MPs investigating if the Ministry of Defence is shortchanging veterans

Princess Anne hosts veterans’ garden party in Queen’s absence

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace could find himself under pressure to ensure that Britain’s military veterans are better cared for as a result of a survey being carried out by a cross party group of MPs. The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for veterans is appealing to veterans to come forward and take part in their survey over whether Veterans UK – which deals with financial issues on behalf of the MoD – is properly providing the compensation, war pensions and wider financial support it is supposed to. The survey can be found here.

APPG chairman James Sunderland, a former Colonel, said that the group of MPs had heard “too many” stories of problems with Veterans UK and had decided to run the survey to get an accurate picture.

He told “Anecdotally, we have received too many reports of delays and difficulties when veterans make claims for compensation, war pensions and other financial support.

“Rather than jump to conclusions, our cross-party group of MPs has initiated a survey whereby veterans can share their experiences.

“The ever-supportive MOD is taking a close interest and Ministers will be present at the next meeting of the Veterans APPG on 07 February when initial findings will be presented’.”

The survey concludes on February 1 in less than two weeks and the results will be presented on February 7.

The treatment of military veterans was supposed to have been improved with the Veterans Covenant which had cross party support and provide guarantees of minimum support.

Johnny Mercer is now serving his third term as Veterans Minister and attends Cabinet to ensure that their issues are considered at the highest level.

Mr Mercer is expected to be present at the Veterans APPG meeting on February 7 to hear the initial findings.

Last year, Veterans UK launched a new online compensation service.

The organisation said: “This is to help people to access injury and illness compensation more easily. Veterans UK is responsible for administering compensation and pensions schemes for both serving personnel, veterans and their families.

“The new service is part of our commitment to modernising the services we provide to the Defence community and is the first step in the digitalisation of Defence Business Service’s Compensation Schemes.”

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