Anonymous shadows of British Army Irish Guards on parade square
Veterans

Coronavirus: What Are The Changes To Veterans UK's Services?

Veterans UK's services have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anonymous shadows of British Army Irish Guards on parade square

As cases of coronavirus in the UK rise on a daily basis, the Government has introduced new measures to try and deal with the pandemic.

In line with Government guidelines, the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) veteran support system - Veterans UK - has implemented new precautions that will see some changes to their services.

Veterans UK helpline

Veterans UK's helpline remains open, however, it is shutting an hour earlier than normal. 

The current opening hours are from 08:00 until 16:00 Monday to Friday.

The service encourages veterans who may need support outside of those hours to contact the Samaritans' 24-hour helpline. 

Welfare services

Veterans UK has suspended all face to face welfare meetings, except "in the most exceptional circumstances".

Veterans UK says its welfare staff will remain available to support veterans with advice, information and support via other forms of communication such as telephone, email, or letter.

Regarding medical assistance, veterans are recommended to get in touch with the NHS, calling 111 in case of a non-emergency and 999 in case of a medical emergency.

Pensions

Veterans UK said Armed Forces Pensions payments will continue to be made "as usual". 

However, there are changes to other pension schemes.

Pensions on divorce administration work and transfer work are both "currently suspended".

Veterans UK is a service run by the Ministry of Defence.

Medical examinations for pension and compensation schemes

All planned medical examinations in relation to compensation scheme claims have been cancelled.

This measure was implemented on 17 March and will be in place for up to three months.

Veterans who were expected to be examined in this time window will be contacted by a representative of the Department of Work and Pensions' Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA), who will confirm the cancellation of the appointment.

Appeal tribunal hearings

All appeal hearings against War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme decisions in England, Scotland and Wales have been cancelled until "further notice".

Veterans UK said those whose appeals have been affected by this decision will be contacted by HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Read the full update by Veterans UK here.

Cover image: PA.