Leaving the military does require a lot of adjustments both mentally and financially. If you have been in the service for a long time, you may find this transition challenging. You may even end up feeling lost and unsure where to turn to for help.
If you have been injured, this transition to civilian life can be even harder as you come to terms with the circumstances surrounding your accident.
How common are military injury claims?
If you have been injured in the line of duty, then you may be entitled to claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. This claim is fairly straightforward, but you may prefer to instruct a firm of expert military solicitors to act on your behalf.
For 2021-2022, statistics from the scheme reveal that over 5,800 claims were made resulting in thousands of pounds being paid out to injured servicepeople and their families.
Is there enough support from the government?
In 2019, the government created the Office for Veterans Affairs with the aim of helping veterans for the rest of their life. Since then, various support networks have been set up and invested in, such as Op FORTITUDE which is a referral pathway for homeless veterans, especially those sleeping on the streets.
However, independent charities say that neither the government nor the armed forces are doing enough to support service personnel leaving the service. One area that concerns professionals is mental health support, as many people leaving the service have existing issues or develop them after leaving.
Are there any other mental health support options available?
When it comes to your mental health, there are a few different options for getting support. You should always loop in your GP if you are having mental health difficulties. They will be able to take a clinical approach and potentially prescribe you something to help. Taking medication does have a stigma but you will find that plenty of people, both veterans and civilians use them to aid their mental health.
Your GP may be able to signpost you to talking therapies that may help via the NHS but they often have longer waiting lists. Help For Heroes provides a therapy service for veterans called Hidden Wounds. They have a number of different professionals to help you and can offer sessions via Teams or on the phone.
How to find other support
If you are worried about your finances when coming out of the military, then there are benefits that you may be entitled to such as Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are looking for other work, or the Armed Forces Independence Payment. You will have to check what you are eligible for.
The British Legion offer financial services to armed services personnel, both current and former. Being able to sit down with someone and go through what you are eligible in invaluable support.