Changes to Veterans UK Services due to Coronavirus
Over a month ago
In line with the Government public health advise due to the Coronavirus outbreak there are a number of changes to Veterans Services
These precautions mean that there will be changes to some of the services as follows:
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. Veterans UK is now reviewing whether individual War Pension and AFCS claims can be progressed without a medical examination and more information will be issued to those affected in due course. There is no need to contact the Veterans UK helpline at the moment.
Veterans Welfare Service/Defence Transition Services/Integrated Personal Commissioning For Veterans Visits
It has been decided to suspend, except in the most exceptional circumstances, all face to face welfare meetings with veterans with immediate effect as a protection for all clients and staff. Please rest assured that there will be advice, information and support via telephone, email or letter and welfare staff will remain available to assist veterans in need at this difficult time. Please see urgent-help-for-veterans
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. Northern Ireland have not yet made a decision on hearings.
Veterans UK Helpline
To help maintain a service and better manage the impact of staff availability, there are changes to the helpline opening hours to 8am to 4pm (instead of 5pm) Monday to Friday. When the helpline is closed, callers in need of immediate emotional support will continue to be given the option to be routed to The Samaritans 24-hour helpline.
It is always the aim to provide the best possible service. However, there must be a balance with adopting Government advice on reducing the risks of spreading the Coronavirus.
Source: GOV.UK / Veterans UK