Welfare support for veterans

There is welfare and support available in Scotland for those who have served in the armed forces.

Armed Forces and Veterans Champions

Veterans Assist Scotland keep an up-to-date list of Veterans Champions across Scotland.

Every NHS health board in Scotland has an Armed Forces and Veterans Champion.

If you have trouble resolving social care issues, you can take the problem to your Armed Forces Veterans Champion. You can take both health matters and non-health matters to them.

How they can help you

The role of an Armed Forces Veterans Champions is to:

  • help raise awareness about the issues faced by the armed forces community, veterans and their families
  • make sure that government policies are carried out so that veterans’ rights are protected
  • help if you feel that the priority treatment policy hasn’t been followed in your case

If you think that the Armed Forces Covenant Duty has not been followed in your case, you should contact:

  • your GP practice
  • another healthcare professional involved in your care

You should discuss your concerns with them before contacting your local Armed Forces and Veterans Champion.

Contacting an Armed Forces and Veterans Champion

The Champion should not be your first point of contact if you need medical information or advice.

If you’re a veteran and have health problems you would like to discuss, you should contact your local GP practice.

Social care

In 2016 health and social care provision in Scotland was integrated.

If you have trouble resolving social care issues, you can take the problem to your Armed Forces Veterans Champion. You can take both health matters and non-health matters to them.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) can be accessed by veterans or serving personnel. You must have a service-related condition or an injury that happened on or after 6 April 2005. This is regardless of whether the condition or injury occurred in connection with hostilities.

You must apply for the scheme no later than 7 years after getting the injury or illness. This is unless you’re claiming for an illness that started later. This is sometimes known as a ‘late onset illness’.

The AFCS can be claimed while in active service.

The War Pension Scheme

The War Pension Scheme (WPS) includes the War Disablement Pension.

It can be accessed by any veteran with a service-related condition or injury before 6 April 2005. This is regardless of whether it occurred in connection with hostilities.

The WPS can only be claimed after discharge.

Veteran Welfare Service (VWS)

Veterans UK is the MoD’s veterans agency.

The Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) is provided by Veterans UK. It supports veterans eligible to claim for the AFCS or War Disablement Pension.

Help and guidance can be given through telephone or a dedicated visiting service.

Citizens Advice Scotland

The Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) is a service delivered by Citizens Advice Scotland. It provides dedicated information, advice and support to members of the armed forces community in Scotland.

You can phone their helpline free of charge on 0808 800 1007 (Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm).

Further information

Get advice on:

Last updated:
20 October 2023

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