Welfare Issues

As a result of a suggestion from a member and a discussion with the TCA Welfare Officer this page will contain links with other web sites that members may like to view and/or consult. Additionally more detailed welfare information may be published when supplied by bona fide representatives and as agreed with the TCA.


As of November 2018 we have a new Welfare Officer

Robbie Reid-Sinclair

Robbie can be contacted as follows: –

68 Brookside




Tel: 01228 542114

E-mail: robbiebc@sky.com

We must pay tribute to Charlies Farnes for his years of support to those TCA Members in need of assistance. Many thanks Charlie


Are you suffering in silence? Do you know about access to Psychological Therapy? to find out more.



Ton Class Association – Disability Living Allowance & Attendance Allowance.

You may remember that Charlie Farnes ex TCA Welfare Officer wrote an article about the changes to DLA in 2013 so he thought he should bring you up to date with the current situation..

In June of 2013 the Government announced changes to the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) arrangements.

DLA became Personal Income Payment (PIP) with the same aims as DLA, which is to give financial support people who have a disability.

No new claims for DLA will be accepted other than those from a persons under 16.

People born before 08 April 1948 and already claiming DLA will continue to do so until informed by the Department of Works and Pensions that they are to apply for a PIP.

New claimants between 16 and 64 will be processed through the PIP system.

People over the age of 65 continue to claim under the Attendance Allowance rules.

DWP no longer carry out the assessment of your PIP needs, this assessment is carried out by ATOS Healthcare who have now changed their name to Independent Assessment Services (IAS). Applicants will continue to complete a DWP application form which is then passed to IAS who can then take a number of actions.

Assess the paperwork and advise the DWP of a course of action.

Arrange to visit you in your home

Call you forward for an interview at a centre of our choice.

Full details on the assessment procedure can be found at www.mypipassessment.co.uk


                           VOICE – A Study of Armed Services Veterans

This study is being carried out by the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at Kings College London.

It is funded by the Royal British Legion but fully independent of the RBL and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

What is the study about?

We are conducting a research study which will explore how people’s career choices affect their health and wellbeing later on in life. The study will include military veterans and non-veterans and we hope (not mandatory) to interview a close companion of each participant to provide their views on the same topic.

If we can identify the potential effects of occupation later in life, then in the future, employers will be able to potentially adapt working practices to take account of how people fare when they are aged over 65 years of age. We aim to see if military service may have a different impact on health and wellbeing in later life or not.

Why am I being asked to take part?

We are inviting those who are over the age of 65 and either served in the UK armed forces (for longer than 5 years) or served in a non-military profession for longer than 5 years. Individuals with less than five years’ armed forces service (who may have done national service, for example) would be considered as non-veterans for this study. Even if you did not see your career as having a significant impact you may still be able to join in our study.

We are also inviting a close companion (e.g. spouse, child, close friend) of an individual who is over the age of 65 and either served in the UK armed forces (for longer than 5 years) or served in a non-military profession for longer than 5 years. We would like to speak to the close companions of veteran and non-veteran individuals to investigate the impact of occupation of the life course from a third party perspective (again not mandatory).

What does taking part involve?

Participants and close companions will be asked to complete some questionnaires and take part in an interview with one of our researchers. The questionnaires can be completed by post or online. Researchers can interview you over the telephone or at your home. The interview should take approximately one hour.

Editor. I have taken part in this survey. It is easy and not time consuming.

Why have I taken part – I hope that by telling of my time in the RN and my subsequent experience on re-joining civi street the survey will assist, in some way, future ex service personnel to adjust to a new way of life and their interaction with potential employers. The survey was easy and interesting.

I recommend it. PS There is a pleasant reward for all who take part.


Aged Veterans Counselling

Help, provided by a trained counselor, with a wide range of issues that may affect Veterans.  Personal – Family – Emotional or Practical.

Available to any VETERAN born before 1st January 1950 also available to a veterans Carer or a relative of a veteran who needs support connected to the veterans circumstance.

Contact TCA Welfare Officer or visit www.agedveteranscounselling.org.uk or telephone 0300 0120 247


Armed Forces Veteran’s Breakfast Clubs

These clubs meet on average of once a month.  e.g. Portsmouth meet at the Toby Carvery on the third Saturday of the month.

Go to www.afvbc.co.uk to find a club near you


Seafarers Advice & Information Line. (SAIL) 

Supported by the CAB SAIL gives free advice to Veterans and serving members of the armed forces.  A very wide range of issues are covered.

Contact TCA Welfare Officer or visit www.sailine.org.uk (There is an online enquiry form) Phone 0800160 1842


Scottish Veterans Residences

Based in Edinburgh. Accommodation and support to ex servicemen and women.  Three accommodation sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.  Various types of accommodation are available.

Visit www.svronline.org Telephone 0131 556 0091



The cost of a funeral is going through the roof with a very basic turn out costing between £3500 and £4000.    Veterans Funerals UK are working with all service organisations to provide a full affordable funeral for all ex servicemen.

Brief introduction.

  1. Not for profit organisation who can organise funerals across the UK.
  2. They are not a direct funeral service as such but organise funerals using local independent funeral directors.
  3. They have a pre paid plan which cost £2895 and is a guaranteed cost with no increases
  4. An advice and information service for families when planning a funeral.
  5. A veterans funeral package includes a full ceremonial aspect which is fully organised by the company,
  6. They have a full ‘mission statement’. Copies available online or on request.

Just a very brief taster of what is on offer.  If you are interested more information can be found on the website www.veteransfunerals.co.uk.  Phone No. 0345 222 1525 or write to Veterans Funerals UK, 11 Freda Routh Gardens,Fair Oak, EASTLEIGH. SO50 7LY



If you are married or in a partnership then you may be able to transfer unused tax allowance to your partner. The current tax allowance is £10600 P.A. per person, before you pay any income tax.
One of you must be earning more than £10600 P.A., from all incomes including interest on investments.
The other person must be earning under £10600 P.A., from all incomes including interest on investments. Any surplus under the £10600 allowance can be transferred to the person earning over £10600, to a maximum transfer of £1060.
Add £1060 to the £10600 allowance will enable the high earner to increase their tax free allowance to £116600. Remember the surplus can be any amount from £1 to £1060.
Stoker Stan has an income of £13000 P.A. so he is over the £10600 allowance. Take one from the other and you have a taxable income of £2400. Tax at 20% = £480
Mrs Stan earns £8600 which means that the surplus is £10600 minus £8000 = £2600. The maximum transfer she can make is £1060.
Stan can now earn £11660 P.A. £13000-£11660 = £1340 Tax at 20% = £268
Saving of £212
Remember that it is the lower income partner who is transferring part of their allowance to the higher income partner. The transfer will remain in force until your circumstances change.

www.gov.uk/marriage-allowance-guide. Very simple to set up; remember to have both your Nat.Ins.No. at hand and your banking details. I received my rebate last month, which was paid with my RN pension.




Mesothelioma Lump Sum

Part 01 from the Royal British Legion

Part 02 from the MoD

Dear All

As you know, on 16 December 2015 the MOD changed the rules to allow veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after that date the choice between receiving a one-off, tax-free lump sum payment or a traditional War Disablement Pension, which is paid in regular installments.
It is with much pleasure that I write today to inform you that, following sustained pressure from the Legion, the Government has also now agreed to extend eligibility for the lump sum payment to those diagnosed before that date. Around 60 veterans were previously denied access to the new £140,000 lump sum compensation payment on account of the date of their diagnosis. I have attached the detail behind today’s welcome mesothelioma announcement for your further information.
The Legion had originally asked the MOD to consider offering lump sums compensation to veterans diagnosed with this aggressive asbestos-related cancer to correct the financial disadvantage faced by some veterans when compared to their civilian counterparts.
Commodore Rhod Palmer, a third-generation Royal Navy sailor who was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2015 and had stood to miss out on the new payment, said of today’s announcement:
“No amount of money will ever compensate sufferers and their families for a preventable death. However, it is a real breakthrough that the Government will treat all current and future sufferers of mesothelioma exposed to asbestos during their service under comparable terms as civilians. This payment allows patients with mesothelioma to make arrangements to maximise their quality of life during this terminal illness and to support the family that they leave behind.”
Legislative provisions will be made to enable lump sums to be paid from 11 April 2016. Those choosing a lump sum whose claim is accepted prior to this date will receive the current allowances in the interim, until the lump sum is paid. We understand that the MOD’s Veterans Welfare Service will contact all existing claimants to explain the new option and will help them understand the choices available.
This has been a hard-fought campaign, which began back in 2013. To see the campaign finally reach this stage will provide a huge sense of relief for thousands of proud servicemen and their families, and I for one am very proud to have helped fight this important battle on their behalf.
Thank you all once again for your sustained support – we simply couldn’t have demonstrated the breadth of opposition to the previous, unfair arrangement without it.
Best wishes,

Laura Pett
Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager
Direct: 020 32072240
The Royal British Legion
199 Borough High Street
London SE1 1AA

Recently, the Ministry of Defence announced on 16 December 2015 that legislative provision would be made to enable veterans who had been diagnosed on or after that date with diffuse mesothelioma, as a result of exposure to asbestos that is attributable or due to their military service prior to 6 April 2005, to have the option of receiving a lump sum of £140,000 under the War Pensions Scheme, to be paid on or from 11 April 2016. At that time, officials were also directed to review the options to support those diagnosed before 16 December 2015.

Following this review, Mark Lancaster MP, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, confirmed on 29 February 2016 that the option of receiving a lump sum of £140,000 will be extended to existing War Pensions Scheme recipients and those who have yet to have a claim accepted, both having been diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos that is attributable or due to their military service prior to 6 April 2005. Subject to the approval of the necessary legislative changes, lump sums of £140,000 will be able to be paid on or from 11 April 2016.

For those who elect to take it, the lump sum option replaces the War Disablement Pension and Supplementary Allowances, and War Widow(er)’s Pension and associated allowances. Payments made to that point would be deducted from the lump sum, which also may be reduced to take into account other compensation already received for the same condition. For those with mobility needs, arrangements can be made for the Ministry of Defence to make payments to Motability on their behalf, which will be deducted from the lump sum.

Those whose claim is accepted before 11 April 2016 will be paid the War Disablement Pension and Supplementary Allowances until the lump sum can be paid.

Claimants who would prefer the current arrangements can receive the War Disablement Pension and Supplementary Allowances, to be followed by a War Widow(er)’s Pension if applicable.

Defence Business Service Veterans UK will write to all existing War Pensions Scheme claimants diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma to explain that they have the option of the current payment arrangements or the new lump sum. The Veterans Welfare Service will be on hand to help claimants understand the lump sum option.

New claims can be made under the War Pensions Scheme by applying at http://www.veterans-uk.info/pensions/wdp_new_index.html , which includes advice on ‘How can I make a claim?’. The claim form can be completed electronically, printed and signed and then sent to Veterans UK. The Veterans UK helpline number is 0808 1914 2 18.
Produced by Service Personnel Support, Ministry of Defence, London SW1A 2HB
29 February 2016


The Defence Discount Service (DDS) continues to provide an array of discounted services to ex service personnel. Its brother discount card, Discount Privilege Card (DPS) is available to serving members and operates along similar line to the DDS. Both cards cost £4.99 and are valid for five years. See www.defencediscountservice.co.uk for more info and an application form.

The State Retirement Pension (SRP) is undergoing a massive overhaul with new rules coming into force in April 2016. My understanding is that a fixed rate SRP of £156 will be paid to all pensioners who meet the qualifying rules based on the number of years the pensioner has paid National Insurance. I understand, just as Personal Income Plans which replaced Disability benefits, this new scheme will not affect existing pensioners.


Bowel Cancer Screening

Men and women at the age of 60 can apply to take part in the NHS bowel screening programme.
If you are aware of a change in your bowel movements, blood in your stools or stomach pains then it is worth taking part in the programme.
Kits can be obtained by phoning the Freephone number 0800 707 6060
The programme will send you a kit every two years, after you join, up to the age of 75. If you wish to continue after 75 you have to phone the above number and ask for a kit.
Full details on www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/bowel


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
An aneurysm is a swelling.
The Aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body and leads away from the heart. It is just under an inch wide; however, it can swell up to over 2 inches and burst. It is fatal in 8 out of every ten occasions it happens.
Symptoms are not precise but include a pulsating feeling in your stomach and back ache.
Most common in people over 60, with those who smoke and have high blood pressure at greatest risk.
A NHS screening is available to all men and women over 65 in the form of an ultra scan which takes 10 to 15 minutes
There is advice on the website on how to combat AAA
Contact your Doctor and ask for a test.
Full details on www.nhs.uk/aorticaneurysmscreening


Aortic Abdominal Aneurysm

We, the TCA, recently received the following item from one of our members: –It was sad to read about the passing of our chaplain and his wife. To read that he had died of an aortic abdominal aneurysm brings to mind that recently on a trip to hospital with my wife, I came upon a poster which is relevant. It read that males over 65 were entitled to an abdominal aortic screening to determine whether there is a problem. I arranged for one and mine was normal. I wasn’t aware of any screening for this and I wonder if the members are aware.
yours. Alan Reeves.


Pension Credit Scales


Power Of Attorney

One of the most trying times for any family is when a loved one is incapacitated through illness or injury. At such a time, the last thing family members need is to be tied in legal red-tape trying to organise the person’s affairs but, unfortunately, this is very commonly the case.
Most people are aware of the importance of making a Will but very few are aware of just how important it can be to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to allow for the management of their affairs if they should be incapacitated in some way.
In England and Wales, if a person is deemed to be mentally incapacitated then their assets are effectively inaccessible until such time as someone can be appointed as what is known as a ‘Deputy’ through an application to the Court of Protection; a long, arduous and expensive process at a time when a family is already under great stress. This process can avoided by establishing a LPA prior to incapacity, to allow chosen loved ones (your Attorneys) to manage your affairs, if you are no longer able to do so.
There are two different types of LPA available to every individual (the donor):
• Property and Financial Affairs: this document allows the management of a donor’s finances and assets. Unless restricted, it allows the Attorney to deal with everything from paying the phone bill, to selling a person’s property on their behalf
• Health and Welfare: allows the attorney to make decisions affecting the donor’s well-being and medical treatments, effectively allowing the donor to choose their ‘next of kin’. The document gives the donor an option to allow their attorney to refuse life-sustaining treatment on their behalf.
The same attorneys can be appointed under both documents or a donor may choose to have different attorneys dealing with different aspects of their affairs. Not all people will require, or want, both documents and it is essential to take expert legal advice as each person’s circumstances will be different.
Independent legal advice is essential to ensure that a donor has sufficient mental capacity to make the document and that no undue influence is used to coerce them into signing. The role of attorney carries an enormous amount of responsibility and a donor must be 100% trusting and confident in their chosen representatives. You are advised to consult a solicitor that specialise in advising on Lasting Power of Attorney. Biscoes who prepared this brief can offer free first consultations to all members of the Armed Forces and veterans as well as Coffin Mew who are the RNA’s solicitors.


Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2014 (click here)

Covenant Annual Report 2014 (click here)


   eNewsletter No 6 of 2014 

   Justice for Widows Edition
10 November 2014    


This is an unscheduled Newsletter. It is prompted by the Government’s announcement at the weekend that it had agreed to meet all the objectives of our Justice for Widows Campaign and would from 1 April next year harmonise the rules on remarriage for all Forces widows so that they would no longer be forced to surrender their pensions should they find a partner.
This announcement is excellent news. It means that all widows currently in receipt of a families pension under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 75 (AFPS 75) and all war widows receiving a pension under the War Pensions Scheme, and all those who may yet become widows will henceforth have the freedom of action which they all deserve, unfettered by artificial constraints which belong to another age. They will all be able to retain their Armed Forces pension for life.
The Government has also acknowledged that the Armed Forces Covenant lay at the heart of this issue and in solving the problem has fulfilled its pledge to honour the Covenant.
Michael Fallon, the Secretary of State for Defence has stated that:
“It’s vital that we do right by those who put their lives on the line for their country – that’s why this Government enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law.
“These changes reflect the huge commitment which service families make to our country. We recognise that the unique nature of service life has left widows, widowers and surviving civil partners of members of the Armed Forces at a disadvantage.
“I’m delighted as Defence Secretary to be able to put right an issue that has caused upset and disappointment for many years.”
The Society has in response issued a statement from the General Secretary Major General John Moore-Bick:
“We thank the Government for recognising the merits of our Justice for Forces Widows campaign and for putting right the unfair rules that were disadvantaging spouses and partners.”
The change will come into force in conjunction with the launch of the new Armed Forces Pension Scheme 15.
The change will not however lead to the reinstatement of pensions for those who have already forfeited them. This is because this would have required retrospective action, the cost of which would have been both additional and difficult to quantify. Such action would also have breached a principle held dear by Governments of all persuasions and one which has been a consistent sticking point over many years and which we have fallen foul of before in other campaigns – politically and in the courts, both domestic and European. The Forces Pension Society has therefore accepted this limitation and indeed has campaigned transparently on the basis of harmonisation, rather than retrospection. The solution will be a bitter pill for those who have already surrendered their pensions and we recognise that. Nevertheless, in our judgement, we would not have reached a solution if we had sought retrospective action. I know that some believe we should have adopted an all or nothing approach, but our view was that it would have been wrong not to rescue most simply because we could not rescue all.
There is however some good news which will benefit many who have already lost their pensions:
From 1 April 15 the means test used to decide whether AFPS ’75 pensions will be restored will be abolished. So, if a second or subsequent relationship ends for a member who has given up his or her pension on remarriage or cohabitation, restoration will be made without means test. Over half of current applications are refused.
For those members who have previously applied for restoration of their AFPS ’75 pension and were refused under the means test (effectively going back to the commencement of the scheme), and who are not in a marriage or cohabiting on 1 April 15, if they reapply, Veterans UK will restore their pension on 1 April15. This will probably benefit between 300 to 600 individuals.
What has been achieved is significant, with the potential to affect many thousands of people. Precisely how many is difficult to quantify, because the beneficiary population is subject to constant change. Currently there are some 65,000 Armed Forces widows who stand to benefit, but there are also thousands of “widows in waiting” who will also benefit in due course. The Government Actuary’s department has stated that the “old” rules affected the “vast majority of Armed Forces widows”. The old rules also affected about half of those personnel still serving in the Armed Forces and would have continued to bite for the next 40 or so years until the affected population died out. Of course, not all widows or widowers find another permanent partner; available statistics suggests that only some 0.1% of the affected widows population have done so annually, but the great change is that they all now have the freedom to seek happiness afresh with someone else, rather than shunning relationships for fear of the consequences.
However – a word of warning; the rule change becomes effective on 1 April 2015, so don’t move in with your partner tomorrow and certainly don’t get married until after 1 April. Whilst it is unlikely that the authorities will enforce the rules vigorously in the interim, an unequivocal breach such as a marriage might be hard to ignore. So don’t take a chance. The lifeboat has picked you up, – don’t throw yourself overboard before it has docked.
Finally, we would like to thank all our membership for your vigorous and unstinting support throughout the campaign. It has raised the profile of the Campaign, made every politician aware of it and forced the Government to address the issue. We also would like to acknowledge the personal part that the Prime Minister has played; in being prepared to examine the matter in the light of the Covenant, for grasping the logic and fairness of the case and for making a decision accordingly.
Normal e-newsletter regime will resume next month.
Yours sincerely
Assistant General Secretary


The Forces Pension Society, 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL


Preserved Pensions.
Several millions of unclaimed pensions are held by Veterans UK (new name for Service Personnel & Veterans Agency).
Entitlement rules: –
Left before April 75 – No entitlement (Still being fought thru the courts)
Left 1st April 75 but before 1 April 78 – Over 26 years of age with 5 years reckonable service
Left after 1 April 78 and before 6 April 88 – 5 years of reckonable service
Left after 6 April 88 as a rating – 2 or more year’s reckonable service after the age of 18 (As an officer the age is 21)
Left after 6 April 2005. Entitlement is 2 years service with no age criteria
Contact Veterans UK via website www.veterans-uk.info/pensionscompensaation.htm. Name and Service number required. If you’ve forgotten your name contact the web master.
Review of medals: –
A recent review has resulted in the issue of two new medals and adjustments to q1ualifying periods for two other medals.
Cyprus 1963 to 64…Current GSM medal or clasp. Service between 21 December 63 and 26 March 64. Applications from 1st March 2015.
Berlin airlift. 1948-49 1918-62 Red and white GSM medal or clasp.1 days service. All aircrew, RAF and civilians who took part 25 June 1948 to 6 October 1949. Applications form 1st March 2015
Revised qualifying periods: –
South Atlantic medal minus the rosette.. 12 July to 21 October 1982. Applications from 1 October 2014.
Cyprus.1955-59 1918 – 62 Red and White GSM or clasp. 1 April 1955 to 24 December 1959 Qualifying period reduced to 90 days or more. Applications from 1 October.
Full details www.gov.uk/the-ministry-of-defence-medal-office
Contact. E-mail DBS-medals@mod.uk or write MOD Medal Office, Innsworth House, Imjin Barracks. Gloucester GL3 1HW. Phone 0800 085 2600
Veterans Agency Website
The VA website contains a wealth of information that is useful to ex servicemen and is well worth a look.
See www.veterans-uk.info


CARERS ALLOWANCE. If you spend x amount of hours looking after a seriously ill partner you may be eligible for Carers allowance. Current rate is x pounds.
Go to http://www.nonsuch,gov,uk/ or contact the Welfare officer (click here).


Multiple Sclerosis

Armed Forces Multiple Sclerosis Support Group www.mutual-support.org.uk or support-team@mutual-support.org.uk.                TCA Member Michael Lawless & his wife brought this group to the attention of the TCA. Mike tells me that he is not a actually volunteer with the Mutual Support group, but his wife has M.S. and that they belong to the group. He states that he does his best to make service personnel aware of the organisation so they can get the benefit that comes with it. The best person to contact is Peter McKernan, as one of the Support Team Contacts (STC’s). His e-mail address is stc-6@mutual-support.org.uk (click here to send a message) The group is open to all service personnel and their immediate families who suffer from M.S. It’s surprising how many serving and ex military people, or their wives, or children are affected.


Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT) www.rnbt.org.uk


Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity www.rnrmc.org.uk


SSAFA www.ssafa.org.uk or welfare@ssafa.org.uk


Royal British Legion (RBL) britishlegion.org.uk


One Response to Welfare

  1. Peter,
    Very many thanks for your kind message and I’m glad the item about your organization meets with your approval.
    I deliberately omitted to put your e-mail address correctly and have not linked directly to you from the page. I needed to make sure you were ok about this before proceeding (I have to tread carefully with regard to contents due to experience gained).
    I will be editing your section probably tomorrow and will try to remember to send you a test message. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
    I do not hold it against you being an ex WAFU – someone had to do it 😉

    Best wishes.

    Yours aye


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