In advance of the 2015 General Election, we produced our own manifesto entitled ‘Building a better future for our Armed Forces community’. Aimed mainly at Westminster-based politicians, the document outlines the key actions that we think the government should take to improve the health, finances and wellbeing of Service personnel, veterans, and their families.
The proposals in our manifesto are the result of extensive, grass-roots consultation with Legion members, volunteers and staff. Their expertise and close contact with the Armed Forces community have helped to ensure that our policy proposals are evidence based and an accurate reflection of the needs of our community.
Delivering for the Armed Forces community
We’ve been delighted by the level of success that we’ve already achieved. To date, the government has committed to implementing eight of our policy recommendations:
✓ Enable all Armed Forces widows to retain their pension should they decide to later cohabit or remarry
✓ Ensure that all veterans with Service-related hearing problems can have their MOD-issued hearing aids serviced and replaced at no cost, and that working-age veterans can access higher grade hearing aids, including ‘in-the-ear’ aids
✓ Offer veterans evidence-based treatment for mental health problems within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral, provided by practitioners with an understanding of veterans’ needs
✓ Include spouses and Early Service Leavers in the resettlement support provided by the Career Transition Partnership
✓ Award all lower limb amputees receiving a War Pension at 40% disablement or higher, the War Pension Mobility Supplement to ensure parity with recipients of the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
✓ Facilitate the creation of an Armed Forces Credit Union by permitting payroll deductions for regular savings and loans
✓ Offer veterans with mesothelioma the option to receive lump sum compensation, broadly comparable to payments awarded under the new Mesothelioma Scheme, instead of a War Disablement/War Widow's Pension
✓ Injured veterans in England will no longer have to surrender most of their military compensation to pay for their social care from 2017