The aid per child between 50 and 100 euros does not take off among low-income families who do not receive the IMV

Social Security provides the same data since March on the new benefits per child between 50 and 100 euros per month for low-income families: they reach "more than 200,000 households". In June, the response from the Ministry led by José Luis Escrivá to elDiario.es is the same: "More than 200,000 households" are beneficiaries. In the absence of information, this medium has claimed the data through the Transparency Portal, from where they respond that the number of "API benefits", as they call this aid in Social Security, is "221,765" until May 18. It is specified that these come from "files that have been supplemented from already approved IMVs." In other words, the benefits per child recognized at the moment are limited to households that benefit from the minimum vital income without taking off among many other low-income families that are also entitled to them.

"From what comes to us, the ex officio aid to households that receive the IMV has been recognized and transitions have also been made of the people who were collecting the previous benefit for a dependent child. But there is a lot of confusion among people who do not charges the IMV but could receive the child supplement," explains Roberto Borda, from the RMI Tu Derecho platform, which supports low-income households. "Most families are not even aware of the supplement per child, because there have been no information campaigns or anything, other than the announcement," he criticizes.

The new aid of 50, 70 or 100 euros per month per child, depending on the age of the minors, is formally called 'child support supplement' and was approved by the Government in the parliamentary processing of the law of the minimum vital income. With the approval of the IMV, the Executive had dismantled the previous 'benefit for dependent children', very limited in amount, but which was the only direct monetary aid to children in families in poverty. The result was that there were families with very limited resources that, without reaching a situation of acute poverty to receive the IMV, also no longer had any support benefits for their children.

After complaints from NGOs specializing in childhoodand with pressure from United We Can within the Council of Ministers to approve universal child-rearing aid, the Government finally approved these new aids per child of between 50 and 100 euros, which can be requested from last January.

The new supplement per child is aimed at low-income families, but not necessarily in poverty. Thus, it corresponds to all those with dependent minors who receive the minimum vital income (IMV), since they live in a situation of marked difficulty, but also to households with more income. Specifically, those with up to three times the income level of the IMV thresholds, as shown in the following table.

The aid is not universal, as organizations such as Unicef ​​and Save the Children claim. They were well received by childhood NGOs because they reach all families in poverty and also with incomes somewhat above that threshold. For example, the poverty threshold in Spain for a household with two adults and two minors is 20,215 euros per year, according to the latest available data (2020).

Although they can triple the income level of the IMV, the beneficiary households of the child support supplement must respect other requirements of the minimum vital income, such as the definition of "cohabitation unit" (household) and its age, etc. . In fact, the processing of child support is done through the IMV form.

"Access to help is very confusing", they criticize in RMI Tu Derecho, who recall that there are households that are not entitled to the IMV because they know that they do not meet the income requirements or even those who have been rejected in the past " who do not understand why they should request the IMV, the possibility of requesting only child support does not appear anywhere...", maintains Roberto Borda.

In Unicef ​​they respond to elDiario.es that "the inclusion of this supplement in the IMV law and the extension of the income and assets thresholds is undoubtedly good news" to access these benefits per child, but they agree on the obstacles to reach families. "The feeling that the social organizations with which we are in contact give us is that the supplement is not well known," agrees Gabriel González-Bueno, a specialist in childhood policies at UNICEF Spain.

In addition, González-Bueno indicates that "the procedure (same as the IMV), although it has been improved, continues to present problems from its initial design that make it complex and with many conditions that in some cases act as a barrier to the recognition of the benefit or the complement.

The person in charge of Unicef ​​insists on the claim of "universal benefits for the upbringing of boys and girls", how they proposed in the entity recently to the Government and urged the OECD to assess Spain a few months ago. "One of the most relevant arguments for the universality of this type of benefit is precisely that targeted and conditional aid, although necessary in some situations, always ends up constituting a barrier even for the people/households that should have access to them," he stresses. Gabriel González-Bueno.

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