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Thousands of Veteran Cards to be rolled out this year

Thousands more veterans will receive HM Armed Forces Veteran Cards by the end of the year thanks to a £3 million injection to expand the roll-out to veterans who left service before 2018.

  • Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer has visited a MOD printing facility at HMS Sultan in Gosport
  • Government has invested £3m to scale up production of HM Armed Forces Veteran Cards to 50,000 cards a month
  • Thousands of veterans will be able to apply for an ID card this year, with new option to apply online

Thousands more veterans will receive HM Armed Forces Veteran Cards by the end of the year thanks to a £3 million injection to expand the roll-out to veterans who left service before 2018.

The ID card will allow veterans to quickly and easily prove their veteran status where required, granting them simpler access to key support from the NHS, charities and local authorities. They can also be used to apply for Defence Discount Service Cards and the Veterans Railcard.

Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer visited a facility in Gosport today to see progress made on the ID card rollout, and met with veterans who are already benefiting from the scheme.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Rt Hon. Johnny Mercer MP said:

Veteran cards provide ex-service men and women with a tangible connection to the important contributions they have made to the defence of our nation.

We are honouring our commitment to getting ID cards into the hands of veterans by the end of the year so that they can more easily access support.

The veterans I met today are excited about the benefits on offer – benefits which will only continue to grow for them over the coming years as civilians.

Since December 2018, the MOD has been automatically issuing all service leavers with a physical veterans’ card as part of their service leavers pack. When the service opens up later this year, veterans – including all those who left service before 2018 – will be able to apply for a new ID card.

As of July 2023, 71,000 veterans’ cards have already been issued for those who left after 2018. Production will soon start to ramp up to 50,000 cards a month for those who left before that.

Lt Gen Sir Nicholas Pope, Chair of Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities said:

Veterans who need timely help, either from the state or from the charity sector, are often frustrated by delays in confirming their status. Veterans’ ID cards provide a significant step forward in speeding up this process and we look forward to supporting their delivery to the entire veteran community.

In the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan (2022-2024) the government committed to exploring the secure, digital verification of veterans’ status, allowing veterans to access a wider range of government services, as well as speeding up Phase 2 of the rollout of ID cards.

With around 2.2 million veterans in the UK, the government has made a £3 million investment to build the technology and processes to deal with large volumes of card applications accurately and securely. This includes testing the online application process with 4,000 veterans to refine the system.

The launch date for this service will be announced by the end of the year. A paper-based application process will also be made available for veterans who are unable to use the online service.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs has been leading government efforts to make the UK the best country in the world to be a veteran. This includes launching Op FORTITUDE, a new housing pathway earlier this year, and providing medallic recognition to nuclear test veterans.

Source: Gov.UK -All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated.© Crown copyright

Image: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP hands veterans their newly printed HM Armed Forces Veteran Cards.

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