British Embassy’s Newsletter for April

Here is an extract, providing points relevant to this province, from the Newsletter sent by the British Embassy in Madrid.

Legion Beneficiaries in Spain
Are you in receipt of a war pension? From 01 April 2013, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will no longer act on SPVA‘s behalf for overseas customers. You will need to send any claims for a refund of treatment costs directly to SPVA instead of sending them to the Embassy or Consulate.

This means that customers living in Spain will not be able to obtain help from the British Embassy or Consulate with war pension claims or payments. Should you have any queries about the changes you should contact the SPVA on the Helpline number +44 1253 866043. You can also email the SPVA on veterans.help@spva.gsi.uk

Welfare: Should you feel that The Royal British Legion could be of assistance to you or someone you know please contact the Country Welfare Officer – Donna Wilson on Tel: 902109356 or Email: dmwil-son@britishlegion.org.uk.

Returning to the UK?
In the past six months ACASA‘s case-work service has taken on a new look as more and more of the expatriate community are considering returning permanently to the UK. We appreciate that this is not an easy decision to reach but it is one which more and more people are taking especially as the economic situation is having a greater impact than ever before – the early 1990s were difficult times for many expatriates but post 2008 the difficult economic climate is having a greater impact on every-one‟s cost of living.

Such is ACASA‘s concern that following its annual meeting with UK charities last October where others present expressed their concerns at the rising numbers of clients wishing to return permanently to the UK, ACASA has taken the initiative to carry out a survey of these charities to find out more about the issues they face when it comes to repatriation. A meeting has also been arranged in London at the end of April to bring these charities and others together. The outcome of this meeting will be published in future copies of the Partners’ Newsletter.

Everyone’s circumstances are different. Therefore, it is not easy to provide hard and fast rules for those considering taking this step. Nevertheless, ACASA would recommend readers to think ahead and to plan. For those with access to the Internet and who wish to make a start, websites such as the UK Government’s www.gov.uk is well worth a read. Looking for accommodation with suitable care facilities? The Elderly Accommodation Council’s website www.eac.org.uk