EXCLUSIVE By Wendy Williams
A BRITISH expat who suffered a brain haemorrhage claims he has been abandoned by social services and left struggling to survive.
Mark Cook, 43, from Sheffield, collapsed at his home near Algorrobo in the Axarquia, in July 2010.
But, despite being unable to work since it happened, the father-of-two is still waiting to receive financial support from either the Spanish or the British government.
Instead he has been forced to rely on handouts from his long-term partner, Silvia Garcia Martin, and his friends.
“I had an aneurism so I am lucky to be alive,” explained Cook.
“But I haven’t received anything in a year.
“No one is interested.
“I have waited and waited but it is getting urgent, I have no money, although I have worked all my life.
“How am I meant to survive?
“I am lucky I have the support of Silvia and I have been able to make a slow but full recovery, but I still have a hole in my head and the doctors have said I can’t work yet.
“With the pain and confusion the last thing you need is to worry about money,” he added.
The former restaurant owner, who has lived and worked in Spain for seven years, should be eligible to receive a non-contributory pension.
In addition, he is entitled to receive benefits from the UK as he has worked there for most of his life.
But due to a clause in the law the British government will not pay disability allowance for an expat until the country of residence has paid out.
“If Spain paid me just one euro a month then the UK government could give me the allowance, but at the moment their hands are tied,” he explained.
“Nothing has moved forward and 13 months after the event I am still waiting to have a meeting to discuss my claim.
“A year ago I had tubes coming out of my head and this money should have been paid at the time when I needed it.
“The whole situation is scandalous.”