Government Help for People with Disability or Chronic Illness or Dementia

SPAIN

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.

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 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 waiting list for public care homes.

The first step is to get a socio-medical report 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. You should state it is for Ley de Dependencia

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

The forms you will need are: P60s or other proof of UK pensions, annuities etc. A bank statement for your Spanish bank accounts (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. 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 make hand in all the documents to a clerk (administrativo/a) working with the social worker, who will give you a copy of your claim.

Then you will have to wait for the claim to be processed. Smaller claims are usually arranged reasonably quickly as they are provided by the local council,but for more expensive services 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 subsidy for a private home) will be backdated to the date of claim. Private homes may deduct this subsidy from the monthly the bill and wait until you receive the back payment.

As an example of costs; a person who did not qualify for free services because of savings would pay about 130 euros a month for a package consisting of meals on wheels daily, 90 minutes of home help twice a week plus a pack of laundered sheets once a week.

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.

UK BENEFITS YOU CAN CLAIM IN SPAIN

UK attendance allowance for over 65 yrs only, which is not means tested. You have to fill in a 32 page form and include medical reports with translations. 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

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/attendance-allowance-claim-form

You should post the claim form to Exportability Co-ordinator. Room 215 Pension, Disability and Carers Service, Warbreck House,Warbreck Hill Road. Blackpool. FY2 OYE. United Kingdom.

For people under 65 with a disability or chronic illness there are other benefits available such as Personal Independence Payment or Employment Support Allowance. Write to the Exportability Co-ordinator above, or look at the website below where there is an email contact form. Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)    Tel. +44 (0) 191 206 9390
Mon. to Fri 8am to 7.30pm UK time.

This website gives information about claiming UK benefits while abroad. https://www.gov.uk/claim-benefits-abroad

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