“Scandal” of veterans pushed into poverty by the welfare system, exclaimed Rep. Owen Thompson

An SNP MP says injured ex-armed forces are struggling with a broken system, with many struggling to receive their war pension and armed forces compensation payments

Owen Thompson, SNP MP
Former members of the armed forces are being driven to despair by a system designed to help, Rep. Owen Thompson said

As we watch this terror of Ukraine unfold is a reminder of the incredible courage of all those who risk their lives to fight for the freedom of their country.

Here in the UK each of us owes a great debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of our armed forces. Many of them will deal with life-changing injuries and illnesses, both mental and physical, as a result of their ministry experiences.

The least we should expect from government is that injured veterans and their families receive adequate care and the support they need.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always seem to be the case.

When a constituent first told me about his bad experience with Veterans UK – the arm of Department of Defense dealing with War Pensions and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme – I thought it was more of an unusual case than a problem with the system.

But as I dug a little deeper, I soon found that this was the tip of a very large iceberg.

Thousands of injured veterans report similar frustrations trying to navigate a long, tedious, and unclear system that they believe is being rigged against them rather than working for them.

It is scandalous that veterans struggling with severe post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma sustained in the line of duty find their mental health worsened by a complex battle with bureaucracy.

In some cases, this leads to suicidal tendencies.

The process seems designed to deny claims to save money rather than serve our veterans. That is not enough and it is time that something was done to improve the transparency and fairness of the system.

It is for this reason that I have called for the debate in Parliament, which will take place on Monday 28 April.

I am asking for an impartial investigation to investigate these issues and listen to veterans rather than sweep their concerns under the rug.

Not a single soldier, sailor, airman or woman should be left in poverty or face protracted battles to get the support they need.

It’s time to give veterans the respect they deserve.”

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Continue reading "Scandal" of veterans pushed into poverty by the welfare system, exclaimed Rep. Owen Thompson

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