Advice and Support in Spain – Medical and Social Service Provision

  1. Medical Services

  2. Social Services

Medical Services

British Nationals over 65 years of age are entitled to free Spanish National Health provided they :

    1. Own or rent a property in Spain.
    2. Have obtained a NIE No. (Documento Nacional de Identidad Extrajero)
    3. Have registered with the local Ayuntamiento. (Volante de Empadronamiento).
    4. Have a Resident Certificate. (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Union)
    5. Have obtained a SIP number/card from the local Salud which will register you into the medical system and allocate a GP.

In some cases those below pensionable age and subject to enough national insurance contributions in the UK may be able to obtain form E106 from Newcastle and possible obtain entitlement to health care in Spain, for a limited period only. If you are working in Spain with legal work permit and are paying contributions in Spain you are entitled to health care. Sometimes people under 65 years with benefits such as invalidity benefit from the UK may be able to qualify for health care in Spain, but this should be checked with Newcastle before hand. (for full and comprehensive information see: “Information for UK state Pensioners” - issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. You can now contact the British Consulate Office in Alicante and speak with Mr. Martyn Standing Tel: 965 216 022 who represents the DWP in Spain. 

It is now possible to voluntarily contribute to receive National Health care under the provision “Solicitud de Subscripcion de Convenio de Asistencia Sanitaria a Pacientes Privados con la Generalitat”. Forms are obtainable from the regional Health administration office and Age Concern keep some.

In all other cases those under 65 years of age need to make other private health care provision. The European Health Insurance Card obtained from UK Post Offices is intended for those visiting Spain for short periods or as a “stop gap” whilst obtaining a Resident Certificate. It serves only for Emergency treatment.

UK residents in Spain, travelling within Europe and including the UK, are gradually being issued with the new European Health Insurance Card issued from Newcastle. This is not travel insurance but emergency medical cover only as above. (See 

Social Services

Provided you comply with the above - 1 to 5, you may be able to access a wide range of services and assistance through social services at your local town hall, including disability benefits. THE EXTRA REQUIREMENT IS THAT YOU HAVE BEEN RESIDENT AND REGISTERED ON THE PADRON FOR 5 YEARS.

The Act under which assistance may be applied for is:-

1. LEY DE DEPENDENCIA – An assessment is necessary for one of three levels of dependency. There are two parts to this Act. 

a.Solicitud de Servicio de Ayuda a Domicilio – This half of the ACT is “means tested” and services can include domiciliary/home help, residential care, aids and adaptations for the home, telephone assistance, meals on wheels etc. (similar to that in UK)       

b.Financial help for Carers. (Carer´s Allowance) This is not “means tested”. This allowance will require an assessment of disability and can be a lengthy process therefore it is best to make application as soon as possible.

2. DISABILITY CERTIFICATE (Certificado de Minusvalia). This can be applied for at the same time as the above or separate. The disability certificate is necessary when applying for disabled parking badge and Carer´s Allowance above.

For these services apply to the Social Work department of your local town hall (Ayuntamiento) in the first instance, and they will set in motion all procedures. What is available should be uniform throughout the Valencia Region. The forms required will differ from area to area, although similar information and personal documents will be needed. Help will be provided in completing the forms on request. If you do not speak fluent Spanish, it is always best to be accompanied by a translator. Take with you passports for stroke person and carer, all documents concerning 1 to 5 above, plus pension bank slips, medical reports and SIP cards. For part b. – Carer´s Allowance, a Social Worker from Alicante will make the assessment and visit you at your home. To obtain the disability car parking badge you will eventually need to visit an office in Alicante for the assessment. (Applications will take several months to be completed – as in the UK)  Again it is best therefore to contact your Local Social Services Department as soon as possible after stroke when you know there may be disability issues long term. Sometimes it is necessary to persist again as in UK. 


3.SUBSIDISED HOLIDAYS. Again an application is made to Social Services Departments (usually mid May onwards). There is a whole range of holidays and types of accommodation available to suit all needs.   Or the private Asesores ABACO will help with this. 



There are several other benefit that ONLY residents of Torrevieja may apply for – again apply to the Social Work Department in the first instant.

  1. Christmas Allowance of 300 Euros per household depending on the low income of any one member – total household income is not calculated.
  2. Possible discounts on Water Bills for those with joint pension of less than 798.76 E per month.
  3. Discounts on Electricity Bills for low income families – apply Iberdrola, Calle Concordia??


L. Killeen Jan. 2011.