Ministry of Defence
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Coronavirus – Changes to Veterans UK Services

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and in line with Government public health advice, we are taking steps to minimise the risks to veterans and their families.

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 veterans.

However, these precautions, including our staff working from home, mean that we have had to introduce changes to many of our services, as follows:

Veterans UK Helpline

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer a telephone service from the Veterans UK helpline and we apologise for the inconvenience this may cause. Urgent enquiries, including requests for welfare support and for anyone experiencing payment problems, can be sent via email to Veterans-UK@mod.gov.uk . A reply or call back will be provided as quickly as we can but please be aware our reply times may be longer. Urgent emotional support is still available from the Samaritans by calling our helpline 0808 1914 2 18 and pressing option 1.

War Pension Scheme/Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) Medical Examinations

With effect from 17 March, all planned medical examinations in relation to compensation scheme claims will be cancelled for a period of up to 3 months. All veterans with dates for medical examinations during this period will be contacted direct by the DWP’s Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) to confirm cancellation. There is no need to contact the Veterans UK helpline at the moment.

Veterans Welfare Service/Defence Transition Services/Integrated Personal Commissioning For Client Visits

We have decided to suspend, except in the most exceptional circumstances, all face to face meetings with the clients of all our services with immediate effect as a protection for our clients and our staff. Please be rest assured that we will continue to provide advice, information and support via telephone and email and our staff will remain available to assist those in need at this difficult time. Please see the Veterans UK Helpline information above to request welfare support.

Appeal Tribunal Hearings

With effect from 20 March, all appeal hearings in England, Scotland and Wales (against War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme decisions) are being cancelled until further notice. Tribunals usually involve the attendance of veterans and it would be wrong for these to proceed in the current circumstances. The HM Courts and Tribunals Service are contacting all those with appeals affected.

JPAC Enquiry Centre – Armed Forces Pensions and Medals

Please be aware of the reduced operating hours for the JPAC Enquiry Centre. Hours of opening will now be 1000 -1600 Monday-Friday. A call service is still available at the moment although this could be subject to change at short notice.

Armed Forces Pensions

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

We are prioritising work to maintain current pensions in payment and to commence new pension payments due to those leaving the Armed Forces, Death In Service entitlements and Widows and Dependents pensions. However, this means that some services have been changed as follows:

Processing of Early Payment of Preserved Pension applications is being maintained although our timescales may be longer. Applications from individuals who are terminally ill are being prioritised.

  • pensions on Divorce administration work is currently suspended - we will recommence this work as soon as the Government’s control measures are relaxed
  • pension transfer work is currently suspended - we will recommence this work as soon as the Government’s control measures are relaxed
  • pension forecast request work and Independent Dispute Resolution. Process casework has been suspended, although ill health forecasts are continuing to be issued.

We are continuing to review our processes and priorities and updates will follow when they become available.

Medals

Regrettably all enquiries and applications to the MOD Medal Office will be unanswered until full operational services can resume. If you are wanting to apply to obtain either 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 we are able to return to normal working. We acknowledge that this may be frustrating, but your patience and understanding in such unprecedented circumstances is appreciated

Related content

 

Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-changes-to-veterans-uk-services#history

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