Money And Debt Advice
We offer access to expert advice on money matters and debt.
Veterans UK administers the Armed Forces pension schemes and compensation payments for those injured or bereaved through service.
Veterans UK helpline:
Ministry of Defence
Freephone (UK only): 0808 1914 2 18
Telephone (overseas): +44 1253 866 043
07:30 to 18:30 Monday to Thursday
07:30 to 17:00 Friday
When the helpline is closed, callers will be given the option to be routed to Combat Stress or The Samaritans 24hr helpline.
Email us at: email@example.com
There are many reasons why people get into debt. For example, they never had to manage their own finances, too many bills, not enough money, too many outgoings without realising it, etc.
We work on two levels to help you overcome debt:
We try to maximise your income through a detailed benefits search to make sure you are receiving all you are entitled to. Once a month, SPVA (Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency) is on site to help you through the wide range of military and state benefits that you might be able to claim.
We advise that you seek debt reduction and debt management advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau. They come to the Veterans First Point Centre twice a month, so call for a private consultation and personal debt recovery planning session.
A further specialist debt advice service is available to veterans who live in West Lothian through The Advice Shop. If you say you are a veteran, you can obtain a fixed appointment time with a named worker.
Don't just worry about it - come in and start tackling it!
Benefits are very much down to personal circumstances so you may not be receive the same as someone else!
As a member of HM Forces it is likely that you would never have had to use the benefits system.
Finding yourself in a situation which means you may have to apply for some form of financial support through benefits can be confusing and frustrating.
This section will point you in the right direction to enable you to obtain the relevant and necessary expert knowledge.
This should ensure you receive all the benefits and allowances you are entitled to.
If you have been in employment for the previous 2 years and paid your national insurance contribution, it is likely that you will be entitled to the full range of benefits available. However, if you have not been in full employment, this does not mean that you will not be entitled to benefits just that there may be limitations.
It is the aim of Veterans First Point to help you maximise your benefits. We will do this by working with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) and Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB). Both agencies come to the Centre on a regular basis so please contact us for an appointment. See the news section for the next series of visits. The SPVA will also be able to advise on any issues regarding war pensions or war injury compensation schemes.
This will enable a full benefits check to be carried out on your behalf to ensure you and/or your family is receiving your full entitlement. You can also get help here with filling in your benefits forms.
Useful Points of Contact
New Benefits Claims
Tel: 0800 055 6688
(for claimants who have never received any form of benefit before)
Tel: 0845 377 6001
Tel: 0845 537 6001
Disability Living Allowance
Tel: 08457 123456
Winter Fuel Allowance
Tel: 08459 151515
Community Care Grant
Tel: 08456 088 661
Social Care Grant/Loan
Tel: 08456 088 661
Working Family Tax Credit
Tel: 0845 300 3900
Child Tax Credit
Tel: 0845 300 3900
Tel: 0800 99 1234
All of these are state benefits and are directly linked to your previous employment and current status. A specialist benefits advisor is really your best source to find out what you are entitled to (and also identify what you are not!).
It is also possible that veterans' organisations, typically SSAFA, Poppy Scotland or Help for Heroes, may be in a position to offer grants or loans to help you set up home or a new business.
We are finding that many ex-service personnel do not know about all the benefits that they might be entitled to and, a few, do not even want to claim them! So, get yourself sorted by phoning the SPVA or make an appointment to see them here at Veterans First Point.
The following organisations offer discount travel and holidays for veterans with disabilities or vulnerabilities but are subject to confirmation of eligibility
Transport for London
(For discounted/free bus, rail and water bus services in London)
0845 331 9872
Disabled Persons Rail Card
PO Box 11631
0845 605 0525
(Holiday breaks for disabled and carers)
Shap Road Industrial Estate
0845 345 1970
Your local Citizens Advice Office will be able to advise on further schemes in your area.
At Veterans first Point we don't have any funds to make grants to you but, depending on your circumstances, we may be able to point you in the right direction!
Grants or interest free loans may be available for the following areas:
- Starting up a tenancy or house rental
- Starting up a business
- Taking a college course
- Setting up a home with furniture or white goods
- Getting home help
- Taking a respite holiday
There may be others available but until we know what you want the money for, we won't know where best to point you!
SSAFA and Service Personnel and Veterans Agency will be really good start points to help identify what grants or benefits you might be entitled to. SSAFA will conduct an Individual Learning Account (ILA) full needs assessment and advise you on where they might be able to support you.
Poppy Scotland might be able to help with grants or loans for training courses. They may also be able to advise on respite holidays.
Most people are entitled to an to spend on courses at colleges or training providers.
Regular Forces Employment Agency might be able to find employers willing to help with your training.
Help for Heroes does just that - you need to make a case to them.
Royal British Legion Scotland may be able to make small grants, depending on your needs and circumstances.
Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway may be able to help with starting up a business.
The only thing to be aware of when approaching organisations for a grant is that they all have a duty to make sure that their funds are spent appropriately and for their intended use!
If you can support yourself financially then you are unlikely to qualify for a grant. However, if you don't ask, you don't get so it is worth considering - they can only say no!
Additionally, most public libraries will be able to provide advice on educational grants available to you.
Citizens Advice Bureau Scotland
Citizens Advice Scotland, our 61 member bureaux and our consumer helpline together form Scotland’s largest independent advice network.
We help more than 300,000 people solve their problems each year in communities everywhere from city centres to the Highlands and Islands.
And we look at the problems people bring to our advice services and campaign for change where it’s needed most.
We work for a fairer Scotland where people are empowered and their rights respected.
This website, Advice for Scotland, is co-produced with colleagues in England and Northern Ireland.
Debt and money
Keeping on top of your money is a very important aspect of most people's lives. Sometimes unexpected events can cause real money problems.
On these pages we provide information for you to check how well you are managing your money and then what you can do if you do have some problems. We explain what types of money issues might affect you, like getting a mortgage, and also what options there are for getting out of debt and who can help you.
Monday - Friday 0900-2000 and Saturday 1000-1400.
Call 0808 800 9060
Dundas Street CAB:
0131 558 3681
58 Dundas Street
Edinburgh EH3 6QZ
Veterans First Point Lothian hold a Citizens Advice Bureau Clinic fortnightly within our location.