Emigrating to Spain: UK Benefits

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for UK property investors who are looking for somewhere warm to spend their retirement. However there is often some confusion over what benefits UK citizens living in Spain are entitled to.

Broadly speaking, there are three main types of benefits that UK citizens moving to Spain need to think about: benefits that must be applied for whilst still in the UK, benefits that should be applied for after they have moved to Spain, and benefits that they are not entitled to.

Benefits to apply for before moving to Spain
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) recommends that there are a number of different benefits that should be applied for before emigration.

These benefits include statutory maternity pay, contribution-based jobseekers’ allowance, statutory sick pay and severe disablement allowance.

Winter Fuel Allowance is also available if you apply before you move however in order to claim this, you must have been a resident of Great Britain or Northern Ireland during a specific week in September of that year.

Benefits to apply for after moving to Spain
UK child benefit will still be paid however you should be paying contrinutions by being employed or self-employed. However people who were on other benefits before they moved may find they are still entitled to child benefit even without being in UK-based employment.

Maternity allowance will still be paid provided 26 of the 66 weeks leading up to the due date were spent living in the UK.

Benefits for disablement due to industrial injuries and the Disability Living Allowance, contribution-based incapacity support and bereavement benefits are all also usually paid to emigrating Britons.

However there may be restrictions on the type of benefit and how much is paid therefore it is advisable to seek professional guidance before emigrating to find out what benefits you are entitled to. The FCO is a good place to start.

Benefits that stop on emigration to Spain
Benefits such as income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit will not be available to anyone who has emigrated to Spain. Spain has a contribution-based healthcare system which means that you usually must have paid into the social security system before you can claim medical treatment. Thus, it may be a good idea to take out medical insurance.

However, if you are on bereavement benefits, you may still qualify.

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