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resettlement guide

State Benefits for Ex-Armed Forces Personnel

This resettlement topic will help you find out more about State Benefits, including:

  • What benefits exist
  • Eligibility
  • Benefits for those being medically discharged
  • Where to find further information and advice
  • Some frequently asked questions on the topic

You will also find details on some additional benefits and discount schemes for service and ex-service personnel.

There are a range of benefits covering many areas such as Housing, Welfare and Disability, and these benefits are managed through organisations such as the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue & Customs, and local authorities.

If you are out of work, or in work and on a low income, there may be benefits available to help and support you.

New Style Jobseeker's Allowance

If you are unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week you may be able to get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (New Style JSA).

New Style JSA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit.

New Style JSA is a contributory benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you have paid and/or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you are claiming in. 
Any New Style JSA you receive will be taken into account as income for Universal Credit purposes.

Universal Credit

If you are making a new benefit claim, most people will now claim Universal Credit. 

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

• Child Tax Credit
• Housing Benefit
• Income Support
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
• income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
• Working Tax Credit

If you currently get any of these benefits, you do not need to do anything unless:

• you have a change of circumstances you need to report
• the DWP contacts you about moving to Universal Credit

Citizens Advice Help to Claim service

Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland are delivering a ‘Help to Claim’ service for claimants making a new Universal Credit claim, or moving from a legacy benefit (e.g. Jobseeker’s Allowance) to Universal Credit because of a change of circumstances.

The Citizens Advice Help to Claim service offers tailored, practical support to help people make a Universal Credit claim from before they apply, through to receiving their first full correct payment on time. 

Access Help to Claim for England and Wales or for Scotland.

Citizens Advice also provide guidance on the full range of benefits through their regional offices, telephone helpline 03444 111 444, and the online information service.

For those in Scotland, the Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP), which is operated by Citizens Advice, can provide advice and guidance on benefits. The telephone number is 0808 800 1007.

Jobcentre Plus services for the Armed Forces and their families

This publication explains the role of the Armed Forces champion and the improvements to the way members of the Armed Forces and their families access Jobcentre Plus services.

Advice on claiming benefits can be obtained from a number of sources, for example: – This Government website provides a wealth of information on the full range of benefits that can be claimed, and has links and contact details for further advice or to apply. also has online independent benefits calculators which can provide information on the benefits you may be entitled to claim. You will need to enter some details on your personal circumstances in order to get an accurate assessment of benefits you may be entitled to.

View information on most DWP benefits here.

To contact Jobcentre Plus:

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 055 6688
Welsh language: 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Veterans' Gateway

Various Service charities offer serving and ex service personnel advice on a range of state benefits and concessions. The Veterans’ Gateway provides a single point of contact for veterans seeking advice and support.

To contact Veterans’ Gateway:

Telephone: 0808 802 1212

Veterans UK

Veterans UK manage the Armed Forces Compensation Schemefor anyone who has suffered illness, injury or death as a result of Service from 6 April 2005. Veterans UK also provide a full range of transition support for Service Leavers and their families through the Defence Transition Services. 

To contact Veterans UK:

Telephone: 0808 1914 2 18