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Can I claim a UK Disability allowance in Spain ?

- Updated: 05/11/2009

Find out if you have any entitlement to claim for a disablity allowance to help you make a new life for yourself in Spain

Can I claim a UK Disability allowance in Spain ?

You can continue to claim Disability Living Allowance (care component), Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance from the UK once you move to Spain as long as can prove that you have adhered to the following conditions:

• That you have paid national insurance contributions in the UK because of your work or you are a dependant family member of someone who does.


• You are eligible to receive a UK State Pension, Bereavement Benefit or UK sickness benefit.

Or ...

• You are a dependant of someone who is eligible to receive a UK sickness benefit.


• on the date of your claim, you had spent 26 out of the previous 52 weeks in the UK.

For more information you should either visit the Department of Works & Pensions website or contact the Pension, Disability and Carer’s Service (PDCS) at

Once you have confirmed that you are eligible you will also be able to proceed with any application through the above contact.

Comment on this Article

Personally I think the pair of you want to take a step back, try and act like adults and keep your insults to yourselves. The rules on all this are quite clear. If it is an Allowance then you can claim it irrespective of which EU country you work in and your work record. If it is a Benefit then it may only be claimed in the country of residence and may well depend upon your work record or not. I'm not sure where Dave gets these derogatory comments from, I do somewhat agree that since any UK Benefit is not paid to overseas/EU residents then it may be sensible to keep such comments to oneself until you do know the full facts..
Carbine - Tue 16th May 2017
I take it your one of the benefit takers P Brack to to bleed the country dry,and like it how try and shift the blame from your type, and say it's people who have never worked want it all, Blame someone else why don't you, And you probably vote Labour don't you. So you shut you mouth
Dave - Tue 16th May 2017
These people have worked all their working lifes and are entitled to something - not like those who have never worked and want it all - so Dave until you know the whole truth you should keep your mouth shut.
P Brack - Tue 16th May 2017
Don't you just love it, all these post people wanting out of the UK, but want every UK benefit to go with them. TAKERS
Dave - Tue 16th May 2017
my wife gets a pip payment we are taking early retirement and thinking of moveing to spain can she still keep her pip
Pbrack - Mon 15th May 2017
The rule of thumb use to be: Allowances are your entitlement and can be claimed in any EU country. Benefits were normally restricted to residents of the country where you are claiming the benefit. For example, to claim UK Unemployment Benefit you had to be registered and living in the UK. But the Winter Fuel Allowance was payable to any UK citizen that qualifies for it irrespective of which EU country they lived in.
Carrbine - Fri 13th Jan 2017
Susan : It is necessary to look at the Disability and Bereavement Benefits as 2 totally separate issues, and I would strongly recommend that you spoke with the DWP Exportability Team to explain your circumstances in person : If you call the Bereavement Benefit section of the International Pension Centre in Newcastle on 0044 191 218 3847 they should be a useful starting point for you.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 13th Jan 2017
I am in receipt of Bereavement benefit until August of this year,also pip care allowance and high disability,is i live in spain for 50 weeks of the year can i still claim these benefits? i have been going through all the info now i am confused. Sue Russell
Susan Russell - Fri 13th Jan 2017
In light of recent announcements by Theresa May and members of the EU it is unlikely, they are already stating that UK nationals will have to make alternative arrangements regarding Health entitlements once the UK leaves the EU.
Carbine - Tue 4th Oct 2016
My wife has just bean awarded pip and I am now putting in for carerers allowance but were thinking of going to live in Spain next year as our employment is coming to an end due to closures would we still get her pips allowance and carers if I get it
Peter Brack - Tue 4th Oct 2016
I am 69 yrs old receive a UK pension. living Spain full time, I now suffer from severe arthritis , can I Claim disability allowance from the UK
Dorothy Le Fur - Thu 5th May 2016
Patriciapinto - Wed 11th Nov 2015
I am also under investigation. I did not know I wasn't allowed to have extra long holidays in Spain. With R.A and COPD it certainly helped being in a hot country. Unfortunately I got grassed on by someone that is disabled. You would think as its a EU country it would act the same as when people come to UK and claim.
Elizabeth Davy - Sun 23rd Aug 2015
when I changed my English address to Spanish. I was accused .of FRAUD. the h.m. courts&tribunals service Liverpool want in excess of 23 thousand pound. I only get my o.a.p. pension.. which is half the normal pension. my husband only gets no moneys o.a.p ..government pension. IAM 76 MY HUSBAND IS 80..
Margaret-stacey - Fri 14th Aug 2015
My wife is also being investigated on the grounds that she did not notify the authorities that should would be spending a few months in Spain between Sept and July,( we genuinely did not know about the 4 week clause) even though she made 4 returns to the Uk and has not made a permanent move to Spain! We still maintain a Flat in the UK, I (husband)work here, pay PAYE, both of our NIC's are being paid, so what is the problem Everything I'm researching tells me that she is entitled to by Law to receive her DLA....
Francois - Thu 13th Aug 2015
here is the follow up concerning my d.l.a. because I did not notify the benefits people I was moving to spain . they are charging me with fraud. although I am not cured of my disease by moving to if a person who has paid no contributions to the uk benefits or tax system moves from another e.u. country. will they get it for nothing ???.
Margaret - Fri 5th Jun 2015
My husband is getting full Attendance Allowance from the UK as he has lost his leg, I have applied for Carers Allowance and have been told I am no eligible for this as I worked for 1 year here in Spain - I worked all my life and contributed in England before moving here - any suggestions please x
Terri - Thu 4th Jun 2015
I have just been Medical discharged from the army and am l?ving in Spain, i am in reciept of british army invalidin pension, Am i right in thinking i should be entitled to free Healthcare and possible disability from the uk Regards
Stephen Carne - Tue 17th Feb 2015
I live in Spain ,I have been diagnosed with Spondylitis,in my lower back which has affected my left leg and I have problems getting around when i am out How do i go about claiming disability benefits ? Regards
Josephine Gillard - Mon 10th Nov 2014
i am an middle age adult with aspergers syndrome and single, but planning to live in spain sometime in the near foreseeable season. i am 54 years old coming on to 55 in november, but would i still be able to claim all my income support in spain. i am not working and on income support back here in bristol in the uk
David Hughes - Sat 30th Aug 2014
Hi I retired aged 60 due ill heath. I have since moved to Spain.I now have severe hearing problems . I have the best hearing aids I can afford I still can not understand words properly. Ican not use the phone and have get help.I live alone and have to keep asking for help.. Is there any benefit I can claim ...?
Lionel James Georgea - Thu 17th Jul 2014
Aaron : Maybe... it will depend on the benefits he claims and his disabilities... he should e mail the address shown above for a personal assessment.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 31st Mar 2014
Hello, will my uncle still get his disability benefits (he's on higher rate for most) if he was to move to Spain?
Aaron Duijkers - Mon 31st Mar 2014
Hi, can my daughter get DLA in England while living in Spain and also claim benefits from Spain system too.
Rebecca - Fri 21st Mar 2014
Hi can you tell me if we are getting the high rate of disability allowance and care at middle rate and have it for life would I still get it as I am 78years old
Penny - Sun 18th Aug 2013
Sorry, the mobility component is not exportable under the e.u. law. Only the care component
Garry - Fri 31st May 2013
Margaret - Fri 31st May 2013
I was diagnosed with colon cancer two and half years ago, the hospital in Spain where I have lived for seven years began treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, this refused my tumors then our the two years I started to have many problems, the hospital done more tests and found that the cancer had come back in my colon and also spread to my lungs. can I claim benefits from England for this illness as I pay tax on my private pension?
Terrance Martin Smith - Wed 24th Apr 2013
Well, thank you again. It's always useful to know the position, which, in fact, seems fair to me as we get all our health care free here and it's far better than in the UK !
Maureen - Fri 30th Nov 2012
Maureen, unless you have paid any social security contributions to Spain, then you are not entitled to claim anything back from them. The welfare system here is based on contributions made and not on residency, like it is in the UK.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 30th Nov 2012
Thank you. I thought this might be the case. As I am a resident and virtually never return to the UK, would I be able to apply for any sort of Spanish benefit, if I go blind?
Maureen - Fri 30th Nov 2012
@Maureen - Not if you are now legally resident and Spain, and spend more than 26 weeks per year in Spain. Still worth speaking in person with the exportability team though - you never know !
Tyler - Thu 29th Nov 2012
I have just been told I am losing the sight in one eye and may well lose the sight in the other. I am 76 on UK State pension. Will I be able to get any disability benefit from the UK ?
Maureen - Thu 29th Nov 2012
You need to wake up Ray - There isn't the same social welfare system in Span for their own Citizens - let alone foreigner residents !
Crazy Horse - Fri 23rd Nov 2012
can i get rent benefit or do i have to go private lets?
Ray Levers - Fri 23rd Nov 2012
The UK Consulate has a section that deals specifically with such queries as these. The nearest to here is in Malaga. I would give them a ring. Many benefits are payable overseas, but they are very limited and far more aren't!
Carbine - Thu 22th Nov 2012
Ray : It would be wrong of us to speculate on induvidual cases, but if I were you I wouldn't be holding my breath.
Tumbit - Admin - Thu 22th Nov 2012
I am on income support because I did not pay the right amount of insurance contribution. The income support is part of my sick money as I did not pay stamp duty, so will I still loss it? I also get £50 a week for server mobility will I loss this as well ?
Ray Levers - Thu 22th Nov 2012
Ray : Induvidual cases can and will vary - which is why you should speak to the benefits Exportability team in person - but in very broad and general terms you should be able to transfer your disability entitlement, but NOT your income support.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 19th Nov 2012
II am on high mobility & middle care I also get income support, if i was to move for health reasons would I still get these benefits if I moved to Spain ? If not, is there some other benefits I could claim? the 5 disc in my lower back have gone 2 out of place & 3 bulging, also have bad knees & joints
Ray Levers - Mon 19th Nov 2012
Christopher : It would be difficult to give a definitive answer without knowing your personal circumstances, but in general, yes. You should really contact the exportability team via the e mail address given above, quoting your NI number and they will tell you more, including how to ensure that your benefit is continued to be paid when you are abroad.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 6th Aug 2012
Hi, I am deaf and receive disability benefit for life. If i move to Spain do I lose it ? Thank you
Christopher Cook - Mon 6th Aug 2012
I should add that my friend, referred to below, had to take out residency before he could access the part - payment health plan...
Susan - Wed 13th Jun 2012
As far as I am aware, regardless of contributions, once you have been out of the UK for 3 months you are no longer eligible for NHS treatment. A friend of mine is not entitled to free health care in Spain due to not paying into Spanish system and being under retirement age,but now pays 90 euros per month for some kind of state insurance which allows him and his family to access Valencian health care for his cancer treatment. The UK refused to treat him. I do hope M M Galbraith manages to sort things out, stress over money won't help his recovery.
Susan - Wed 13th Jun 2012

Then I'm afraid you are beyond my knowledge. If you are receiving treatment here I presume it must be private as they would generally refuse you anything but emergency treatment - unless you are someone elses dependent, so that would mean you are still registered in the UK - and having continued to make contributions to the Uk you are just an overseas based worker which should not negate any entitlements you have. On that basis you would only have to return for as long as it takes you to establish your claim to any benefits. The Consulate does have a section over here that is dedicated to these specific problems so I suggest you give them a ring.

You shouldn't lose any entitlement to treatment over here unless you are absent for more than 183 days or 5 months, and then you only lose it if they know you are absent.

Carbine - Wed 13th Jun 2012
No, I have not contributed to the Spanish system. I'm being treated in Jerez de la frontera. and do not want to move back to the UK as I will forfiet my treatment here. I paid NI voluntary contributions for the last 10 years.
M M Galbraith - Wed 13th Jun 2012
Unless you have contributed to the system in Spain or can show you dependent upon someone who has, then you will get nothing out of them. Where were you treated for your cancer ? The pnly thing I can think of is to go to the UK where benefits are based upon residency rather than contributions, get someone like the CAB to assist you in getting your entitlement then you should be able to return to Spain and bring some if not most of those entitlements with you. If you have 30 years NI contributions at only 49 and have lived here 10 years then you have presumably been contributing whilst also living here so you should in likelyhood still be registered as a UK resident. Check the situation on getting your NI contributions transferred to Spain!
Carbine - Wed 13th Jun 2012
Mark : Have you ever paid any contributions into the Spanish system at all ?
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 12th Jun 2012
I am a 49 yr old Brittish man, Lived in Spain 10 years, Paid in full 30 years NI to UK. I Contracted cancer 3 years ago and recieve chemothrapy every week. Trying to claim benefit and Spain say not intitled to anything from them. When I call any department in the UK they are not interested as I live in Spain! Please someone help!!!
Mark Munroo Galbraith - Tue 12th Jun 2012
I care for my husband who suffers from severe arthritis plus muscle deteriation of the knees, weakness in the right side of his body and also loss of balance - as such he claims incapacity, high rate mobility plus middle rate care and I can claim a carers benefit and income support whilst here in Spain.
Rachel Butler - Fri 8th Jun 2012
This is the up to date/correct email addres - Not that shown above:
Carbine - Mon 14th May 2012
I have been trying to find out the information you give readily, on the government web-site, as far as I could see there is none and only you have given the exportability web-site! Thank you so much and why doesn't the government give this information readily!!!!!
Christine - Thu 2th Jun 2011
Our latest article - Benefits in Spain and la Ley de dependencia - may provide you with some answers if you would like to read it by clicking HERE
Tumbit - Admin - Tue 12th Apr 2011
My husband notified the job centre in Bridlington and wrote to work pensions to say we were coming out to spain from November 22nd to 1st May he has had his benifite suspended his incapsity and he has rang but can get not answer he has rang twice they said he has to come back to sort it out. In october 2007 the E.U. said the benifit can be paid into e.u. countries. and you are allow to live here perment. we only came here for the winter so why has you suspendid it our doctor and specialist adv ised him to move to a warm country because he suffers with the cold and is in a lot of pain in cold weather. we we have complied to the living in uk 52 previous sort this out
Mr. Jan Friberg - Tue 12th Apr 2011
my husband had a stroke 18 months ago, but has not made any claim to the british national health, though he has paid national insurance contributions, is he entitled to anything from the Uk? He is 42 and has paid at least 20 years to the NHS. He had been living here in Spain for 5 years before his stroke. He is paralised on the left, though has been learning to walk again, and he now has fits at least 1 a month.
Kate Barton - Wed 5th Jan 2011
I had DLA in the UK. Emigrated to spain 2004 and they withdrew DLA. After 3 years of letters and appeals they gave me the DLA back arrears only till 2008. They said I had not paid enough NH contributions.I am 59, I have had confirmation from Pensions service I am entitled to a full UK state pension so why not DLA?
Garry - Wed 29th Dec 2010
Marion, you should have been sent a letter notifying you of this decision. This letter shoud also have details on how you can appeal against this decision. I would do this quickly as usually you only 1 month after a decision has been passed in order to submit an appeal.
Tumbit - Admin - Fri 9th Jul 2010
I have been receiving DLA since 2003 and moved to spain in2008 and they have taken it off me even though I worked and paid my stamp, and now they want to claim some of it back, over £2000.00 I only get my pension, what rights do I have.....
Marion G - Wed 7th Jul 2010
the information is now out of date cus the european commison are saying that it is illegal for uk to state that you have to spend time in uk out of the previous 53 wks. they are taking it up with government and give them 2 months to make a decsion. there is a lot of information coming out on this issue as all benefits should be paid to people living/working in eu countries without any penalties
Maureen Price - Wed 7th Jul 2010
Ann, there are some circumstances where you can still qualify to claim IB after you have moved to Spain. These are : you are not claimining any Sick Pay ; You are under pensionable age ; You have not worked because of illness in the last 28 weeks. Your claim for continued payment should be upheld providing you have paid sufficient national insurance contributions into the system previously. To check this out, and to see exactly what you need to do to continue with your claim you should discuss your personal circumstances with the Jobcentre who handles your benefit usually.
Tumbit - Admin - Wed 7th Jul 2010
can you tell me could you take your long term incapacity with you if you ever moved out to spain
Ann Lauder - Tue 6th Jul 2010
If you prefer to send a posted letter as opposed to an email, you can use the address (below) - It would probobaly be adviseable to send this as a recorded letter : Exportability Co-ordinator, Room C216, Pension Disability and Carers Service, Warbreck House, Warbreck Hill Road, Blackpool, FY2 0YE
Tumbit - Admin - Mon 28th Jun 2010
Can u tell me the address to write 2 to find out what the position regarding attendance allowance. I appealed in oct 09, live in Spain & lead cases were being heard on 3rd mar 10. There is still no decision & I would like to write personally to see if there is another way of getting a decision. I appealed in oct 09!!. If I lived in UK I would get A.A. many thanks for your help
Maureen Price - Mon 28th Jun 2010
Thanks for the answers but they are taking me round in circles. The link does not discuss INCAPACITY BENEFIT and the DWP on direct application just tell me to finish my claim here and ask in Spain. I cannot relocate without the benefit so cannot end my claim on the off chance of getting in Spain. I had hoped simply to transfer my entitlement.
Susan - Sun 20th Jun 2010