If you or someone in your family has an additional need and/or a disability it can often make life more complicated, particularly when trying to find the right care and support. Military life can add to this difficulty with frequent moves and often being away from family and friends. Whether the additional need is physical (including an acute or chronic illness), educational (SEN), emotional (including mental health illness) or a combination of these there is support available both from the chain of command and outside agencies. AFF is also here to help, so if you are a having any problems or have concerns about the support you are receiving please contact Karen Ross, the Health and Additional Needs Specialist at email@example.com or call 07552 861 983
It is very important to register a family members additional need and /or disability with the chain of command, so that they are aware that your family may require extra support sometimes. There are a number of organisations that can assist you or offer you support such as the MOD, Government, Local Authority (LA), NHS and specific charities.
Additional needs support for Army families
Additional Needs Adaptations (ANA) to Service Families Accommodation (SFA)
Local Authority and NHS Support
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
SEND Local Offer
Short Breaks (Respite Care)
Charitable and Other Support
AFF receives a significant number of enquiries regarding additional needs issues, particularly around SEN and SEND.
In response, we have provided families with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our Health and Additional Needs Specialist, our local co-ordinators, welfare support (unit welfare teams and AWS) and SSAFA. Read more
Together, we have set up three support groups:
- Royal Military Academy Sandhurst: first Monday of the month in term time at the Wishstream Community Centre. The next session is TBC.
- Maurice Toye House in Aldershot: second Tuesday of the month, in term time. Next group is on 14 December - click here for the poster.
- Salisbury Plain support group: third Friday of the month in term time and venues will rotate between Tidworth, Bulford, Larkhill and Warminster. Next group is on 19 January in Warminster - click here for the poster.
Support for families
We’re offering a comfortable setting where you can discuss any issues you are experiencing and get the support you need from the organisations attending.
We are also happy to contact other relevant outside agencies to attend the support groups when required.
AFF would be very interested to hear from anyone who has set up a support group for families who have a family member with additional needs and/or disability, or if you are interested in setting up a support group in your area.
Find out more
Please contact AFF Health & Additional Needs Specialist Karen Ross if you would like any more information, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JSP 820 is the authoritative policy and guidance on the support available to Service personnel and their family member(s) who may have additional needs and/or a disability. The aim of this policy is to provide guidance and to inform you about the role of the single Services. Your soldier can access JSP 820 via the Defence Intranet. Read more
AFF is pleased to announce that AGAI 108 has now been updated and the current version can be accessed here.
AGAI 108 is the Army General Administrative Instructions, Volume 3, Chapter 108 (AGAI 108) - career management and supportability checking for serving personnel whose family members have disabilities and/or additional needs.
AFF is aware that Service personnel with a family member who has an additional need and/or disability may be reluctant to register with the chain of command because they are worried about the impact they believe it may have on their career. However, be assured that they will still be considered for promotion, career courses and advancement in the same way as any other Service personnel. The fact that a Service person has a family member with additional needs and/or disability should not be reflected in their individual confidential report.
How to register
Registering your family member’s additional need and/or disability with the chain of command and career manager in the Army Personnel Centre (APC) is mandatory and ensures that any extra support required by your family is recognised by the chain of command.
You should complete the career management notification proforma at Annex A of AGAI 108 and your soldier’s Unit Welfare Officer (UWO) or Regimental Admin Officer (RAO) can assist with this. It is advisable to keep a copy of the completed proforma.
This information will be sent to the appropriate APC career manager and placed in your soldier’s record of service (ROS).
Children with SEN will also be registered with the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) on their voluntary register of Service children with SEN.
Service personnel are encouraged to voluntarily notify the chain of command of any family members who are waiting for professional diagnosis or clarification of a disability.
If you have any questions about either JSP 820 or AGAI 108, or you would like to give some feedback about your experiences, please contact Karen Ross at email@example.com.
Are you considering an overseas assignment?
- If you are considering an overseas posting (including Northern Ireland) and you or a family member has an additional need and/or disability you should complete the Career Management Notification Proforma at Annex C of AGAI 108 and send to APC Glasgow. It is advisable to make a copy of the Proforma.
- This Proforma will then be sent to the Disability and Additional Needs Overseas Command Group (D&ANOCG) whose recommendations will be forwarded to J1/G1 staff in the Overseas commands
- D&ANOCG will conduct a supportability assessment of your family’s needs to see whether your family’s circumstances can be adequately supported
- J1/G1 staff will make the final decision and they will notify the APC Career Manager and CEAS.APC will then inform you (the Serving person)
- If you do not register your family member’s additional need and/or disability before accepting an overseas assignment, and there isn’t adequate support available, this may result in your family being returned to the UK (sometimes as soon as you arrive) and possibly at your own expense
- A table of supportability criteria can be found at Annex B of AGAI 108. Please note this is in the process of being updated.
If you have any questions about either JSP 820 or AGAI 108 or you would like to give some feedback about your experiences, please contact Karen Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFF is delighted that CarillionAmey (CA) has now published some infographics that provide guidance on the additional needs adaptation process. Read more
The AFF Health & Additional needs and Housing Specialists have been working for some time on getting this process improved and finding clear guidance for families. DIO has also produced some flowcharts to provide further guidance on this process and we are pleased that a number of areas we requested changes or improvement to have been taken into account. The DIO flowcharts are not available yet, but once available will be accessible from this webpage.
Download the ANA: Applying for Service Family Accommodation
Download ANA: For families who need adaptations for the first time (or whose medical requirements change when they are living in Service Family Accommodation)
AFF is keen to monitor how this new guidance is working, so if you are due to request additional needs adaptations to your SFA, or have recently requested adaptations, our Health & Additional needs Specialist Karen Ross would like to hear from you. Contact her at email@example.com
Are you moving back to the UK and require an adapted SFA?
Moving is stressful enough, particularly when it involves returning from overseas and even more so if you require additional needs adaptations (ANA) to your SFA. To reduce the stress of a move follow our tips, so that both DIO and CarillionAmey can make sure that the most suitable SFA is identified and that the adaptations meet the individual’s requirements. Here are some tips to follow:
- Inform CarillionAmey Occupancy Services Team at the Helpdesk on 0800 707 6000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you can about your requirement for ANA to SFA. Request a specific point of contact to send confidential medical information too.
- An Occupational Therapists (OT) report or medical report will always be required when you submit your e1132 (or paper 1132)
- If the adaptation requires moderate to high level works it may be a requirement that an OT assesses you in the new SFA. You may be entitled to a publicly funded return journey to visit the SFA and meet with the OT (see AGAI 108, 108.013)
- Acquiring a local authority (LA) OT can take time because in some areas there are long waiting lists. It is best to contact the LA as soon as you can to request an assessment.
- DO NOT book you removals or a move out date unless you have a confirmed date for move in from the CarillionAmey Occupancy Services Team. The process can take some time or unforeseen problems may occur.
- If you require a move before the date of the confirmed move in this should be addressed with your unit welfare officer (UWO) or chain of command.
- Further information on the ANA to SFA process can be found in JSP 464, Chapt 7 Section III 0715.
If a family member family has a Special Educational Needs( SEN) or Exceptional Medical Needs CarillionAmey advise the following:
“For families who require a specific location for a Special school or for exceptional medical reasons, please highlight this in the e-1132 with the necessary supporting paperwork as required in JSP 464.”
For more information on retention of SFA read JSP 464, Chapter 8 Section VIII, 0822. f. Welfare/Medical or g. Educational or for mid - tour moves on medical and welfare grounds go to Chapter 5 Section VII 0519.
If you would like some further information or have any queries about housing additional needs, medical or welfare issues please contact Karen Ross at email@example.com or Cat Calder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disability Related Benefits and Allowances in the UK and overseas
There are a number of benefits and allowances that you may be entitled to... Read more
...some of these are:
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is now replacing DLA, for anyone 16 and over. If you are making a new claim you will have to apply for PIP. All those claiming DLA currently will eventually be asked to reapply for and this may affect you.
DLA will not be changing for children and young people under 16 years old. To claim for DLA will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.
Claiming DLA when moving back from Northern Ireland
If you are getting DLA in Northern Ireland and are moving to Great Britain, you need to tell the Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland. They will stop your DLA payments and send your papers to the DWP in Great Britain who will deal with your claim. They will send you a form to complete to find out if there have been any changes in your circumstances. If appropriate, they will start making your DLA payments again and inform you. For more information contact the Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland: Tel: 028 9090 6182, Textphone: 0800 243 787 (for deaf and hard of hearing users only) or Email: DCS.IncomingPostTeamDHC2@NISSA.GSI.GOV.UK
Claiming Benefits Overseas
AFF has had a number of enquiries about being able to continue to claim your benefits overseas or applying for a new benefit whilst posted overseas. As a result of your enquiries we have spoken with DWP and they have provided us with the following information:
“When Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was introduced in April 2013 DWP also took the opportunity to amend residence and presence tests in Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Carer's Allowance (CA). For DLA and CA, like PIP, they made an exception for Serving members of Her Majesty's Forces and members of their families, so that they should be classed as satisfying the habitual residence when stationed abroad.”
This means that you are able to continue claiming your benefit as if you were still living within the UK or apply for a new benefit as if you were still living in the UK. If you are posted overseas and are experiencing problems with claiming or applying for a disability related benefit, please contact Karen Ross at email@example.com
If you are 16 or over and care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible to claim carer’s allowance. You don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for. It is a taxable benefit and it may affect other benefits you claim for.
Carers Allowance if you are moving back from Northern Ireland
If you are getting Carer's Allowance (CA) in Northern Ireland and you are moving to Great Britain, you need to tell the Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland. They will stop your CA payments and send your papers to the Carer's Allowance Unit in Great Britain. If you can confirm that there has not been a change in your circumstances that would affect your entitlement to CA (apart from your new address), you will not need to complete a new claim form. The Carer's Allowance Unit will need to check your bank details and this can be done over the phone. If appropriate, they will start making your CA payments again and inform you.
Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
The Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) is an alternative to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It is designed to provide financial support to Service personnel and Veterans who are seriously injured as a result of service to cover the extra costs they may have as a result of their injury. If you are eligible you will not be required to have an additional medical assessment and you will not be required to undergo regular re-assessments to maintain eligibility. AFIP applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and is not taxable or means tested. For more contact the Veterans UK Helpline on 0800 169 2277
Information on support available Read more
Direct payments can be made to and used for:
- People aged 16 or over who have a disability, with short or long-term needs Disabled parents to access children’s services
- Carers aged 16 or over and this includes people who have parental responsibility for a disabled child
- Elderly people who need community care services
- In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, direct payments cannot normally be used to pay for services from your spouse, partner or a close relative (or their spouse or partner) living in your household, unless there are exceptional circumstances
- You can use your direct payment to employ a relative if they are not living with you
- If you live in Scotland you can get direct payments (or ‘self-directed support’) if you are assessed as needing a care service. The exceptions to this are that carers do not receive services in their own right, so cannot get direct payments for caring
Personal Health Budget (PHB)
A personal health budget is a new scheme aimed at giving people with long term health conditions and disabilities more choice and control over the money spent on meeting their healthcare and wellbeing needs. This is planned and agreed between the individual, or their representative, and the local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
Who can have a PHB?
Adults and children eligible for NHS continuing healthcare have the right to have a PHB. The process can vary between local CCG/s so it is best to speak to the people who coordinate your care.
How can the payments be managed?
- Notional Budget – no money changes hands. You are informed of how much is available and then you can talk to your local NHS teams about the different ways you can spend this money
- Real budget held by third party – a different organisation or trust holds the money and can support you to decide on your needs. Once an agreement is made the third party can buy the care and support you need
- Direct payment for healthcare – you receive the money directly to buy the care and support you need, that has been agreed with the local NHS team
The Department for Education has issued a guide for parents and carers on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The guide explains how the system that supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities works. It provides information about the changes to the system that occurred on the 1st September 2014. This guide should be read alongside the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0 to 25. For more information on Special Educational Needs (SEN), click here.
The Children and Families Act 2014 gave local authorities a statutory duty to produce a 'Local Offer' for children and young people with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEND) from 0 to 25. You should be able to find the Local Offer on your local authority website or on the Local Offer website.
If you are experiencing problems with the new Education Health Care Plan (ECHP) or you cannot find the information you need on the Local Offer or you would like more information about it please contact Karen Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lucy Scott at email@example.com.
local Council or Borough and they should provide details of the short breaks or respite they offer for children with additional needs and disability and give information on the assessment process or visit the SENDirect website.
There are a large number of charities that can support adults and children with additional needs (see links for some of them). There are some charities that offer specific support to Service families who have a family member with additional needs and/or disability and these are...Read more
SSAFA Support Groups
Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF)
The Forces Additional Needs & Disability Forum (FANDF) support group was set up over 20 years ago for Service families who have a child or dependant who has additional needs or a disability, or if they are disabled themselves. It is a forum for families to raise issues of importance with the MOD and welfare providers about the factors unique to Service life and a way of ensuring that both children and adults with additional needs and/or disability have access to the best support available. FANDF is facilitated by SSAFA.
Families of Injured Service Personnel (FISP)
This tri Service support group provides an opportunity for families to share experiences, information and advice with other families whose relatives have become wounded, injured or sick while serving in the Armed Forces.
These adventures give children a break away from home, where they can gain independence, make friends and have fun. The breaks also give family left at home a rest, to spend time together and recharge their batteries. For full details click here.
The Calvert Trust
The Calvert Trust allows people with disabilities, their family and friends to achieve their potential through the challenge of outdoor adventure in the three fully accessible Calvert Trust Centres in Exmoor, Kielder Water and the Lake District.
Due to Armed Forces Covenant (LIBOR) funding the Calvert Trust are offering a fantastic weekend break, which includes food, accommodation and adventurous activities for just £50 per person. The offer is open to Serving, Reserve and Veteran Service families with a family member with additional needs and/or disability from any part of the UK, for any weekend in 2015. The break is available to people of all abilities, including: physical or learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and challenging behaviour, visual or hearing impairment and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Royal British Legion (TRBL) Poppy Breaks
TRBL offers much-needed breaks to ex-Service and serving personnel and their families. If you or a member of your family is recovering from an illness, bereavement or other life-affecting event, TRBL can provide a comfortable and enjoyable break. They have four Break Centres located in prime locations around the country, and for their family breaks and they also have close ties with Parkdean and Haven Holiday Parks.
Service Parents’ Support Groups
A number of Service parents who themselves have or have a family member with additional needs and/or disability have set up support groups. These are few we are aware of, so if you know of any or are thinking of setting one up, please contact Karen Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org
RMAS Additional Needs Support Group
AFF, the Ghurkha Support worker and the AWS Community Development worker have helped set up the RMAS additional needs support group. It will be held regularly in term time at the Wishstream Community Centre, RMAS. For more information call Karen Ross on 07552 861 983
Support4Spouses is a Facebook support group set up by a military spouse, Sally Scarbrough whose young son is visually impaired due to a rare genetic condition, primary aphakia. Sally set up this group in December 2011 and it now has over 350 members. It is a place where spouses can discuss problems, let off steam or signpost information and advice.
Support4Spouses+ is a Facebook support group for military spouses with disability, additional needs and illness. Support4Spouses and Support4Spouses+ can be found at www.facebook.com
The Ripple Pond
Is a network of local, peer-led, self-help support groups for the family members of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, reservists and veterans. For more information visit: www.theripplepond.co.uk or email: email@example.com
Jigsaw Support Group Bovington
Jigsaw is a support group set up for parents with children who have additional needs in the Bovington Garrison area. More information can be found here, on Facebook under Jigsaw, or contact the Garrison Welfare Officer, Mandy Walmsley on 07773 618874.
It can be very difficult and challenging when you do not receive the support you need either from the military chain of command, the local authority or other organisations. Occasionally this may be as a result of misunderstanding Army life or the policies that govern it. Read more
British Deaf Association
Contact a family
Council for Disabled Children
Disability Rights UK
The Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASS Network)
National Autistic Society
The National Children's Bureau (NCB)
The National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF)