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Ex-services Personnel: Welfare Support

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department (a) provides directly and (b) gives to third parties for the provision of welfare support services for ex-service personnel. (109821)

In addition to the high quality resettlement, pension and compensation provisions for those leaving the armed forces, the MOD provides a range of welfare support services for ex-service personnel including the War Pensioners Welfare Service which can offer advice, guidance and practical help to War Disablement Pensioners and War Widows/Widowers. In cases of death in service, the bereaved family is allocated a visiting officer by the services to help the family and act as a link to the various civilian, charitable and other service support agencies. The Veterans Agency Helpline and website also provide a signposting service for all ex-service personnel and their relatives, offering advice on a range of issues affecting veterans.

The support MOD gives to third party organisations in providing welfare support to ex-service personnel includes funding towards the War Widow/ers Pilgrimage Scheme and the Polish Ex-Servicemen/Servicewomen Grant in Aid scheme both of which are managed by the Royal British Legion. Under the War Pensions Scheme, the MOD also funds the individual costs of war pensioners undergoing “remedial treatment” at treatment centres run by the Ex-Service Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) for conditions related to their individual pensioned disablement. Through the Veterans Challenge Fund, the Department also funds a number of projects run by service charities and others designed to improve the information available to service leavers on help available or, more directly, to meet welfare needs in areas such as homelessness.