As we near UK Armed Forces Day (30 June) Age Scotland has launched a free advice guide for older veterans.
The Veterans’ Guide to Later Life in Scotland offers veterans a route map to embracing opportunities and overcoming challenges that later life can bring. It’s available to download, and postal copies can be requested from the Age Scotland Helpline 0800 12 44 222 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s a flavour of what it offers older veterans, their families and professionals working with and for them.
Being treated fairly
Did you know that each council and health board in Scotland has signed a promise to every veteran? Known as the Armed Forces Covenant this says you “should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens” and that “special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and bereaved.”
Did you know that veterans are entitled to priority NHS treatment for health problems caused or made worse by military service? That means they should be seen more quickly than someone on the same waiting list who has the same level of clinical need. There are NHS Veterans Champions you can speak to if you feel this hasn’t happened.
When someone needs to move to a care home their social work department can carry out a financial assessment to see how much financial help they qualify for. Did you know that if they are a veteran receiving War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments, these payments won’t be counted as income in the financial assessment? This means they may be eligible for more funding.
Did you know that specialist housing for veterans is provided by a number of charitable organisations in Scotland – from single rooms to adapted family homes? The guide includes a list of providers you can apply for housing with.
The guide introduces the main benefits relevant to older veterans. Benefits rules are complex and the guide will not give you all the answers. It will however help you to ask the right questions, which you can then put to the Age Scotland Helpline 0800 12 44 222. In the first half of 2018, the helpline identified around £25,000 of unclaimed benefits for our veteran callers and their dependents.
Out and about
Did you know that veterans and their families can get discounts for many goods and services through the Defence Discount Service, the official MOD discount service for the UK’s armed forces and veterans?