Making the benefits system fit for Service

Latest update from TRBL

Our 2020 report explores how disabled veterans experience the social security system and the unique barriers that they face to accessing statutory support.

The report will focus on aspects of the benefits system that most impact disabled veterans’ ability to access and manage benefit claims and statutory support to gain employment, as well the effect this has on their overall health and wellbeing.

Key Findings

  • 63% of survey respondents who applied for ESA and 76% of PIP Applicants found completing the form ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’.
  • Only 8% of respondents claiming ESA and 20% claiming PIP believed the assessor considered their Service Medical Records in assessments. 
  • Only 30% of Survey Respondents who were unhappy with their initial decision appealed their initial decision.

Overall, the report made 24 recommendations on how to improve the benefits journey for veterans. The recommendations are aimed at several agencies including the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The main recommendations of the report include: 

  • MoD, DWP, and SSS, work together to extend and widely implement the data sharing already in place for veterans being medically discharged, to all veterans with compensation who make a claim for disability benefits.
  • DWP and SSS should use the most up to date military compensation assessment and report to inform disability benefit assessments, thus reducing the need for multiple and face-to-face assessments
  • Compensation and payments awarded for illness, injury as a result of Service should never be treated as normal income. The Government should ensure that injured veterans are not forced to give up compensation payments in order to pay for supporting their civilian counterparts can access.

Read the full report here