the ministry itself, less than half a million people. They are all people living on the edge, of great poverty.

What is IMV and who receives it

The IMV establishes a “guaranteed income” throughout the national territory for all adults, with one year of legal residence in Spain, who are registered as job seekers and who have previously applied for the benefits to which they may be entitled.

The benefit depends exclusively on the level of income and assets of the applicant, which is incompatible with unemployment benefits. Note: if you live alone and earn less than 200 euros per month, you will be charged € 462 if you have no dependent family. From there, taking into account the family unit and the minors in charge, the amount increases.

The truth is that the IMV came to improve another type of subsidy that the Autonomous Communities were already offering, so each of them applied the measure in its own way, since it is they who hold the powers of social assistance. In most cases, the two minimum income grants are not compatible, so the dedicated public funds have not been doubled: they have only been divided.

“The IMV was a hope. Today it is causing disappointment and indignation. Complicated, slow, exclusive ”, they claim to the RMI Your right (Minimum Insertion Income) platform. This is the name of the regional aid offered by the Community of Madrid, which coexists with the IMV.

For the ministry, it is “a success in itself”

It was the only food for Cristina Martín’s house, from Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid). Martín, 43, applied for the RMI a year ago and has been approved. It was her livelihood, for her and her children [la menor, de 7 años, y el mayor, de 23 años, que ya trabaja para poder aportar a la economía familiar], when they found themselves in an extreme situation: after suffering ill-treatment and losing their jobs. Even before COVID-19 appeared on the scene. But, as soon as the IMV started, they informed him that he had to request it in two weeks or he would lose the right to receive either of the two.

He did it. Specifically, June 24. Nothing since. “I have no answer.” “I don’t have any income at home either. I have help from my parents, who are retired. But my brother is in a similar situation, ”he sighs, his voice a little broken, on the other end of the phone.

However, for the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, “the implementation of the Minimum Income is a success in itself, because it was a measure requested by the European authorities since 2014 in all the Specific Recommendations by Country formulated. and, moreover, this start-up took place without a voice against in Parliament, which is quite unusual today ”.

“We know that deploying a service of these characteristics has its difficulties and more in a pandemic context, but nevertheless, in six months, the GMI reached 160,000 households in which nearly half a million people live, this which shows faster deployment. that the one who had a similar advantage of this type in Spain… ”, slip official sources of the ministry to the questions of this channel.

Five months “awaiting treatment”

But the official explanations fall short of candidates, like Sonia Rosa. She, 45, who lives in the Moratalaz district of Madrid, receives € 395 per month for a disability pension linked to cancer from which she suffered. The same day that LaSexta chatted with her, Sonia went to a social security office to see what was going on.

He requested the service on August 10 electronically, with the help of an association in his district. “I didn’t even know how to do it: it’s very complicated and convoluted,” sighs Sonia. And not only has he not received a response, but his case is still “awaiting treatment”.

“It’s not for Christmas that when you’re struggling day after day it’s silly. You don’t need shrimps, lambs … But children have needs: hygiene, clothes … We are going through a difficult period. What do we do? We don’t eat? Don’t we dress our children? Should I stop paying the rent so that we can stay on the streets? », He laments. “I would tell the minister to do the math. That he tried to spend a single month with what we did, ”he emphasizes.

Because, in her case, the food of her two daughters – one 12 and one 15 – is the responsibility of an acquaintance who gives them food prepared for her several days a week.

An assessment has already been made and improvements have been made

The ministry is no stranger to the slowness of its disposition, but it requires patience. “The beginnings of a service are usually complicated, require a learning process and criteria must also be dictated so that the regulations can be applied (switching from BOE to specific cases is not automatic, there is a lot casuistry to answer) “, comments a spokesperson for this channel.

They mark as an important milestone the evaluation that was carried out in September on the GMI. “We detected some improvements that allowed the resolution rate and, as a result, the number of benefits approved has picked up a great speed,” they say.

For example, it was detected “early” that it was “difficult” for candidates to meet the standard. Thus, a regulatory amendment was made so that the ministry can consult it directly with the INE and avoid this step for applicants. “This is an example, but the improvements which were approved in September have made it possible to facilitate procedures for citizens and speed up processing and this logically shows that the number of approved services is growing faster,” they indicate.

The minister promised that all requests “will be answered” within the first six months, to take into account retroactive effects. However, and due to the bottleneck that has created within the administration, now that the deadline has been met – which was pushed back to June 2021 a few weeks ago – there are around 270,000 cases pending. , but a good chunk of them match the last few weeks (around 10,000 new files keep coming in per week).

“Everything will be answered. In addition, given that the processing is more and more agile, we hope to reduce the application deadlines ”, assures LaSexta of ministerial sources.

“What they are doing is humiliating us”

Aroa Aldea, from Torrejón de Ardoz, 35, mother of 3 and 6 months pregnant, has lost her job due to the pandemic. Her husband, the same. “We had COVID and our businesses kicked us out,” he explains. “We found out on television that this advantage existed. I never asked for help because I never needed it ”.

He requested it in person on October 6. “To this day I am calling the phone number and my details have not been released. Ten days ago I went to the office where I made the request and it turned out that they lost my request. The solution they gave me is to ask for an appointment again and ask for it again, ”he says. For the moment, they survive on their unemployment benefits, thanks to the efforts of their families and the charity of their church, which provides them with food.

“They took help for the needy, not for a normal, ordinary family,” Aroa said indignantly. “I’m not saying that one of the conditions is that you earn 20,000 euros per year, but the minimum is 430 euros of subsidy. It is not even a person who has an apartment 40 years ago, with the obligation to pay the IBI and the expenses of the house… the person does not live with the help ”.

Therefore, he asks himself “what kind of requirements are they asking?” For me, these are fictitious demands not to give them to anyone. I find the way they act shameful. It is scandalous and humiliating. Because they humiliate us in a way you have no idea. I pay 750 rents and we charge 860 between the two of us, ”he explains, his voice enraged.

“I would tell Mr. Escrivá that if he wants to pay a month’s expenses for my house. Rent, water, electricity, gas and internet. These are the basic expenses. Do you think I have 860 to pay? You already tell me how you do it. If my children are going to open a present this Christmas, it is thanks to associations ”.

Despite this, the ministry begins a commitment. Respond, even late, they will respond. “Of course, that’s our obligation.” Even if they arrive months late … in some cases, it’s vital.

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