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Author: NFF

Civilian Housing Options
What are the Options?

There are a number of housing schemes that are available to the Service and ex-Service community.

These include the Ministry of Defence Nominations scheme, Low Cost Home Ownership and the Key Worker Living Programme.

If you are thinking of buying your own home or you are just about to leave the Royal Navy or Royal Marines and want to know what housing options are open to you, take a look at the JSHAO pages on GOV.UK. This Tri-service organisation can provide you with a wide range of information about the civilian housing opportunities available to you and hold regular briefings which we would recommend.

The aim of the JSHAO is to provide Service personnel and their families with information and advice on the increasingly complex range of civilian housing options. The JSHAO provides a focal point for housing information and advice to all Service personnel and their families in particular those about to return to civilian life, and to ex-Service personnel who are still in Service Families Accommodation.

 

Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO)

JSHAO provide information and advice regarding civilian housing to Service Personnel and their Dependants. You can contact them at anytime in your career by email or telephone (details below).

 

Housing Briefings

JSHAO deliver briefs which are designed to give you the information to help you make informed choices on your civilian housing. While these briefings are normally attended in the last two years of Service, all Service Personnel and/or partners are welcome to attend at any stage of your career. Click here to find out more.

 

Affordable Housing Options

Service Personnel (and ex Service personnel within 12 months of discharge) have priority status for government affordable housing initiatives. Schemes include Forces Help to Buy, shared ownership, shared equity loans and the mortgage guarantee scheme. For more information on the current government housing schemes and MOD funded initiatives available, please contact JSHAO.

 

The MOD Referral Scheme

The JSHAO runs the Ministry of Defence Referral Scheme. This scheme may be able to help you if you are looking for Affordable Housing to rent on leaving the Service. Applications should be made up to six months before your date of discharge to the JSHAO; you will then be contacted if a suitable property becomes available in your chosen area.

 

Housing Matters Magazine

Ten months a year the JSHAO produces the Housing Matters magazine which has a worldwide distribution of 10,000 copies per month. Copies should be available within your Unit or if you want your own copy, call the JSHAO.

The magazines are also available to read online here.

 

JSHAO Contact Details

JSHAO, Floor 2 Zone 2, Montgomery House, Queens Avenue, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 2JN

Tel: 01252 787574          Mil: 94222 7574

Email: RC-Pers-JSHAO-0Mailbox@mod.gov.uk

 

Posted on: 10th May, 2016
Updated on: 12th August, 2019

Mental Health

Everyone has mental health as well as physical health, and these aspects of health are often related. All of us will experience challenges at some point in our lives that affect our emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. These difficulties may be temporary or part of a longer-term mental health condition. Help is available.

 

*Please note that the NFF beneficiaries are current serving Royal Navy/Royal Marines personnel and their loved ones.*

Accessing NHS Services

The following services may be open to Service Leavers, Veterans, Reservists and their families – please contact the appropriate organisation to check your eligibility.

 

England

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is delivered by NHS England in partnership with a range of specialist providers. A map which provides more information about the services available can be found here.

 

Scotland

Veterans First Point Scotland is an NHS Scotland programme which provides a veteran-led mental health and welfare support service. The partnership aims to maximise engagement with Scottish veterans and support recovery from mental health issues through welfare and psychological support.

 

Wales

Veterans NHS Wales provides specialised, priority service for individuals who have served in the Armed Forces, at any time in their lives and who are experiencing mental health difficulties related specifically to their military service.

 

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Veterans Support Office can provide more details about the range of mental health support services available to Veterans and their families.

Combat Stress

The ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, Combat Stress, is the only Services charity specialising in helping those of all ranks from the Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy suffering from psychological disability as a result of their Service. You can visit their website here.

If you’re currently serving, or have served in the UK Armed Forces, you can call the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline to talk about mental health. If you are a family member or carer worried about a loved one or need to talk to someone yourself, you can use it too.

The Helpline is open all day, every day, offering support and advice. This is a free and confidential service. Combat Stress are there for you if you are having a tough time, have trouble sleeping, have flashbacks, get depressed, get anxious sometimes or just feel that something is not quite right.

Call 0800 138 1619 / Text 07537 404 719 / E-mail helpline@combatstress.org.uk.

Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is required to maintain the health and wellbeing of its people primarily to ‘deliver and support military effect’. This ensures its people can deploy on operations and remain fully employed in their day to day role. For Service Personnel, the MOD must also meet the commitment of the Armed Forces Covenant, ensuring that Armed Forces personnel and their families are not disadvantaged within wider society, either during their time in the Service or in their lives beyond the military.

The Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our Armed Forces, their families, veterans, and civilians. It builds on five years of health and wellbeing research and activity to establish the integration of mental and physical health. It is focused on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing; preventing and detecting mental health illness; and treating such illness when it is diagnosed.

You can read the document in full here.

Contact

Contact is a group of charities working with the NHS and MOD. They want to make it simpler for the military community to find support for their mental wellbeing. Find out more here.

Emotional first aid for children

Emotional first aid for children runs training courses for teachers supporting children. Costs £300 per person – in which  Service Pupil Premium (SPP) is £310 per child in a school in England.

Heads Together

Heads Together was launched to change the national conversation on mental health and tackle the stigma that prevents people from getting help, alongside developing a series of new mental health initiatives.

Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds

Hidden Wounds supports thousands of men and women and their families from the Armed Forces.

Mind

The mental health charity, who offer advice and run support groups for those affected by mental health problems. To find your nearest MIND, please visit their website.

NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)

If you are due to leave the Naval Service, the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) will work with the MOD to offer you mental health support through your transition period and beyond. The TILS provides a range of treatment and can help with housing, employment, alcohol misuse and social support. Find out more in this booklet here.

Overseas

Service families living overseas may register with the Service’s Medical Centre to receive routine and emergency health care. Personnel should speak with their UPO for guidance on registering.

Project Regain

Regain is an initiative masterminded by a serving Royal Marines Captain, which aims to improve mental health awareness and reduce stigma. This initiative will help Royal Marines access treatments at the start of an issue, which can reduce the treatment timelines.

Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN FPS)

If you have any problems regarding well-being, please remember that RN FPS are here to support you, staffed by Service people and civilians from a variety of specialisations and offers advice, counselling and advocacy on a wide variety of issues, including mental health issues.

See, Hear, Respond

The See, Hear, Respond Partnership is a service funded by the Department for Education. With your help, the See, Hear, Respond Partnership will quickly identify and support children, young people and families who are struggling to cope with the impacts of coronavirus.

Suicide prevention and peer support in the armed forces: A pocket guide by the Samaritans

The Suicide prevention and peer support in the armed forces: A pocket guide by the Samaritans guide, jointly launched by Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties, suggests ways of offering support and gives information on where help can be found. You can access it here.

The Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is an Australia-based not-for-profit organisation and world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.  Information and superb resources for teachers and those working with young people, including Headstrong 2.0 which can be downloaded free of charge.

The Recovery Pathway

This leaflet provides a guide to recovery for all wounded, injured and sick Naval Service personnel and their families. It details each stage of the recovery progress, looks at temporary employability during the Recovery Pathway, and lists the contact details for numerous support organisations.

Togetherall (Formerly Big White Wall)

Togetherall is an online early intervention service for people in psychological distress. It combines social networking principles with a choice of clinically informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing. It can be accessed 24/7 and has staff who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members.

Togetherall is a community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems who are supported to self-manage their own mental health. According to members, one of the most important elements of the service is the ability to talk freely, whilst remaining completely anonymous.

Togetherall has won multiple awards for its services, and its LiveTherapy service is CQC registered. It is free to join for Regular and Reserve members of the Armed Forces and their family members.

Young Minds

Young Minds are leading the national charity for children and young people’s mental health. They have a helpline for parents and lots of useful information on their website.

Posted on: 6th May, 2016
Updated on: 24th June, 2021

NHS Dentists

It can be difficult for serving families to access NHS dentistry in some areas. Here are links to help you to locate a dentist in your area:

 

If you find that you are encountering problems gaining access to an NHS dentist, or continuing with a course of treatment, such as orthodontic care, when you are assigned and these problems are directly attributable to you being part of a serving Armed Forces family, please contact us via contactus@nff.org.uk or call 023 9265 4374.

 

The Community Dental Services provide treatment for people who may not otherwise seek or receive dental care, such as people with learning disabilities, housebound people, and people with mental or physical health problems or other disabling conditions which prevent them from visiting a family dentist.

 

For information on NHS dental charges or other issues relating to dental care, you can visit the British Health Foundation. Their free and impartial advice centre is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

 

NHS Orthodontic Transfer Information
Armed Forces entitlement

The Armed Forces Covenant is a “promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly”. Due to the transient nature of their role, the Armed Forces and their families should retain their relative position on any NHS waiting list if moved around the UK due to the Service Personnel being assigned.

 

General Information

The following sections are for use when patients request an orthodontic case transfer either within the UK or from abroad. It is recognised that patients receive the best treatment outcome by completing their treatment under the care of one orthodontist. NHS Orthodontic treatment can take between 18 months to over 2 years. The average length of time of treatment is 21 months.

Orthodontists with existing NHS contracts in England can accept a patient who has moved from another part of the country (or from overseas) who is already waiting for or undergoing NHS orthodontic treatment. Most orthodontists operate two waiting lists; one for assessment and one for treatment. The assessment appointment will determine NHS eligibility e.g. whether a patient can be treated under the NHS and prioritise clinical need.

 

Transfers within the UK

Q: What if I am on a waiting list for orthodontic treatment and I move home within the UK?

A: If a patient moves and needs to change orthodontists, the current orthodontist should discuss alternative orthodontic providers with the patient and arrange a direct referral to the preferred provider. As Armed Forces and their families should retain their relative position on the waiting list, the referring orthodontist should provide the date of the patient’s acceptance on their list to the new provider to ensure their relative position is retained.

 

Q: What if I am receiving orthodontic treatment and I move home within the UK?

A: A patient should remain with their current orthodontist, if at all possible. If the patient requests a transfer, the treating orthodontist should discuss alternative orthodontic providers with the patient and arrange a direct referral to the preferred provider to continue treatment.

 

Transfers from Abroad

Where a patient begins treatment abroad (not just EEA) and returns to the UK and is entitled to NHS care, NHS criteria is applicable and not the criteria from the country where they began treatment.  The patient should have been under 18 at the point of referral, have had an Index of Treatment Need (IOTN) of at least 3.6 and have good oral health. Patients can find information on who currently provides dental and orthodontic treatment on the NHS Choices website. Patients can enter their postcode and the treatment they require, and a list of practices will be displayed.

Patients should contact their preferred dental practice to arrange an initial appointment and discuss a referral to an orthodontist if appropriate. Alternatively, your GDP may refer you to an orthodontist for their clinical opinion.

 

Q: I have moved to the UK and have been on a waiting list for orthodontic treatment abroad. Can I access treatment?

A: Follow the general information which provides advice on how to find a local NHS dentist and orthodontist. Upon referral, if the orthodontist deems that the patient meets NHS criteria, the orthodontist will agree the appropriate waiting time based on clinical need and the need to retain the patient’s relative position on the waiting list. In order for the patient’s relative position to be retained, it would be useful for the patient to provide evidence of how long they have been waiting for treatment (e.g. date of patient acceptance on overseas waiting list).

 

Q: I have moved to the UK and have been receiving orthodontic treatment. How can I continue my treatment?

A: Follow the general information which provides advice on how to find a local NHS dentist and orthodontist. Patients should arrange for their original patient records including study models, radiographs, photographs and notes to be provided so that an NHS orthodontist can confirm whether they would have met  NHS criteria on their original assessment date (i.e. that they were under 18, an Index of Treatment Need (IOTN) of at least 3.6 and have good oral health).

If the orthodontist feels that the NHS criteria would have been met, a course of treatment within the NHS can continue to be provided; If the orthodontist does not feel that the NHS criteria would have been met, or original patient records are not provided, a course of NHS treatment will not be provided.

 

Further information

If you have any further queries concerning orthodontic transfers, the Customer Contact Centre is the point of contact for patients and their representatives wanting information about accessing primary care (GP, dental, optical and pharmacy services). Any queries can be directed to NHS England’s Customer Care Centre, as follows:

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
 Email: england.contactus@nhs.net

 

Posted on: 6th May, 2016
Updated on: 11th September, 2019

As part of their commitment to their local Armed Forces Covenant, many local authorities have chosen to offer discounts to Serving personnel, and their families in some areas, so that they can access fitness centres whilst they are at home and away from their unit fitness facilities. Search your local authority website for more information here.

 

Staying healthy

Regular exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50%. If you’re in the Service or your other half is, remember you can use the Royal Navy’s sports facilities, free of charge. To find out what’s on offer near you, please visit here.

 

Starting an exercise programme

The NHS has a great total beginners’ running programme with free podcast and app, plus advice for new runners. NHS Couch to 5K.

 

Stumptuous

For sensible and straight-talking advice on starting weight-training, visit here. This site contains some colourful language.

 

Change 4 Life

This NHS website that has loads of ideas, recipes and games to help you and your family to be healthier and happier. Visit their website here.

 

Change 4 Life – Wales 

Would you or your family like to be healthier and happier? Would you like loads of ideas, recipes and games to help you do this?

Then join the thousands of other people in Wales and sign up today.

 

British Cycling and HSBC UK

British Cycling and HSBC UK are working in partnership to encourage people of all ages to get on their bikes and discover the delights and health benefits of cycling. More information about the range of programmes they are offering can be found here.

 

Eat Better Feel Better

This is a Scottish website that shows ways you can make changes to how you shop, cook and eat, to help you and your family eat better and feel better. It includes tips for fussy eaters, cook along videos, and recipes that you can save to your own account. Please visit here.

 

Get a Life, Get Active

This a Northern Irish website which has resources to help you incorporate enough activity into everyday life for better health. Please visit here.

 

Train Like a Jedi

This Star Wars themed programme aims to encourage children to get more active. It features a video staring Jade Jones, British taekwondo athlete and double Olympic gold medalist, to teach children 12 Jedi moves that can increase heart rate, improve physical skills, develop confidence, and emotional resilience. Please access this programme here.

 

Posted on: 6th May, 2016
Updated on: 17th July, 2018

Before choosing any kind of insurance, you may want to seek advice from your unit administrative staff, and also check the Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP).

 

SIIAP is a panel that is recognised by the Ministry of Defence. It is made up of individuals and firms who are insurance and independent financial advisers specialising in providing services to members of HM Forces.

 

All Member Firms must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, offer compensation rights to customers and adhere to the SIIAP Code of Practice.

 

Finding the right insurance company

SIIAP’s members directory can help you find an insurance company according to your location and/or the type of insurance required.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016
Updated on: 18th March, 2019

The Ministry of Defence works closely with three credit unions under the banner of Joining Forces and has facilitated direct salary sacrifice via JPA to encourage saving and to make loan repayment simpler. The Department also provides up to date information in respect of pay, pensions and allowances to MoneyForce – the Royal British Legion’s money advice service. Money Force is a joint venture between the Royal British Legion, MOD and the Government’s The Money Advice Service.

 

Both Joining Forces and MoneyForce are proactively providing impartial financial advice through visits to units and bases across the country and most importantly strive to offer the most appropriate product to Service personnel. Credit Unions are not there to make a profit and have a proven track record of ethical lending and better in many instances levels of interest for savings.

 

Because credit unions are not-for-profit, the annual percentage rate (APR) is much lower than banks or payday loan lenders. Typical APR for a credit union is around 12 per cent, whereas for a payday loan it can be up to 1,500 per cent.

 

Service personnel who have taken out a payday loan or are considering doing so can seek advice from any of the Joining Forces credit unions, all of whom have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, or via Money Force.

 

The three service providers are:

 

Posted on: 12th February, 2019
Updated on: 26th June, 2019

There are lots of offers available to Armed Forces personnel and their families:

 

Defence Discount Service

Here you can find discount vouchers for a wide variety of high street shops and restaurants for Serving personnel and their families.

 

Forces Discount

Exclusive Military discounts on a range of days outs, cars and stores.

 

Tickets Troops

Free tickets for members of the Armed Forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events.

 

Forces Cars Direct

The largest online company specialising in tax free military sales, and special discounts on cars for those serving or have served in the Armed Forces.

 

Rewards for Forces

1,000s of National and local discounts for Serving members of the Military and their families.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016

If you’re looking for free and impartial advice, the Monday Advice Service is government-run and can help you improve your finances, using tools and calculators to keep track and plan ahead, they also provide support over the phone and in person.

 

The Military Foundation is run by Forces Financial and can provide confidential, free financial advice and debt counselling.

 

MoneyForce can offer advice on borrowing, saving, budgeting and planning. The also offer assistance on pay and allowances specific to the Armed Forces, managing crises and debt to war pensions and compensation.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016

It’s important to make a Will and keep it up-to-date, to ensure that your money and possessions are allocated according to your wishes. Failure to leave a Will can mean that family and friends have to make difficult decisions on your behalf when they are unsure of your wishes.

Click here, for an overview to how to go about writing a Will and how to ensure it is legal.

 

Free Will Month

Will Aid is a UK wide scheme which runs every November to offer free wills to people of any age. Will Aid teams up with over 1,000 solicitors to provide basic wills, you can visit their website to find out more here.

 

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person gives another person/persons the power to act on his or her behalf with regard to his/her health or financial decisions. Have you appointed a Power of Attorney?

 

Exemption from Inheritance Tax for Fallen Personnel

There is an unlimited exemption from inheritance tax for members of the Armed Forces, and former members, where active service was a contributory factor in their death, whenever it occurred. If you’d like to find out more please see section 154 of the Inheritance Tax Act which is referred to by the MOD and HMRC. To find out more information, please contact the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on 01452 519 951.

 

RNRMC ‘Make a Will’

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Forces Law have partnered up to waive fees for writing basic Wills in return for a donation to RNRMC. The suggested minimum donation is £100 for a single Will and £150 for a Mirror Will. This programme will run from July 2018 to July 2019.

Please visit this site for further information.

 

Free Will Writing Service 

The Royal British Legion (RBL) is a member of The National Free Wills Network. One of their missions is to help Service personnel to have their Will written, or updated. There is no obligation to donate for this service, but a gift to RBL being included in the Will is always appreciated. Please find their contact details and to sign up for the service here.

Posted on: 29th April, 2016
Last updated on: 18th September, 2018