There’s No Such Thing As A Silly Question!
We’re all hardwired to be independent and want to do things on our own. Asking for help often makes us feel uneasy, almost like we’re surrendering to someone else’s control.
Knowing when to ask for help and who to ask, is key to moving forwards
If you’re serving and know you’re deploying, plan early to ensure your family have access to the finances they need while you’re away. Consider whether you may need a General Power of Attorney; does your Will reflect your current situation and your wishes? Plan early and if you need some help, asking a solicitor for advice on your Will or POA will help you plan should the need to use them arise.
At some point serving personnel will reach their date of discharge, whether through time served, medical discharge or some other reason. Again, plan early and ask for help with next steps. Planning your civilian life can take some time. Asking the right questions to the right people will help your planning. Career Transition Partnership are available to serving personnel through your resettlement office and can advise on all aspects of re-training and employment. The Forces Pension Society provide roadshows throughout the year to explain the various Armed Forces Pension Schemes and help you understand your entitlement.
Don’t forget to consider where you will live! Ask when you need to give notice on your SFA. Ask when and how you pay back your FHTB loan. Ask how you register for social housing. Ask for help on budgeting for civilian life. Charities such as Citizens Advice can help with budgeting.
For anyone leaving under medical discharge it’s imperative to ask your medical centre how your care and treatment plans will be transferred to the NHS. Ask when you should be registering with a GP and, during the registration process ask if they have an Armed Forces Champion. Tell them, you are a Veteran. NHS England and NHS Scotland have some useful information available to help you (and your GP) to navigate the healthcare system. Have you considered Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or a Personal Injury Claim? Ask your local Department for Work and Pensions Armed Forces Advisors (Job Centre Plus) about any welfare benefits you may be eligible for such as ESA, Universal Credits and Personal Independence payments.
There is always someone who can help if you’re ready to ask. Here is a small selection of organisations that could answer your questions: