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Coronavirus: Changes to Veterans UK Services

Due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, there are changes to Veterans UK services. You can find the latest information here.

"Please be reassured that all Armed Forces Pensions, War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme regular payments will continue to be made as usual into your nominated account. We are also maintaining urgent welfare support for Service leavers, veterans and their families via the Veterans Welfare Service (VWS), Defence Transition Services (DTS) and Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans (IPC4V).

The latest position on changes to our services are as follows:

Veterans UK Helpline: 0808 1914 218

Our Helpline service is now able to offer a limited telephone call facility between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. However, due to a reduced office capacity and the number of agents being able to attend the office, we would ask people to only contact an agent if your enquiry relates to:

  • reporting a bereavement
  • Veterans Welfare Service (VWS), Defence Transition Services (DTS) and Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans (IPC4V) assistance
  • updating bank account details or address for War Pension Scheme or Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments.

If your call is not for one of these reasons, please continue to use our email service via Veterans-UK@mod.gov.uk.

If you require to speak to someone because you are in need of urgent emotional support then please call the Samaritans directly on 116123, alternatively you can call 0808 1914 218 and listen to the options to be transferred where a Samaritan adviser may be able to assist you.

We have now re-commenced office-based processing and staff are working hard to identify and prioritise the most urgent cases. We are doing all we can to move cases forward as quickly as we can.

Re-joining the Armed Forces

Veterans seeking information about re-joining the Armed Forces during this period can find details on the Royal Navy Rejoiner pageRegular Army Rejoiner page and the RAF Rejoiner Page.

Veterans Welfare Service Support, Defence Transition Services and Integrated Personal Commissioning For Veterans

To protect our staff and the veterans, Service leavers and families we support we have decided to suspend, except in the most exceptional circumstances, all face-to-face meetings with clients. However, urgent advice, information and support is still available via our helpline service (see above) and, for less urgent enquiries, via email to Veterans-UK@mod.gov.uk. Please quote your name, national insurance or reference number and contact details and we will be in touch as quickly as we can. See also “Guidance for Service Personnel with imminent discharge dates” below.

War Pension Scheme and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

Please be reassured that all War Pension, War Widows Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments will continue to be made as usual into your nominated account.

In March, we had to pause casework, including new claims and appeals against previous claim decisions, because such work cannot be delivered remotely. We have now re-commenced office-based processing and staff are working hard to identify and prioritise the most urgent cases and we are focused on recovery of our service delivery that was unfortunately impacted by COVID-19. We wish to reassure those affected that we are doing all we can to move cases forward as soon as possible We continue to ensure that no-one will fall out of payment during this time. If you experience a problem with your payments or have an urgent question, please call our helpline service or email Veterans-UK@mod.gov.uk and we will reply as quickly as possible.

War Pension Scheme: Mesothelioma

To protect our staff and veterans, we have decided to suspend, except in the most exceptional circumstances, all face-to-face meetings with clients. However, advice, information and support is still available via our helpline service and email.

Every effort will be made to ensure that procedures are followed to ensure that timely informed choice discussions about lump sum payments are held with those who have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, where an intention to claim is made.

Medical Examinations: War Pensions and AFCS

With effect from 17 March 2020, all planned medical examinations in relation to compensation scheme claims were cancelled. We are currently unable to re-commence examinations, but a pilot scheme has been launched which changes the way we gather medical evidence for War Pensions Scheme claims and reviews.

We won’t be issuing requests for medical board examinations or Hospital Case notes, instead we will be issuing a Primary Care Factual report and a supplementary Self-Assessment Form directly to the claimant. A letter will explain everything and provide instructions to follow so the claimant can complete the relevant forms before returning them to us.

Appeal Tribunal Hearings

With effect from 26 May 2020 the tribunals across the UK began to conduct some appeal hearings remotely. This involved all parties joining using the telephone or a video connection. For the most up to date information regarding your appeal hearing and how it may take place now and, in the future, please visit the relevant tribunal services website from the links below.

HMCTS weekly operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Scottish Courts and Tribunals Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Department of Justice Coronavirus (COVID-19) Continuity Arrangements.

Armed Forces Pensions

Please be reassured that all Armed Forces Pensions payments will continue to be made as usual into your nominated account.

Pension enquiries can still be answered by calling the JPA Enquiry Centre on 0800 085 3600 during the hours of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday.

Where children’s pensions are due for review, we will contact the payee to determine whether the child is continuing in full time education to assess future entitlement.

All other work is being maintained, although our timescales may be longer than usual.

Guidance for service personnel with imminent discharge dates:

We appreciate that the COVID-19 measures put in place by the government are of a particular concern for those with imminent discharge dates and those in their resettlement and transition phase. The Ministry of Defence and the single Services are working hard on temporary emergency policies to address the myriad of issues which the current situation has imposed on us all at this unprecedented time. Once these are published you will be informed through a variety of means (initially your chain of command).

The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), who manage the defence estate, are working on temporary policies concerning move out of Service Family Accommodation (SFA).

The MOD and the Career Transition Partnership have published advice on resettlement activities. Please read the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) response to COVID-19(PDF,86.6KB, 2 pages) for MOD guidance and link to an FAQ on resettlement.

Service personnel should get in touch initially with their chain of command through their unit, as that is how the information will be disseminated initially and it will require chain of command involvement for any measures which may affect retention or discharge.

Ongoing support remains in place through the Career Transition Partnership for employment support /resettlement related activities. Please read the Career Transition Partnership FAQsand for those who are receiving wider transition support through Defence Transition Services(DTS).

Please see the Veterans UK Helpline information above to request welfare support.

Medals

The MOD Medal Office is in the process of resuming operations. Regrettably, there are delays in responding and processing applications against normal timescales due to a combination of the COVID-19 lockdown and a number of significant anniversaries falling in 2020 which is increasing demand. If you are wanting to apply to obtain a medal entitlement or a physical medal(s) for either yourself, or a relative please follow the guidance on the medals GOV.UK page. We will then deal with your application as soon as possible. We acknowledge that this may be frustrating. Please be assured that our officials are endeavouring to action all enquiries and applications as soon as feasible. Your patience and understanding during this challenging time are appreciated.

General information on medals can still be obtained by calling the JPA Enquiry Centre on 0800 085 3600 during the hours of 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, or via DBS-Medals@mod.gov.uk."

Source: Ministry of Defence/Veterans UK

 Contains public sector information licensed under the OGL v3.0.

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