Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Spain - Care for dependents

This chapter explains which benefits people with physical, mental or sensory limitations can apply for, when they need total or partial support from someone else to carry out their daily basic activities.

Below we will tell you about:

  • Benefits linked to services (prestaciones vinculadas al servicio)
  • Financial benefits (prestaciones económicas)

When can you apply for these?

In Spain, you can apply for long-term care if, due to your age or because you suffer from an illness or disability, you cannot carry out your daily basic activities without the help of another person. There are two types of support for people who are dependent:

  • Benefits in kind: include different ways of assisting dependent persons in their own house or in a residential home, depending on their needs. They can be assisted by both professional carers and their own family. Beneficiaries must pay part of the costs, depending on their financial circumstances and the service available.
  • Financial benefits: Financial benefits vary according to the person's degree of dependency, but these are only available if the beneficiary does not receive other similar benefits and it is impossible to offer support through specific services.

What requirements must you meet?

People with any physical, mental, intellectual or sensory limitations can apply for this support when they depend totally or partially on someone else to carry out their daily basic activities. If you fall into any of these categories, you should meet these requirements:

  • Be a Spanish citizen and reside in Spain. Moreover, residents should have lived in the country for at least five years, of which the last two should be immediately prior to the application for support; or be a Spanish returnee.
  • Have one of the following degrees of dependency:
    • Grade I: moderate dependency. Moderate dependency refers to people who need the support of someone else at least once a day to carry out their daily basic activities, or who need intermittent or limited support.
    • Grade II: considerable dependency. People at this level need support several times a day to carry out their daily basic activities.
    • Grade III: severe dependency. People at this level need continuous support from another person.

What are you entitled to and how can you apply for it?

Benefits linked to services

Types of services


Services for preventing dependency and encouraging personal autonomy (advice, guidance, assistance and training in support technology).

Co-payment, depending on the service and personal financial circumstances of the dependent person

Remote services.

Home-based support services: attention to household needs, personal care, etc.

Day and night centre services: day centre for the elderly, day centre for people younger than 65, specialised day care centre, night centre.

Long-term residential care services: homes for dependent elderly people, care centres for dependent people (depending on different types of disability). Residential care can also be temporary for convalescent stays or non-professional carer respite.

Financial benefits

The Spanish legal system gives priority to benefits linked to services. As such, you may only access financial benefits for dependent people if you cannot access social services as a first option. This support will pay for your care costs in an accredited centre or for care offered by non-professional carers, such as members of your own family.

Type of financial benefits


Financial benefits linked to services: available for dependent people who cannot access public or state-assisted care services. It is a regular benefit.

Maximum monthly payment of €833.96

Amounts vary according to the degree of dependency and are paid directly to the beneficiary

Financial benefits for care in the family home and support for non-professional carers: for dependent people looked after in their family home. The carer of the dependent person should be registered with Social Security.

Financial benefit for personal care: aimed at encouraging the dependent person's autonomy, by hiring personal care to help them with their day-to-day activities.

Financial benefits can be reduced in the event that similar support is already being received for the same purpose.

The first thing you should do to receive the benefit is to submit the application and documents required at the information points of the Autonomous Community where you live. Once it has been received, a team of social workers and healthcare professionals in each Community will assess your degree of dependency, according to the scale established by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), of the World Health Organisation.

The assessment will include a report on the specific care you need and will set up a Programa Individual de Atención, PIA (Individual Care Programme), that will include the services or benefits corresponding to you and which best suit your degree of dependency. Every now and then, you (or the appropriate bodies of the Autonomous Community where you live) may request a review of your personal programme, as well as your degree of dependency.

Jargon busters

  • Daily basic activities: these are the basic tasks that a person needs to carry out daily, such as personal care, domestic chores, essential mobility, recognising people and things, getting one's bearings, understanding or carrying out simple tasks.
  • Dependent people: due to reasons of age, illness or disability, some people have limited physical, mental, intellectual or sensorial autonomy. They therefore need permanent or partial support from another person to carry out their daily basic activities.
  • Personal autonomy: is the capacity to carry out basic activities of daily life and to control, face up to and take personal decisions about how to live.
  • Co-payment: amount the beneficiary pays for dependency benefits, according to the type of service and their personal financial capacity.

Documents you will need

You can find the application forms to apply for support for dependent people at the Management bodies of the Autonomous Community where you live in.

Find out about your entitlements

These links will help you to find out about your entitlements in Spain. They are not European Commission links and do not represent the opinion of the Commission:

Publications and web pages of the European Commission:

Who can you contact?

IMSERSO - Instituto de Mayores y de Servicios Sociales (Institute for the Elderly and Social Services )

General Management Sub-Office
Financial Benefits Department
Avd. de la Ilustración, s/n
28029 Madrid
Tel. +34 917033000 
Information Tel.: +34 901109899
Fax +34 917033855
Website: www.imserso.es
E-mail: areaprestaciones@imserso.es

Addresses and telephone numbers of the Autonomous Communities and IMSERSO territorial directorates.

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