We are continuing to show our support to the Armed Forces community by supporting the Royal British Legion’s Credit their Service campaign.
The campaign encourages councils to amend policy so that military compensation is not treated as income by welfare benefit means tests when veterans are applying for benefits.
Yesterday, Tuesday, 5 September, Medway’s Cabinet committed to make this change, referenced in our Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) and Financial Assistance Policy 2023.
We are committed to promoting independent living and wellbeing within safer, healthier homes.
The Better Care Fund (BCF) provides a budget to us each year and this year £2,470,674 has been allocated. Through the DFG budget we carry out an average of 125 major adaptations each year to the homes of disabled children and adults, enabling them to remain living at home. This includes, but is not limited to, creating wheelchair access, installing dedicated and protected power supplies for life maintaining medical equipment and automatic door opening systems and stair lifts.
The draft policy went out for a 12-week consultation in October 2022 to a number of organisations and residents who have previously benefited from BCF funding, including the Royal British Legion.
Following the consultation, we also reviewed the implications on former members of the armed forces who receive compensation. Officers have amended this policy to incorporate recommendations from the Royal British Legion and the means test will now exclude all military compensation as income.
Good example of the tangible differences councils can make
Hannah Pearce, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research at RBL, said: “We want to thank Medway Council for working with us and doing the right thing by veterans and the whole Armed Forces community. All councils in Great Britain have signed the Armed Forces covenant, and this is a really good example of the tangible difference councils can make to some of the poorest veterans in their community.”
Committed to helping our most vulnerable residents
Cllr Naushabah Khan, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property, said: “We are committed to helping our most vulnerable residents and this includes doing everything we can to support veterans and the whole Armed Forces community. I am pleased that we have made this change which will have a positive impact on veterans in Medway. We are very proud of Medway’s strong military history and have signed the Armed Forces Covenant which ensures services are provided to our Armed Forces community.”
Medway Council has also partnered with the Chatham, Medway and West Kent Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club to create the Medway Veterans Hub. Run by veterans, for veterans, the purpose of the hub is to facilitate veterans and armed forces personnel to meet face-to-face in a relaxed, safe and social environment to enjoy breakfast, banter, combat loneliness and allow veterans to 'return to the tribe'. The hub meets every Monday alternating between Fort Amherst and MidKent College. It’s free to attend. There are no fees, no contract and no subscriptions.
To find out more, or join the hub, email email@example.com.