Posted on February 19, 2019
Veterans who have already made the transition to civilian life will be able to apply for a service leavers ID card by the end of the year. The initiative is designed to give veterans easier access to public and charitable support including healthcare and housing. Veterans are also being asked to identify themselves with their GP as having served, so that they can receive appropriate support.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the ex-forces community, and we are working hard to ensure they receive the support they deserve. These new cards celebrate the great commitment and dedication of those who have served this country, and I hope they can provide a further link to ex-personnel and the incredible community around them.”
In addition to one of the new ID cards, personnel leaving the armed forces are also able to keep their military IDs, known as the MOD Form 90, and veterans can access a range of discounts through the Defence Discount Service, the official MOD-endorsed service for the armed forces.
Last year, when the ID card scheme was announced, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It’s absolutely vital that we remain resolute in our support for those who have served our country so well. We must never forget the sacrifices they have made. So I am determined that the Ministry of Defence does all that we can to ensure those who struggle after serving their country are properly supported.”
The plans were first mentioned by Tobias Ellwood, the minister responsible for defence personnel and veterans, in the Commons in October 2017. It is reported that the cards will give veterans better access to specialist services such as priority healthcare, housing and retail discounts as well as giving a sense of pride for having served their country.