Can You Claim Benefits If You Live In Spain?

Living or moving abroad can raise concerns for those individuals who claim benefits in the UK. This is the reason why the following article will cover in detail whether you can claim benefits if you live in Spain. Additionally, we will also explore the eligibility criteria for UK benefits that can be claimed in Spain, and the process of filing a claim; as well as discuss Spanish benefits that UK nationals can claim in Spain.

Can You Claim Benefits If You Live In Spain?

Yes, you can claim benefits if you live in Spain. If you have lived and worked in Spain, you can claim a Spanish pension as long as you fulfil the below-listed conditions:

  • you have been a resident of Spain for at least 10 years
  • you have been between the ages of 16 years and pension age during these 10 years
  • you are older than 65 years of age while filing a claim 
  • you are on a low income

If you have lived and worked in the UK and have migrated to Spain, you will be able to claim UK state benefits while living in Spain.

In most cases, you can claim State Pension and certain exportable benefits (if you qualify for the eligibility criteria). In addition to this, you can also claim UK state healthcare if you are a resident of Spain.

In addition to this, based on your eligibility you will also be able to claim the following UK benefits while living in Spain:

  • Bereavement Support Payment and other bereavement benefits
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Paternity Pay
  • Statutory Sick Pay
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment

If you plan to live in Spain temporarily for around 13 weeks (26 weeks in the case of medical treatment), you will be able to claim Attendance Allowance and the person taking care of you can claim Carer’s Allowance. 

According to the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth office, if you are living in Spain and wish to claim UK unemployment benefits, you should have worked in Spain and paid tax contributions. For this, you can contact any unemployment office in pain and fill out the required forms.

If you are a Crown servant who is working abroad or a cross-border worker, you can also claim tax credits while living in Spain.

Even though tax credits are being replaced with Universal Credit, you can only claim Universal Credit for up to 4 weeks if you are living outside the UK.

Benefits that you cannot claim while living in Spain include the following:

  • Housing Benefit 
  • Council Tax Benefit 
  • Pension Credit 
  • Income Support
  • Means-Tested Incapacity Benefit

How Do You Claim UK State Benefits If You Live In Spain?

To claim UK state benefits in Spain, claimants should be able to follow the below guidelines:

  • To claim UK State Pension in Spain the claimant should have only lived in Spain but not worked there. To claim the benefit, a UK citizen will need to first need to contact the International Pension Centre and either request or download a form titled IPCBR1 to file their claim.
  • If you are between the ages of 16 and 64 years; have a disability or health condition that causes difficulty in daily life to perform routine tasks for at least three months and you expect your condition to continue for the next 9 months, you can claim Personal Independence Payments. To file your claim, you call the PIP Claim Line at +44 191 218 7766 or apply in writing at Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton, WV99 1AH.
  • If you are over 65 years of age and need someone to take care of you due to a disability or severe health condition, you can claim Attendance Allowance using the Attendance Allowance claim form
  • If you need to claim Child Benefit for a child (or children) younger than 16 years of age (or 20 years in certain cases), you can apply for the benefit as long as you are employed, self-employed and continue to make National Insurance contributions in the UK. you can contact the Child Benefit office in the UK to apply for the benefit.

Can You Claim Spanish Benefits If You Are A UK National Living In Spain?

Yes, you can claim Spanish State Benefits if you are a UK national living in Spain. Below are details of the key benefits you can claim:

Child Benefit: There are two forms of Child Benefit that parents can claim in Spain. The first one is the contributory payment that can be claimed by parents who have paid into the Spanish Social Security System through taxes. The second one is the non-contributory payment which can be claimed by eligible parents of children younger than 18 and without a disability; irrespective of whether they have paid into the Spanish Social Security System.

Tax Allowances For Children: depending on the number of children you have, you can claim Tax Allowances for children while living in Spain. You can either be employed or self-employed to qualify for the benefit.

Contributory Unemployment Benefits: If you have worked in Spain and contributed to the Social Security System for at least 360 days over the past 6 years and have now become unemployed, you can claim Contributory Unemployment Benefits. 

In addition to this, you may also be able to claim the following benefits if you qualify:

  • Disability Benefits
  • Housing Benefit
  • Minimum Income Entitlements
  • Spanish Pension
  • Expat Health Insurance
  • Death and survival benefits
  • Temporary disability benefit
  • Permanent disability benefit
  • School insurance
  • Medical assistance
  • Benefit for risk during pregnancy
  • Benefit for risk due to breastfeeding


The above blog post has helped in learning about the benefits a UK national can claim if they move to Spain; whether temporarily or permanently. While some benefits will be short-lived, most of them can be claimed until someone continues to live in Spain. In addition to this, UK nationals living in Spain can also claim certain Spanish benefits; should they meet the eligibility criteria for them.

FAQs: Can You Claim Benefits If You Live In Spain?

Do expats in Spain get benefits?

Yes, expats in Spain can claim unemployment benefits while they look for a job.

Can you claim PIP whilst living in Spain?

Yes, if you are a UK national living in Spain, aged between 16 to 64 years of age, you can claim Personal Independence Payments of PIP.

Can I claim Winter Fuel Allowance if I live in Spain?

No, you cannot claim Winter Fuel Allowance if you live in Spain. To claim this benefit, you must live in the approved EU or EEA countries and be born before October 5th 1954.

How do I apply for benefits in Spain?

To apply for benefits in Spain you will have to file an online claim through the sede electrónica del SEPE. however, you must first register as a jobseeker in one of their office. You can apply for benefits two weeks after becoming legally unemployed.

Does Spain have Housing Benefit?

Yes, Housing Benefit is available for eligible individuals in Spain. 


Healthcare for UK nationals living in Spain – GOV.UK.

Living in Spain – GOV.UK

Which Spanish benefits am I entitled to? – SUPPORT IN SPAIN

UK And Spanish Benefits In Spain For Expats – Sanitas Health Plan Spain.