Veteran ID card
Plans are afoot to introduce a Veteran ID card. This will act as an official form of documentation for veterans, making it easier for them to access the healthcare and housing support they need. Gary Williams, Head of Specialist Services at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity provides an update.
“The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood wanted something that recognised veterans and gave them identity,” explains Gary. “So they wouldn’t have to do verification and other processes you have to go through to get support, whether that’s from a GP or elsewhere. This was part of the veterans’ strategy launched last year, just before Christmas.”
“Currently, the ID card will be given to those leaving the services now,” says Gary. “At some stage this year, this will be introduced to those who have left in the last five or ten years.”
When will it be available to older veterans?
“The chances are the card won’t be made available to older veterans until next year,” says Gary. “The Ministry of Defence has a planned roll out for the card, and will be making announcements, so older veterans should look out for those.”
Gary continues: “The minister is doing a lot for veterans, because he’s a veteran himself. He is looking at how veterans can be better recognised and get access to services. As a result, his team are under a lot of pressure, so that’s why things are being gradually rolled out.”
In the meantime, older veterans can register for the Defence Discount Service, if they have haven’t already. While the Veteran ID card will act as proof of service and Veteran status, the Defence Discount card is recognised online and in high street shops to obtain Armed Forces discounts.
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