So… FUCK. Today I received by certified mail the official refusal of my application for the Ingreso Mínimo Vital, kind of the lowest you can go with begging for money from the government. This was because they cut me off from the monthly assistance for self-employed (autónomos) in June, because I had taken a break last year in August from social security payments since I had no work that month. I mean, a LOT of us seasonal workers do this, because otherwise you are paying 300€ a month even though you’re not not making a penny. So we sign off. And apparently they don’t give a fuck about the previous ten years or more that we have been duly paying in… miss a month you are fucked over.
I had government assistance (700€ a month) March-June, which of course doesn’t cover my basic living expenses but hey, it was better than nothing. Then they issued an extension of this aid, but suddenly I wasn’t eligible if I hadn’t paid into Social Security every month during the previous year. Bear in mind this was my first “baja” in almost ten years. Didn’t matter. I was cut off. So of course at the beginning of July I signed off again, because I was actually unemployed, no longer running a business and clearly not able to keep paying 300€ a month. And now they are saying that as long as I am signed off I can’t apply for any other self-employed assistance. Catch-22.
So a few months ago I applied for the Ingreso Mínimo Vital (400€) and also for rent assistance. These are the two things you can apply for if you’re actually rock bottom, but it turns out I’m not eligible for those either. I honestly don’t know what’s expected of us, and by “us” I mean all the self-employed in Spain who are being hung out to dry in this Catch-22 situation.
I’ve spoken (again) to my landlord and he still doesn’t want to lower my rent, it seems he would rather take his chances of me moving out and somehow not being left with an empty apartment for several months. But just the idea of moving just breaks my heart… for now I will hold on to this place until I can’t any more.
The whole of November I was caught up with my only paid gig since March – another article for Decanter. And despite the stress, insecurity and anxiety that I suffered over it this past month, if they asked me to do another one tomorrow I’d say HELL YEAH. 🙂 And not just for the money. It just felt great to be focused on work again and to be doing something. And so now it’s back to wondering what I’m going to do next.
How are you guys doing?