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Months of delay in collecting maternity and paternity leave due to the collapse of the system: "They make families vulnerable"

The collection of the childbirth and child care benefit (that is, maternity and paternity leave) arrives several months late in Madrid, according to the unions and the recipients of this aid themselves. In addition, the difficulty of carrying out face-to-face procedures complicates a problem that can suffocate families who have to resort to their savings until the situation is unblocked. At the moment the blockade is located, except for specific cases, only in the capital, but CSIF warns that the lack of personnel could spread the situation to the rest of Spain and even collapse Social Security.

Victoria is 35 years old and lives in Madrid. On June 9, the third of her children was born and, although her partner received the benefit the same month, she had to "fight hard enough," according to her complaint. "When two months went by without getting paid, I didn't see any solution, because they don't give you an appointment or by phone, even if you connect at 12 at night," she recalls.

In his case, he found an answer -not a solution- when he contacted the Gijón Social Security administration: "They told me that Madrid was collapsed and that the problem was due to the fact that they were overwhelmed with work and with very few people to do all the paperwork. In some cases, as she was told, people waited up to six months to collect the benefit. "I saw that I returned to work without having received my money yet."

Finally he was able to unclog the situation, and the "major anger, going in person and without an appointment to the National Institute of Social Security. It was not easy either. "As they do not attend, they simply have a security person outside dispatching people: basically sending them to home or telling them to call a phone number to make an appointment," he denounces. Complaints from those present caused an official to finally leave who tried to solve the most urgent cases, such as the one in Virginia. Thus, he managed an email address to write to, without identifying the center where he had obtained it.

"I told them that it was very urgent for me to collect it because I have three children and the situation left me with quite an important problem," she explains. "I was lucky", she admits while denouncing that this delay "leaves many families in a situation of absolute vulnerability".

Sources from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration confirm that there are "specific stumbling blocks in some areas or offices", although they assure that it is something specific and that "various solutions are being implemented". Thus, a manual distribution system for all these files has been established throughout Spain "to rebalance workloads" and in a few months "an automatic management relocation system" will be put into operation that will create a national stock of files . In this way, they explain, all the provinces will assume the same workload depending on their workforce.

Likewise, from the organism they recognize that there is a lack of personnel "consequence of the non-replacement of retirement casualties from the years of the financial crisis". This has meant a 20% reduction in the workforce in the last 10 years, something that they intend to solve with various measures "aimed at strengthening the workforce." However, some of them, such as the call for oppositions, "require a process to be completed."

Collapse

The problem, as CSIF argues, is that there is less and less time for this solution to arrive. "The worst is yet to come," warns José Manuel Moreno, spokesman for this union in Social Security. "Right now the percentage of civil servants over 50 years of age stands at approximately 83%, with which what is coming, as long as they do not remedy it in the very short term, may be the collapse of the management of the benefit system."

This, Moreno warns, would not only affect the childbirth and care provision, but the entire system and regardless of the fact that requests can be made electronically: "You can make the request, but a computer does not solve it for you automatically". "If we are less and less and there are no contracts, we are doing badly," he sums up.

On the other hand, the union criticizes that the solution when the aid system is stressed is to resort to "patches" instead of "solving the real problem". "In the end you are dressing a saint to undress another: if I transfer people who are doing retirement benefits to maternity, the first one will be delayed," Moreno illustrates.

The solution, in his opinion, is to "take out a specific public employment offer for Social Security personnel", something that has not happened "since 1992". At the moment, he denounces, the personnel they receive, beyond the interims assigned to process the applications for minimum vital income, "are crumbs." "They still give us 30 people at the national level; we don't even touch one per province."

"In a very short period of time, about 4,000 or 5,000 civil servants are going to retire," Moreno continues. "As it is not resolved, we will see ourselves with the water up to our necks," he warns. "It can collapse the management of Social Security."


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