Government Help for People with Disability or Chronic Illness or Dementia


This is provided for under the Ley de Dependencia (Law of Dependancy) and administered by the Generalitat Valenciana. Non-Spanish citizens may apply if they have lived in Spain legally ie with residencia and on the padron for five years prior to the claim. You will need someone who speaks Spanish to fill in the forms and speak to the authorities.

Local councils can also provide care, such as a place in a nursing home. For all claims whether it is local council or Ley de Dependencia from Valencia, the claim should be made to the local council social worker, Benistar Social.

The help offered is wide ranging from home help, meals on wheels, personal care at home, day centre care and residential care in a nursing home.  Also there is a regular payment available if a family member is acting as a non-professional carer.

For a private home the maximum amount you can receive is about 700 euros a month. If it is a public place in a nursing home then you will only pay 80% of your pension, leaving you 20% for incidental expenses. For the larger value claims it can take a year to receive it, but it may be backdated from the date of the claim. It is normally based on 50% of a couple’s income. Also there is a a waiting list for public care homes.

The first step is to get a socio-medical report ( Informe de Salud para el Reconocimento de Prectaciones Sociales) from your health centre. You should make an appointment with the practise nurse for Ley de Dependencia/prestaciones sociales, to fill out a questionnaire and then see the GP to complete the report.  There are three grades of severity: 1 moderada, for a person needing help once a day; 2 severa for help 2 or 3 times a day, and 3  Gran dependencia for people needing constant care. You will need to present the original of this report and not photocopy. You should make a photocopy for your records.

The next stage is to make an appointment with the social worker. Your medical centre will be able to tell you where your local social worker is based. Many health centres have attached social workers. You should state it is for Ley de Dependencia

For someone in hospital the hospital social worker will arrange it for you.

The supporting documents you will need are: P60s or other proof of UK pensions, annuities etc. A bank statement for your Spanish bank accounts and overseas ones (or first page of your bank pass book if you still have one). If you have your pension paid into the Spanish bank you can get a certificate for this, though the bank will charge you. Copies of passports, Residencia/NIE, certificado de empadronamiento for all family members, escritura (property deeds) if you own property or rental contract. If you take all these to your appointment with the social worker, they will give you a form to fill in. Signing this form you will give permission for checks to be made on your income and savings with your Spanish bank. All family members living in the household must be included on the form.

The social worker will discuss what form of help is available according to your needs and grade of disability. They will probably need to make a home visit as well. Once this is done you will normally have to hand in all the documents to a clerk (administrativo/a) working with the social worker, who will give you a copy of your claim. You need to make am appointment to do this. Make sure it is with the clerk not a social worker.

Then you will have to wait for the claim to be processed. Smaller claims eg home help, meals on wheels, one hour of personal care a day, are usually arranged reasonably quickly as they are provided by the local council, but for more expensive services (eg nursing home funding) it can take up to a year as they as they are paid for by the Generalitat Valenciana and they are strapped for cash. However cash payments (such as a subsidy for a private home) will be backdated to the date of claim. Private homes may deduct this subsidy from the monthly bill and wait until you receive the back payment.

Only accredited residencias/nursing homes are eligible for receipt of 700 euros a month. Check list before considering. Click here. Please note no Benidorm nursing home is on the list.

Services that are provided by the local council are; Menjar a Casa, for 133 euros a month they provide, meals on wheels, twice weekly home help for 1 1/2 hours each time and a weekly bed linen and towel laundry service. Also you may be able to get a daily carer for 1 hour a day for personal care i.e. washing/bathing etc.

Also for people who need a wheelchair or anti-bedsore air mattress (colchon antiescaras) You may be able to get these on a prescription from your specialist. You will have to go to a shop selling mobility and sickroom equipment and get the reference numbers to give to the doctor. You have to buy the item then claim the amount back from the social security office. It can take six months to get your reimbursement.

To obtain a Blue Parking Badge and other benefits such as road tax exemption, apply to the social worker at your health centre. They will give you forms for your specialist to fill in and return. You will have to wait for about 18 months to get an appointment in Alicante to be assessed. Then you will get a disability card with a percentage disability. To get a Blue Parking Badge you need at least 33% disability plus at least 5 mobility points. This is stated in the resolution letter that comes with your disability card, so it is important to keep it as well as the card. When you have these, you can go back to the social worker. So if you have a progressive disability it is important to apply early because of the 18 month wait.


Update as from 1st Jan 2021. UK nationals who have residency in Spain before 31st December 2020 can still claim these benefits.

Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance, PIP (16 to 65 years) and Carer’s Component of DLA (under 16s)

You will have to send a photocopy of their residency card with the applications. UK nationals becoming resident in Spain after the 31st Dec 2020 will not be able to claim these benefits.

For a general guide to benefits while living abroad go to; This page is an interactive guide to inform you about which benefits you could claim.

You can send an email to the Disability Benefits Exportability Team if you have any enquires:

UK attendance allowance for over 65 yrs only, which is not means tested. You have to fill in a 28 page form and include a recent comprehensive medical report with translation. There are two levels. For the higher level £87.65 pw you must need help during day and night or be terminally ill. The lower level £58.70 is for people who only need help during the day. To get the higher level it is important to list help needed at night even if it is just being there in case the person falls out of bed or if you have to accompany them to the toilet once in the night.

There is a fast track claim for people with a life expectancy of less than 6 months. In the UK you normally need a special medical report from your doctor on a DS1500 form. But as they are not available overseas a medical report from the doctor stating a life expectancy of less than six months would be sufficient.

You can download the claim form from the link below or write for one to the address below, or call Attendance allowance  +44 800 731 0122 Claims seem to be handled faster if you download the form and type it on a computer and print it off. On the section requiring bank account details, if you have a Spanish bank account enter the IBAN using the free text facility of your PDF reader eg Adobe Acrobat Reader (nib symbol then ABC)

Once you have attendance allowance it is possible to apply for carer’s allowance including a spouse of any age as long as they provide at least 35 hours of care a week and their income is below about £128 a week, so people on a full pension may not qualify for this. This is a simple online application in the carer’s name, as most of the information is already stated in the Attendance Allowance application. Apply at;

You should post the claim form to:

Make a claim or change your details

Remember to include National Insurance Number on any letter.

Attendance Allowance Exportability Team

Mail Handling Site A
WV98 2AD
United Kingdom

Disability Living Allowance Exportability Team

Room C212 Pension, Disability and Carers Service
Warbreck House
Warbreck Hill Road
United Kingdom

Personal Independence Payment 7 Exportability Team

Mail Handling Site B
WV99 1AE
United Kingdom

For people under 65 with a disability or chronic illness there are other benefits available such as:

Personal Independence Payment You can normally only claim this if you have lived in England, Scotland or Wales in two of the last 3 years.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)    Tel. +44 (0) 191 206 9390
Mon. to Fri 8am to 7.30pm UK time. You may be able to claim this if you are not able to work full time due to illness or disability, Normally you can only claim this if you have worked in the UK during 2 of the last 3 years.

If you are terminally ill (less then six months to live) under 65 and have been legally resident in Spain before 31st December 2021 you could claim Personal Independence Payment quickly by calling:

Calling from abroad: +44 191 218 7766 Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5 pm UK time.

UK State Pension Enquiries
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 218 7777 Mon. to Fri 8.00 am to 7.30 pm UK time.

If you moved to Spain after 31st December 2021 besides claiming the UK state pension, below is a list of benefits you can claim from the UK:

  1. Bereavement Support Payment and other bereavement benefits
  2. industrial injuries benefits
  3. Maternity Allowance
  4. Statutory Maternity Pay
  5. Statutory Paternity Pay
  6. Statutory Sick Pay

Returning to UK

If you decide to return to the UK here is a check list of what you should do in Spain before you leave.

This website lists benefits you can obtain if you do return to UK.

We were advised by the British Consul in Alicante in 2019 that people who had been resident in Spain even for as little as six months would probably not be entitled to benefits for the first 3 months upon return unless they were deported. NHS care is available from day one, which means someone could be transferred directly to a NHS hospital.

Otherwise people are advised to privately rent or stay with relatives before applying to the local council for housing or nursing home care etc. It does depend on the discretion of the local social service.

Generally people should move to an area where they have a local connection, they have lived in the area before or have family there.

Low Income on returning to UK Claim Pesnsion Credit

If you do not have a low income and do not have a full UK state pension you may be able to get a top up called Pension Credit once you move back to UK. This may also entitle you to other benefits such as housing benefits. You may be able to claim even if you have other income eg Spanish pension or savings.

Pension Credit tops up;

your weekly income to £177.10 if you’re single

your joint weekly income to £270.30 if you have a partner