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25 Veterans

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1 Introduction

2. What financial help can I get?

3. Who can receive a war disablement pension?

4. Who can receive a service pension?

5. What if I need help finding somewhere to live?

The Ministry of Defence and ex-service welfare can help with your housing needs before, while and after you are discharged. If you are homeless or think you might become homeless, you should seek housing advice as early as possible. For information and advice, contact:

  • the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association - Forces Help (SSAFA Forces Help) Housing Advisory Service;
  • The Royal British Legion; or
  • Ex-Service Action Group on Homelessness (ESAG) for information and advice.

See 'Further Help' for details.

If you need help to find housing, local housing authorities provide free housing and homelessness advice and other assistance, such as a rent deposit scheme. You can also apply to a local council or registered social landlord, such as a housing association, for rented housing. However, in some areas demand for rented housing is high, and it may take some time before something becomes available. As a last resort, your local council may by law have to find you somewhere to live in the short term, until you find a settled home. Whether it does this will depend on whether:

  • it assesses you as being someone in 'priority need'; and
  • you have become homeless through no fault of your own.

You are someone in priority need if you, or people you live with:

  • are responsible for dependent children who normally live with you;
  • are pregnant;
  • are vulnerable in some way (for example because of old age, or mental or physical disability);
  • are vulnerable because of your service in the armed forces;
  • had to leave your home because of violence or the threat of violence;
  • are vulnerable because you have lived in local authority care;
  • are vulnerable because you have been in prison;
  • lost your home in a disaster such as a flood or fire; or
  • are vulnerable for other reasons.

If you need help with finding a care home or independent living accommodation, contact The Royal British Legion (TRBL). It has information on homes and accommodation run by ex-service organisations throughout the UK. It also has details of private and voluntary care homes, and information on sheltered accommodation on sheltered accommodation throughout the UK. See 'Further Help' for the TRBL Legionline number.

There is a special home, run by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, for veterans who served in Polish Forces under British Command in the Second World War. For more information, contact the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.

6. What help can I get to find work when I leave the forces?

7. Where can veterans with special needs get help?

8. How can I claim my medals from my time in service?

9. How can I get hold of my service record?

10. Passports for veterans

11. Further Help

12. About this leaflet


This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC) and the Ministry of Defence. It was written in association with Citizens Advice.

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The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: October 2007

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