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  1. Concessions for Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families - Updated November 2022 BENEFITS Benefits in the UK Veterans, people serving in the Armed Forces and their dependents may be able to claim a range of benefits in the UK. These include: • Child Benefit • Statutory Sick Pay • Armed Forces Independence Payment • Personal Independence Payment • Sure Start Maternity Grant • Jobseekers Allowance • Tax credits. You can find more information about benefits for veterans and people serving in the Armed Forces from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk Benefits abroad If you are a veteran living abroad, or you are serving in the Armed Forces abroad, you and your dependents may still be able to claim some benefits in the UK. You may be able to claim: • Maternity Allowance • Child Benefit • Employment and Support Allowance • Jobseekers Allowance (in certain European Union countries only). If you are refused a benefit you think you should get, you can contact the Royal British Legion for help to appeal. Contact: If You Need Help: 0808 802 8080 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) Online Chat (8am to 8pm, 7days a week): Live Chat Link Get Local Help - Find Your Closest Royal British Legion Location Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk Armed Forces pensions If you are claiming a war pension, or a war widow or widower pension and you are moving abroad, you should get advice on your pension. You can get advice from the Veterans UK Their contact details are: Telephone from the UK: 0808 1914 2 18 Telephone from abroad: + 44 1253 866 043 Email: [email protected] Veteran UK: Veterans UK Website Childcare for Service Children From Autumn 2022, eligible Service personnel (Tri-Service) can apply for up to 20 hours per week, term time only (39 weeks per year) of wraparound childcare funding for 4- to 11-year-old children attending before and after school clubs in the UK. Childcare for Service Children: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk Army Families Federation: Childcare & Early Years Tax-Free Childcare Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) is a government scheme introduced on 21 April 2017 to help working parents with the cost of childcare and will, over time, replace the Armed Forces Childcare Voucher Scheme. Parents have the option to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from an accredited and registered provider. Childcare Choices: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ Tax-Free Childcare (TFC): https://www.gov.uk/get-tax-free-childcare HEALTH Access to health services If you live in England, Scotland and Wales you should receive priority access to NHS secondary care for any conditions which are likely to be related to your service, subject to the clinical needs of all patients. There are currently no arrangements in place with the health authorities in Northern Ireland. Their aim is that all patients should have access to treatment within a reasonable timescale. The Veterans UK may be able to help pay your travelling expenses when you go to hospital for treatment for the accepted conditions for which you receive a war pension so please ensure to check your entitlement with the Veterans UK. Help with NHS Charges If you are a War Pensioner living in the UK you should be supplied with any aids, appliances or home nursing equipment certified to be necessary for the treatment or control of your accepted disablement by the NHS or Social Services. If you need an artificial limb, the hospital will normally send you to a limb-fitting centre who will supply the limb under the NHS. Veterans UK can only pay for artificial limbs in very special circumstances so please check to see if you are entitled to extra help with cost from Veterans UK. There is a prescription charge for some items and this is payable before the item can be ordered. As a war pensioner you are exempt from NHS prescription charges for your accepted disablement. An up-to-date prescription-exemption certificate can be issued if required by Veterans UK - Other help you may be entitled to. Veterans UK can only consider payment for necessary, medically-approved items if you would otherwise have to pay them yourself. Private treatment Veterans UK only consider claims for private treatment where the treatment is NOT provided by the NHS, is essential and the need arises wholly or mainly from the pensioned disablement. You must ensure that you get prior approval from Veterans UK before you incur any costs for private treatment. Provision of Treatment for those War Pensioners Residing Overseas If you do not live in the UK, you may be able to get financial help with the cost of treatment required for your accepted disablement. Ensure that you get in touch with your Overseas Pensions Agent, or Veterans UK before getting any treatment. Prescription exemption certificates If you are awarded a War Pension and you are under 60 the Veterans UK can send you a certificate to exempt you from NHS prescription charges for any condition that has an assessable degree of disablement. The certificate allows exemption from prescription charges providing the prescribed medication, aids, appliances or equipment are required for your accepted disablements. If you have paid prescription charges for your accepted disablement between the date of your claim and the date of your award of war pension the Veterans UK can consider a refund so please ensure you check with the Veterans UK. You don’t have to pay for NHS prescriptions when you reach the age of 60. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland prescriptions are free. Dental Treatment If you have dental treatment or dentures through the NHS you will have to pay the Statutory NHS Charge to the dentist. However, if the treatment is for your Accepted Disablement the Veterans UK can consider reimbursement of the NHS charge. Spectacles If you need glasses because of your Accepted Disablement the Veterans UK can consider reimbursing the fees for your sight tests and the value of the appropriate NHS spectacle voucher. MOBILITY Veterans Railcard The new Veterans Railcard gives 1/3 off most rail fares including Standard and First Class Anytime, Off-Peak and Advance fares to UK Veterans across England, Wales and Scotland, whether they are visiting family and friends or simply enjoying a day out. Veterans Railcard Free travel in London If you receive a war pension or Guaranteed Income Payment GIP under the AFCS you can apply for a Veteran’s Oyster photocard. This allows you to travel free at any time in London on the bus, underground, Docklands Light Railway, tram and London Overground services. You can also travel free on most National Rail services in London after 9.30am on weekdays and all day at weekends and on public holidays. Veterans Oyster Photocard. Blue Badge Scheme If you are a disabled veteran you may be eligible for the Blue Badge Scheme which allows you to park on the road in designated disabled bays as well as in places not normally available for parking. You are eligible to apply for a Blue Badge if: you are paid War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement, or you are receiving a Guaranteed Income Payment from tariff 1 – 8 inclusive and you have been assessed as having a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty with walking. You should contact your local council about the scheme in your area. Find out more on the Gov.uk Website Bus travel in Scotland Disabled Persons Bus Pass entitles you to free bus travel anywhere in Scotland. If you have mobility problems, you can apply for a Disabled Persons Bus Pass if: you have received a lump sum payment under the Armed Forces Compensation scheme, or you receive War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement. Disabled Person Bus Pass Bus travel in Wales If you have mobility problems, you can apply for a Disabled Concessionary Travel Card with which you can travel free of charge on almost all local bus services throughout Wales. You can also travel to and from towns just over the border in England, providing there is no change of bus involved. You can apply for a Disabled Concessionary Travel Card if: You have received a lump sum payment under the Armed Forces Compensation scheme, or you receive War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement. Disabled Concessionary Travel Card HM Forces Railcard The HM Forces Railcard costs £21 and it'll save you 1/3 on most rail fares throughout Great Britain for a whole year. That works out to under £2 a month for huge savings. You're eligible if you're a member of the Regular Forces or Volunteer Reserves or a spouse/civil partner of a member. There are plenty of ways you can use your Railcard, for both long and short trips. Better still you can use it anytime on weekends, Public Holidays and during the week. The only restriction is that if you travel before 10am Monday to Friday (except during July and August) a minimum fare will apply. HM Forces Railcard Motability scheme Motability is an independent charity set up to help people with disabilities use their mobility benefits to either buy or lease a car, powered wheelchair or mobility scooter. To qualify for the scheme, you must be receiving: • War Pensioner’s Mobility supplement, or • Armed Forces Independance Payment, or • higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, or · Enhanced rate of mobility component of Personal Independence Payment To use the scheme, your mobility benefit must have at least 12 months still to run. The Department of Work and Pensions will pay Motability direct from your entitlement allowance. For more information on the scheme, contact Motability Operations, City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB; telephone 0300 456 4566 or look at the Motability Website for more information. If your injuries as a War Pensioner mean that you have to adapt your home to make life easier for you, there is financial support available. There are numerous service charities that may also be able to offer financial assistance. ADAPTIONS TO YOUR HOME Getting a Social Care Needs Assessment If you need support with daily living because you're disabled, elderly, or you have a long-term health condition, then you have the right to an assessment by your local authority. If you haven’t already done so, contact your local social services department via your local council to arrange to have an Occupational Therapist assess your needs. Apply to your Local Councils social services department for a care needs assessment. In Northern Ireland, assessments are carried out by your local trust. You can find the trust nearest to you by searching on the nidirect website. Major or Minor Adaptations The financial help that is available depends on whether the adaptations you need to make to your home are minor or major. Minor adaptations would include, for example, fitting lever taps in the kitchen, or hand rails around the home. Major adaptations could include, for example, installing a downstairs shower room, widening doorways, or lowering the work tops in your kitchen. Minor Adaptations and Equipment - What Help is Available? If you Live in England Your local authority in England will normally provide you with disability equipment and small adaptations costing less than £1,000 free of charge, as long as you’ve been assessed as needing it and you are eligible. If you Live in Wales You may have to pay towards disability equipment and minor adaptations but the amount you’re asked to pay must be reasonable and based on your financial circumstances. If you Live in Scotland Your local council in Scotland will normally provide you with essential equipment or adaptations costing less than £1,500 free of charge. If you Live in Northern Ireland Your local trust will decide whether they will fund the equipment or minor adaptation or whether you’ll have to pay for it yourself. Funding Major Adaptations – The Disabled Facilities Grant If you require major adaptations to make your home accessible you will normally have to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant. These are paid by your local authority (or Local Housing Executive if you live in Northern Ireland). Are you Eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant? You can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant if your local authority is satisfied that the work you’re having done is necessary and appropriate for your needs. This usually involves an assessment by an occupational therapist. The grants are means-tested (unless you’re applying for a disabled child under the age of 17, so the local authority will take into account any income and savings that you and your partner have. The Royal British Legion can help you with an application for the grant. How much can you get? The maximum amount you can get for a Disabled Facilities Grant depends on where in the UK you live. Maximum Disabled Facilities Grant Payable England Up to £30,000 Wales Up to £36,000 Scotland Disabled Facilities Grant not Available: SEE THIS LINK INSTEAD Northern Ireland £25,000 How to claim a Disabled Facilities Grant Find out How to Apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant on the Gov.uk website. Find out more about Disabled Facilities Grants in Northern Ireland on the nidirect - Disabled Facilities Grant website. Help from your Local Home Improvement Agency If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to getting funding, planning the work and employing trades people, Home Improvement Agencies can ease a lot of the worry. They can help in a variety of ways including: • Visiting your home and providing advice • Getting quotes • Drawing up plans for the work • Checking what financial help you may be eligible for. They also publish a list of trusted trades people on their website. For more information, including how to find your local Home Improvement Agency, please see the Home Improvements Agency website. Housing Executive Grants - in Northern Ireland If you live in Northern Ireland, there are a number of grants available to improve or adapt your home. Check the Housing Executive website for details of the grant funding available. Funding Repairs, Improvements and Adaptations Significant improvements can be costly but help is available from a variety of sources. Service charities can also provide financial assistance towards adapting your own home or vehicle on a case by case basis. Ministry of Defence (MOD) Assistance If you live in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) or Single Living Accommodation (SLA), the MOD will adapt your home for you or a member of your family. Many units already have adapted accommodation. You should contact your Commanding Officer (CO) or unit Human Resources (HR) in the first instance. CHARITABLE ASSISTANCE The Royal British Legion gives grants to eligible clients for mobility aids, adaptations and equipment, which include the following: · Accessibility fixtures and fittings eg hand or grab rails, door widening, ramps, external hard surfaces, including drop kerbs and steps and indoor fittings such as sockets, door entry systems, security fixtures and lighting • Shower and bathroom adaptations to aid mobility, including ramped access to existing showers • Mobility equipment, such as wheelchairs, Zimmer frames, manual and electric bath hoists and lifts, riser/recliners, stairlifts, electric profiling beds • The clients contribution to a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), subject to the Legion’s financial assessment criteria • Client’s who own their own home, and who meet the equity requirements, may be offered a Property Repair Loan • Home adaptations to allow access and egress from the client’s property for an Electronically Powered Vehicle which they have supplied · Small jobs up to the value of £300 provided by their Poppy Calls service If you are receiving a war pension you may be able to get a one-off House Adaptation Grant of up to £750 from the Veterans UK. This is to make a contribution towards the cost of adapting a home where the need for such an adaptation arises wholly or mainly from the accepted disablement. The grant can be issued if you cannot get help from another source such as social services. You must get approval from Veterans UK the before any costs are incurred or work started. Claim VAT Relief If you’re disabled, any building work you do to adapt your home may be zero-rated for VAT. VAT Relief on certain building work if you have a Disability. Council Tax Reduction If the adaptations you are having done to your home push your property into a higher Council Tax band, you might be entitled to a discount on your Council Tax. This is called the ‘Disabled Band Reduction Scheme’. Please contact your Local Councils to apply for the scheme. ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INTEREST The Cinema Exhibitors' Association Card Cinema Exhibitors Association Website To apply for the card you will need to submit proof to show that you meet one or more of the following criteria: a) Be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Armed Forces Independence Payment. b) Be a registered blind person. You will also need to supply a passport-sized photo with your application to appear on the card. A processing fee of £6.00 is chargeable per card. This is to be sent along with the completed application. Defence Discount Service Defence Discount Service Website The Defence Discount Service was launched as part of the nation’s recognition and appreciation of the Armed Forces Community. The Defence Discount Service gives members of the Armed Forces Community discounts both online and on the high street. The Membership Card is a physical card that members of the Armed Forces Community can take into stores, restaurants and venues in order to obtain a discount. The Defence Discount Service is available to the following eligible members: ● Serving Armed Forces ● Reserve Forces ● Veterans ● Service Family Members ● MOD Civil Servants ● Cadet Forces (over 16) ● NATO Personnel serving in the UK The Defence Privilege Card cost £4.99 for 5 years. Blue Light Card https://www.bluelightcard.co.uk/ HM Armed Forces Veterans qualify to apply for this card also so with the Cost of Living rising make sure and also apply for this card as well but please again bear in mind there is a small cost involved for this card. To apply for the card as an Armed Forces veteran you will need to upload one of the following: (this also applies when renewing your card) Armed Forces Veterans - ID required: Armed forces pension, Certificate of Service or Certificate of Discharge The Blue Light Card costs £4.99 for a 2 year Membership/Access. Veterans Gateway We are the first point of contact for you and your loved ones. Contact us 24/7 for help across housing, mental wellbeing, finances and more. Get in touch with our friendly helpline team by phone, chat, text and email. You can contact our expert partners including Combat Stress, SSAFA and Poppy Scotland via our Self help section. And we can also refer you directly to our Referral Partners. Get in touch today. Phone: 0808 802 1212 Text: 81212 Email: https://support.veteransgateway.org.uk/app/ask Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces The Ombudsman provides independent and impartial oversight of the Service Complaints system for members of the UK Armed Forces Our mission To provide independent oversight and investigations in support of an effective, efficient and fair Service complaints process for members of the UK Armed Forces. Our vision That all Service personnel have access to and confidence in a Service complaints system that is efficient, effective and fair. Our values • Independence – We are independent from the the Services we investigate. We hold them to account for service failure or injustice. • Impartiality – We are impartial. All investigations are undertaken on their own merits. We do not take sides. · Integrity – We ensure that we are consistent in our approach, adhering to policy and process and acting within the confines of jurisdiction. Service Complaints Ombudsman Link Concessions for Armed Forces, Veterans and their Families.pdf
  2. MOD appeal for families of missing or killed soldiers from the Korean War READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mod-appeal-for-families-of-missing-or-killed-soldiers-from-the-korean-war
  3. BFPOs included in the MOD enduring families free mail service READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bfpos-included-in-the-mod-enduring-families-free-mail-service
  4. Purple Pack bereavement guide for families of service personnel READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/purple-pack-bereavement-guide-for-families-of-service-personnel
  5. READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/copies-of-the-iraq-inquiry-report-for-families
  6. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?452689-Children-s-charity-bosses-praise-town-hall-over-decision-to-stop-bailiffs-calling-on-families-with-kids-at-home-Manche For the full story http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/childrens-charity-bosses-praise-town-10110772
  7. I came across this petition whilst on FB this morning and feel it should be shared. https://www.change.org/p/the-rt-hon-michael-fallon-mp-ministry-of-defence-to-make-carillion-amey-accountable-for-the-substandard-housing-they-provide-for-service-personnel-and-their-families?recruiter=350457576&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=mob-xs-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default If it turns out that Carillion Amey are not fulfilling the terms of the contract, out they should go.
  8. Lancastria: Families urged to claim WWII medals. Survivors and descendants of those killed during Britain's worst ever maritime disaster are being urged to claim medals honouring them. The Lancastria troopship was carrying between 6,000 and 9,000 people when it was sunk by German dive bombers on 17 June 1940. Only about 2,500 people survived in the largest single loss of life for British forces in the whole of World War II. Relatives and survivors have until 15 May to apply for a commemorative medal. The Scottish government commissioned a medal in 2008, issuing more than 375 since. Read More Here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32187297
  9. Universal Credit and families: questions and answers from a document issued in February 2015.. If you are a family and maybe wanting to claim Universal Credit (UC) you could find many of your questions answered in the attachment, this was gathered from here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-and-families-questions-and-answers One of the questions asked is "Q. Will I/we both have to look for work? "A" When you make a Universal Credit claim and have children, you will need to nominate a lead carer. What is expected of the lead carer in return for getting Universal Credit will be based on the age of the youngest child in the house, as well as other circumstances. If you are a lone parent, you will automatically be the lead carer". The answer is on pages 6-7 and so on. Again many links to follow so you can get all the required information to assist you and your claim. Child care questions can be seen as well, due to the new Tax free Child Care see (TfCC) Q2 page 9 and so on I hope this can assist those looking to ask about UC and TfCC later this year. For more information on the Childcare Payments Act see here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/28/contents/enacted
  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30087031
  11. Some travel companies seem to be using to force parents to pay a premium is by charging MORE for children than they do for adults. Website HolidayPirates have got some operators rumbled and have shown that some parents are being hoodwinked into paying premium by charging them MORE for children than they do for adults. In one case, they found that a holiday was being sold as £245 per person (including all extras for the school holidays), but the holiday is based on four adults sharing. However, if you swap two adults for two kids – for the same flights, same hotel, same everything – the price goes up to £344 each. Some tour operators will tinker with prices dependant on the child’s age. If you book one holiday for a family of four (two adults, one infant and one child aged 12) and one for exactly the same sized family but with the child being 13 (two adults, one infant, one child aged 13), you’ll see a big hike in the price of £133 each. http://www.holidaypirates.com/others/three-ways-tour-operators-are-ripping-off-families
  12. Anyone know what these are all about. I signed on wed saw work coach advisor where i switched the to new work plan booklet, and was made an apportment to see a esf families provision advisor next straight after next signing. Did not sound like anything to worry about but thought i see if any knew what its all about. Thanks
  13. As title say this is the link on the Governments new website with further information on their: https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/families/support-services-for-military-and-defence-personnel-and-their-families and info from that site: Healthcare, Housing and Support Services available for Military Personnel. European Support Group for defence staff on NATO and EUMS postings ESG provides support to military and civilian staff and their families posted abroad in areas including schooling, medical care and housing. British Forces Post Office Find out about the British Forces Post Office services, how to address mail, BFPO numbers, e-blueys and free mail. British Forces overseas posting: RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus Find out about RAF Akrotiri, accommodation, medical facilities, schools, amenities and recreation. British forces overseas posting: Cyprus A complete overview of Cyprus and its UK bases, a guide to the island and employment opportunities for civilian UK dependents. British forces overseas posting: Episkopi, Cyprus Medical facilities, education, amenities and recreation options for troops posted to Episkopi Station. British forces overseas posting: Troodos, Cyprus Accommodation, medical facilities, education, amenities and recreation for postings at Troodos Station in Cyprus. British forces overseas posting: UNFICYP (Nicosia), Cyprus Accommodation, medical and recreational facilities, education and other amenities at the UN Force headquarters in Cyprus. Career Transition Partnership The Career Transition Partnership is there to help ex-service people to find a new civilian career or job and help employers to recruit the best. Children's Education Advisory Service The Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS) provides expert and impartial advice about the education of service children. Defence recovery and personnel recovery centres Services and facilities providing treatment and support for wounded, sick and injured service personnel. Human resources for civilians working for the Ministry of Defence Who to contact with questions about pay, pensions, recruitment, training or other issues to do with civilian employment at the MOD. Information for service leavers The Career Transition Partnership helps people leaving the services to find new careers and jobs - along with a range of further support services. Looking after our Armed Forces There is strong commitment to maintaining the overall health and wellbeing of service personnel - even after they have left the services. MODCARE: the Defence Social Service Association MODCARE, supports small, non-national charities: find out how to nominate a charity, donate to MODCARE or take part in fundraising. Mental health support for the UK armed forces Mental health support and advice facilities for service personnel, reservists, veterans and service families. MoneyForce A financial awareness website for Service personnel and their families. National security vetting for the Armed Services DBS NSV provides national security vetting to the 3 Armed Services and other customers across the public sector. Pensions and compensation for veterans Up to date details of service pension and compensation schemes managed by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Recruiting ex-services personnel The benefits of recruiting people who have served in the Armed Forces and services offered by the Career Transition Partnership. Support for war veterans Find out about legacy health, recognition, return to civilian life, support from the voluntary sector, commemoration and payment schemes. The Battle Back programme Sport and training programmes for wounded, injured and sick personnel from across the Armed Forces. The armed forces covenant The covenant is a pledge made by the government to ensure that the armed forces are not disadvantaged as a result of their service.
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