Government Help for People with Disability, Chronic Illness or Dementia

This information if for general guidance only and validity can not be guaranteed, it is intended to give people a general idea and should be verified by a professional.

Help Benidorm can offer the assistance of interpreters to facilitate your claim.


Working Age Benefits

For working age people there are other benefits such as Ingreso Minimo Vital (minimum living income) which tops up your income to about 570 euros a month. For this and other information about Spanish beneifits contact the interpreter coordinator on 607 385 842


To apply for Spanish assistance minimum requirements are a Spanish Bank account. Residency document, EU green card with NIE or TIE, a passport that is not out of date,

Permanent Spanish Health care with SIP card ( not temporary), and you must be on the padron for at least one year where you apply. For extensive provision eg help with nursing home costs you must have official Spanish residency for 5 years, 2 of which must be in the immediate 2 years prior to the claim.

Major assistance 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 , 2 years of which must be imediately prior to the claim. You must be on the padron where you apply for 1 year when you claim. You will need someone who speaks Spanish to fill in the forms and speak to the authorities. These benefits include help towards nursing home (residencia) costs. Apply via you local council ( Ayuntamiento) social services department also known as Bienestar (Welfare)

Home care assistance

Seperate from Ley de Dependencia the local council ( Ayuntamiento) may provide less extensive care. eg home help, personal care, meals on wheels. These are usually arranged reasonably quickly as they are provided by the local council. Most councils provide 40 hours of home care a month, by their own designated care team either local authority or contracted out, but you will need to apply before the end of September or wait until the following January. In addition there may be a meals on wheels scheme. However most British people do not take to the Spanish style food.

Priority may be given to more severly dependant people. You will need to have been on the padron for 1 year at the ayuntamineto where you make the claim. You will also need from you local medical centre the medical report mentioned below; Informe de Salud para el Reconocimientos de Prestaciones Sociales


In extreme cases for people with low income and little savings and no immediate family to help out, local councils could find a subsidised place in a nursing home . However there is a long waiting list. This may be a place in a public nursing home or a public subsidised place in a private home. Under this arrangement, different from Ley de Dependencia the funding arrangement is that the applicant contributes most of their pension, leaving about 100 euros for incidental expenses and the local council pays the rest of the fees.

The alternative is to apply for a subsidy for an independantly chosen private nursing home ( residencia). The subsidy is normally 744 euros a month ( as of 2023) under the Ley de Dependencia.

As of 2023 the cost of a private nursing home, single room is around 2,500 euros a month, though prices vary greatly and a shared room is cheaper.Prices may also vary according to the degree of dependancy and assistance required.

The aid available may be means tested, you will need to provide information on financial position. However you are allowed to keep some savings. Ask the social worker for the limits to savings. For married claimants it normally based on 50% of a couple’s income and savings depending on their financial arrangements.

For all claims wether it is local council help or Ley de Dependencia from Valencia, the claim should be made to the local council social worker Bienestar. In Benidorm and larger towns the borough is divided into sectors, there are social workers at the local Centro Social.

For Rincon de Loix, Benidorm the social workers are located at La Torreta Social Centre, Av. Cuidad Real. You can make an appointment at reception for Ley de Dependencia but you must bring a translater with you to the interview.

The applicant does not have to come as well, just their representative, as the social worker will do a home visit later.

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.

For a private home the maximum amount you can receive is about 840 euros a month for severely dependant people (Grade 3, level 2). Normally in 2023 it is 744 per month for Dependancy Grade 2 & 3. For Grade 1 dependancy it is only 313.5 euros a month.

For an precise list of benefits go to Find ” importes maximos y minimos de las prestaciones and click on ENLACE

The grade of dependancy will be stated on the medical report. Grade 1 leve (mild), Grade 2 moderada, Grade 3 severa or grande.

You can also get Ley de Dependencia funding for home care and a body worn alarm system (teleasistencia).

For the larger value claims made to Valencia it can take a 15 months or more to receive the payments, but it may be backdated from 3 months after the date the claim being received.

The first step is to get a socio-medical report ( Informe de Salud para el Reconocimento de Prectaciones Sociales) from your health centre.It is best to write the name of the report on a piece of paper and show it to the receptionist,nurse and doctor to show exactly what you need to avoid confusion. You should make an appointment with the practise nurse, 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 Grade 3 can be split into 2 levels 1 & 2. You will need to present the original of this report and not photocopy to social services. You should make a photocopy of all documents 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 medical social workers, however it is not this social worker who deals with Ley de Dependencia.It is a social worker at the Cento Social/Bienestar. When making an appointment to see a social worker state that it is for Ley de Dependencia as there are specialist social workers who deal with this.

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

You do not need to have all the documents to hand before making the appointment with the social worker but the minimum is, 1. Health report, 2 Passport that is not out of date, 3 NIE or TIE to show residency SIP card. If you can get a certificado de empadronamiento historico to show 5 years residency , all the better, but you can hand that in later.

The supporting documents you mayl need are listed below :

However the social worker will give you a detailed list. This is only a general guide as to what to prepare if you wish to make a claim.

Medical report, Informe de salud para el reconocemiento de prestaciones sociales.

For claims made to Generalitat Valencia there will be at least 2 offical forms to fill in , which the social worker will give you, or provide links to online. There will be an intial application form and a bank details form in order to receive the benefits, and may be other forms. You will need help of a Spanish interpreter/ translator to fill these in, if you do not have very good Spanish.

Below is a link to the list of forms for Ley de Dependencia.

Choose the first one. Solicitud Inicial ( Initial Application) and 6th Modelo Domiciliacion Bancaria for Bank Details.

You will need an interpreter familiar with these forms to help you fill them in.

Part D of solicitud inicial is best filled in with social worker, as it is where you request the aid you require.

There are lots of pitfalls in filling in these forms. eg on the bank details form there is a space to add Joint or Single bank account, Titular/Cotitular that is not obvious. Never write anything in English on the officiall forms or they may be considered spoilt and discarded.

Benefits will not be paid into an account of another person unless they hold a joint account with the claimant. Neither will they be paid into an overseas account. The applicant must have a Spanish bank account to apply for benefits.

If doing them online it is best to fill them in on the computer and then print off. Thoroughly check them for errors, eg bank account number , contact details.

P60s or other proof of UK pensions such as pension increase letter. annuities, saving etc.

On the inital claim form you will need to state your total monthly income from overseas pensions and anuities.

A bank statement covering 2 or 3 months for your foreign bank accounts if you have any, especially if pensions are paid into them. Dormant or unused accounts are not so important.

Foreign banks account statements must have the applicants name and account number on the statement.

First page of your old style bank pass book (libreta) if you still have one.

If you have no passbook you will need to get a Certificado de Titularidad ( certificate of ownership) from you bank to prove that the bank account belongs to the claimant. (Joint accounts are acceptable). The bank may charge for this, though if you have internet banking you can download it free.

Copies of passports, Residencia/NIE, certificado de empadronamiento for all family members, 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 you have all the documents have to hand you will have to hand them in.

In Benidorm at La Torretta Social Center you can hand them into the reception between 11.00 and 13.00 without an appointment. Other ayuntamintos have different arrangements. Ask your social worker what the arrangement is for handing in documents.

Then you will have to wait for the claim to be processed. If you do spend money for care, eg nursing home fees, home help from a council approved agency etc keep all reciepts/facturas for back dated claims know in Spanish as retroactivo.

For more expensive services (eg nursing home funding) it can take up to a year under Ley de Dependencia as they are paid for by the Generalitat Valenciana . However cash payments (such as a subsidy for a private home) may be backdated to 3 months after date of claim.

Private homes may make individual agreements in expectation of receiving this back dated payment. However they may insist on a relative or friend acting as a guaranator. So it is important that you know what you are signing for in Spanish when you find a nursing home place for a friend or relative.

Under Spanish civil law the children and grandchildren are responsible for the care of their parents and granparents, if they have disposable income to do so. If they live abroad then this is not enforceable. However if both the claimant and child or grandchild are resident in Spain it is something that must be born in mind when considering how to fund a nursing home place.


Only accredited residencias/nursing homes are eligible for receipt of the subsidy of 744 to 840 euros a month. Check list before considering which home to apply for, it varies from year to year so check the latest list. Click here. Please note, no Benidorm nursing home is on the list.


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 in Benidorm. Other ayuntamientos may or may not have a social worker at the health centre. Blue Parking Badge comes under disabilitly not dependancy. It is the medical social worker at the health centre, if availible who arranges this.

Other Ayuntamientos may have only one social work department that handles both Disability and Dependency.

The social worker who handles disabilithy will give you forms that have to be filled in by your specialist/s and not your GP. Give these to the specialist at your next appointment and return it to the social worker. Then the social worker responsible for disability will apply to Alicante for recognition of your disability. You will need to go to Alicante to be examined.It can take about 18 months. If declared disabled you will be sent a card with your percentage disability on it, and an accompanying Resolution Letter. It is important to keep this as it will have your mobility points on it. For a Blue Badge you need at least 33% disability and 5 mobility points. There are other benefits in having a disability card. You are exempt from car road tax and if you pay Spanish income tax you may get a higher personal allowance. Other benefits may include a reduced rate electricity bill if on a low income etc.

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 the disability award, you can go back to the social worker for a Blue Parking Badge. So if you have a progressive disability it is important to apply early because of the 18 month wait.


Home care provided by local authority or under Ley de Dependencia is only provided by companies on their accredited list. If you wish to freely choose another company such as an English speaking one then you may be able to apply for UK attendance allowance to subsidise it.


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

Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance

For other benefits and for people who have moved to Spain from 1st January 2020, use the online checker below to see what beneifts you are entitled to. Some benefits you can only receive if you have received them prior to moving to Spain.

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.

If you do not have a comprehensive medical report then make an appointment at your health centre for the Spanish benefits report Informe de Salud para el Reconocemiento de Prectaciones Sociales. see above. You will need it translating into English.

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: It may be that you can only claim these benefits now while still living in the UK before coming to live in Spain.

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 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