Beatriz Lara, the Senior Social Worker from Casaverde Homes, was the guest at last Thursday’s meeting of the Orihuela Costa and District Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Beatrix is well known amongst all expat charities for whom she tends to be the first point of reference, as many attempt to understand the Spanish Social System.

She explained that a lot of her time is spent with expats, as she guides them through the intricacies of the ‘Spanish Welfare System’. She also helps with form filling and the processing of the paperwork, as a result of which many of her clients who are in need of support from social services are able to access the system that is increasingly available through the Spanish State at no cost.

Beatriz did emphasise, however, that all applicants must be resident and have been registered on their municipal padron for five years.

She spoke about the availability of financial assistance, support with mobility equipment and entry into care homes, all at no, or at little, cost.  She also covered the acquisition of Disabled parking badges and discounted holidays but said that people must apply early for such benefits and must also have patience whilst their applications are dealt with.

Beatrix finally suggested that residents who might be looking for such support in the future should start laying down the groundwork now by, perhaps, visiting the social worker in their local town hall to discuss their forthcoming options.