Changes to Veterans UK Services as a Consequence of the Coronavirus

Changes to Veterans UK Services as a Consequence of the Coronavirus

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.

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.

These precautions mean that we will be introducing changes to some of our 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

We have decided to suspend, except in the most exceptional circumstances, all face to face welfare meetings with veterans with immediate effect as a protection for our clients and our staff. Please rest assured that we will continue to provide advice, information and support via telephone, email or letter and our welfare staff will remain available to assist veterans in need at this difficult time. Please see urgent-help-for-veterans.

See Urgent Help for Veterans section below

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 us maintain a service and better manage the impact of staff availability, we are changing our 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 our aim to provide the best possible service. However, we must now also balance this with adopting Government advice on reducing the risks of spreading the Coronavirus. We would like to thank everyone for their understanding during this unprecedented time.

Urgent help for veterans

Veterans needing urgent help in a crisis can contact us or the following organisations for assistance.

If you are in danger or immediate risk, ring 999

If you’re not in need of immediate assistance, and you need to talk to someone, there are several organisations that can help you. They are available day and night to provide free, confidential advice and support. If you’re a family member worried about the mental health of a loved one, or need to talk to someone yourself, these organisations can help you too.

Medical assistance (NHS)

Medical assistance for veterans in:

Veterans Welfare Service

The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS), is part of Veterans UK and provides one-to-one support to veterans via a national network of welfare managers across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Phone or email the Veterans UK helpline and ask for the Welfare Service.

Veterans UK helpline

Freephone (UK only): 0808 1914 2 18
Telephone (overseas): +44 1253 866 043
Normal service 8.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday

When the helpline is closed, callers will be given the option to be re-routed to The Samaritans 24 hour helpline.

Help and support for service leavers and their families

Defence Transition Services (DTS) is run by Veterans UK. It exists to provide information and support for those service leavers and their families who are most likely to face challenges as they leave the armed forces and adjust to civilian life.

Other organisations who may be able to provide advice and support

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans offering free treatment and support to ex-servicemen and women of the UK Armed Forces. Call us on 0800 138 1619, text us on 07537 404 719 or email

The Veterans’ Gateway is for any ex-service personnel and their families looking for advice or support – whatever they’re dealing with. They provide the first point of contact to a network of military and non-military partner organisations to help you find exactly what you need, when you need it – whether you’re in the UK or overseas. For 24-hour support go to Veterans’ Gateway or call 0808 802 1212.

Big White Wall offers online mental wellbeing support 24/7 where you can share your concerns with others who feel like you. It’s safe, anonymous and has Wall Guides (counsellors) available 24/7. This service is free to veterans.

The Confederation of Service Charities (Cobseo) represents the whole?serving and?veterans?community?and?promotes?the welfare and general interests of the?armed?forces?community.


All Coronavirus Articles