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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. The NHS has codes to identify those who've served in the Armed Forces. The assists the NHS to enable veterans to receive appropriate support when needed. GP practices should ask patients whether they have served, but this doesn't always happen, so if you're a veteran, ask your GP or practice staff to ensure that your records are coded appropriately. The codes are: 13JI - Military veteran 13JY - History relating to military service 13q0 - History relating to Army service 13q1 - History relating to Royal Navy service 13q2 - History relating to Royal Air Force service 13q3 - Served in Armed Forces Some GP practices are now (or soon will be) 'Veteran Aware' NHS England and the Royal College of General Practitioners have endorsed the 'Military Veteran Aware' accreditation. Accredited practices will: have a lead for veterans’ issues within the surgery identify and flag veterans on their computer system undertake dedicated training and attend armed forces healthcare meetings increase understanding of the health needs of veterans amongst both clinical and administrative staff This scheme is being rolled out nationally from late 2018.
  3. UK aid to protect 7,000 Commonwealth veterans of the British Armed Forces from extreme poverty READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-aid-to-protect-7000-commonwealth-veterans-of-the-british-armed-forces-from-extreme-poverty
  4. Armed forces pay award 2018 - extra payments for personnel that left the armed forces after 1 April 2018 READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/armed-forces-pay-award-2018-extra-payments-for-personnel-that-left-the-armed-forces-after-1-april-2018
  5. British Forces Post Office: last dates of posting in time for Christmas READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/british-forces-post-office-last-dates-of-posting
  6. Armed forces and reserve forces pension schemes: guidance booklets READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-and-reserve-forces-pension-schemes-guidance-booklets
  7. MOD to review Armed Forces exemption from UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mod-to-review-armed-forces-exemption-from-un-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities
  8. 50 Days to go until the tenth Armed Forces Day READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/50-days-to-go-until-the-tenth-armed-forces-day
  9. A friend of mine said he was done by an average speed camera and he claims to have received a ticket from two police forces for this, can this happen I thought it sounded a bit weird
  10. 100 Day Countdown to UK Armed Forces Day 2018 READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/100-day-countdown-to-uk-armed-forces-day-2018
  11. Oh dont forget the £1.9 Million fine they've just been handed... Watch This Space As You Could Be Due A Refund Soon!!
  12. Defence Minister outlines expanded mental health provision for Armed Forces and veterans READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-minister-outlines-expanded-mental-health-provision-for-armed-forces-and-veterans
  13. Defence Secretary reviews tax on Armed Forces in Scotland READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-reviews-tax-on-armed-forces-in-scotland
  14. As you will be aware yesterday now Carillion announced it was going into liquidation Service Personnel, Families may be concerned about this which is understandable. CarillionAmey has placed an update on there website 15th January 2018 READ MORE HERE: http://company.carillionamey.co.uk/company-news/15-january-2018-update-from-carillionamey/
  15. Armed forces veterans to get ID to recognise 'sacrifice' READ MORE HERE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42336381
  16. Do you receive an Armed Forces Pension? READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/do-you-receive-an-armed-forces-pension
  17. British Forces Post Office: last dates of posting in time for Christmas READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/british-forces-post-office-last-dates-of-posting
  18. New plans for Armed Forces flexible working reach the Commons READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plans-for-armed-forces-flexible-working-reach-the-commons
  19. Defence Secretary announces Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans Board READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-announces-armed-forces-covenant-and-veterans-board Mmm which Veterans Board are they on about? (or is this the Board that deals with veterans appeals)
  20. Armed forces domestic abuse: where to get help READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-domestic-abuse-where-to-get-help The above link leads you to this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-domestic-abuse-where-to-get-help/armed-forces-domestic-abuse-where-to-get-help
  21. 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 READ MORE HERE: Welcome to the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces | Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces WWW.SCOAF.ORG.UK
  22. Make a donation to support members of the armed forces READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/donations-to-support-members-of-the-armed-forces
  23. Armed forces service complaints process READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/armed-forces-modernised-guidance
  24. Armed forces pensions on divorce and dissolution of civil partnerships READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-pensions-on-divorce-and-dissolution-of-civil-partnerships
  25. 100 years on, Defence Secretary and members of the Armed Forces attend Passchendaele commemorations READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/100-years-on-defence-secretary-and-members-of-the-armed-forces-attend-passchendaele-commemorations
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