Additional needs

Overview

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, Health and Additional Needs Specialist at healthsupport@aff.org.uk.

It is very important to register a family member’s 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.

Please check our COVID-19 section for up-to-date information, as the coronavirus outbreak may affect the advice given on this page.

Contents

01   Additional needs support for Army families

AFF receives a significant number of enquiries regarding additional needs issues, particularly around SEND and housing adaptations.

In response, we have provided families with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our Health and Additional Needs Specialist, our regional leads, welfare support (unit welfare teams and AWS) and SSAFA.

Together, we have helped to set up support groups across the UK in the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), Aldershot, Tidworth/Warminster, Colchester, and Northern Ireland. This year we have received funding from Aspire to support the Aldershot and Tidworth support groups and to run a policymaker and professional’s study day. We recognise that there may be areas that are not covered by these support groups and we would like to hear from you if you would like to set one up or feel your area requires a support group. Please contact Karen Ross on healthsupport@aff.org.uk

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02   Military policy and support

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.

AGAI 108 has now been absorbed into AGAI 81, Part 8 – Supportability and Additional Needs, so is now rescinded. More information on this process will follow soon.

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.

AGAI 108 has now been incorporated into AGAI 81, Chapter 8, so is now rescinded. More information on this process will follow soon.

If you have any questions about AGAI 81 or JSP 770, or you would like to give some feedback about your experiences, please contact Karen Ross at healthsupport@aff.org.uk

Are you considering an overseas assignment?

Medical Pre-screening for Overseas Assignments

If you have been considering or have been offered an overseas assignment it is important to understand the pre-screening process that will be required before you will be given clearance to move overseas. When accepting an assignment overseas, you should be aware that the delivery of healthcare there may be different to that you would receive in the UK, it is therefore important to consider your healthcare requirements before you are assigned overseas. Depending on where in the world you are assigned will depend on how you access local providers; this may be through a Defence Medical Services (DMS) practice, local Host Nation healthcare or it may be provided by a contractor on behalf of the MOD. It is important that all health needs can be met in the country you are going to and medical pre-screening will help identify this.

All medical pre-screening for Army families assigned to any overseas locations will be pre- screened through the Global Medical Supportability Cell (GMSC) in the Defence Global Practice (DGP). The DGP is staffed by military medical specialists, with representatives from all three Services, who can draw upon their detailed knowledge of assignment locations.

Once you have been informed about an overseas assignment you should contact the Families Section of the Movement and Support Services (MSS) and they will send you a link to the medical questionnaire that you will need to complete. These should then be returned directly to the DGP for assessment by their specialist teams. If you have a medical condition or require medication, they may be required to contact your GP, with your permission, for further information. A recommendation will then be made to the chain of command and the serving person on whether it is considered that your medical needs can be supported in the overseas location you are assigned to. It is important that the medical questionnaire is answered honestly and in detail because if you arrive in an overseas location and cannot be supported there you may well be returned to the UK. If you do not agree with this this recommendation, there is an appeals process.

If you require  more information or have any questions you can contact the DGP on: UKStratCom-DMS-DPHC-DGP-Grp@mod.gov.uk

JSP 770 Chapter 2A – Assessment of Supportability Prior to Overseas Assignment contains more information on both the medical and educational pre-screening process. If you or your family member has a medical condition, additional needs and/or a disability it is important for you to also read AGAI 108 and complete Annex A, so that your serving partner’s career managers are aware of any specific support you may require. JSP 770 can be accessed via MODNET.

To contact MSS Families section email: UKSTRATCOM-DefSp-DSCOM-FamSec@mod.gov.uk or call 030679 84121 / 9679 84121

If you have any questions about AGAI 108 or JSP 770 or you would like to give some feedback about your experiences, please contact Karen Ross at healthsupport@aff.org.uk

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03   Additional Needs & Disability Adaptations (ANDA) to Service Family Accommodation (SFA)

The new Future Defence Infrastructure Services (FDIS) Accommodation contracts that replace the National Housing Prime (NHP) contract have come into service on 1 April 2022. This will mean the additional needs and disability adaptations (ANDA) process will change. The new process is explained below.

AFF is keen to monitor this new process and would welcome feedback from occupants going through this process, so please contact Karen Ross at healthsupport@aff.org.uk or Cat Calder at housingsupport@aff.org.uk to raise any issues you have or if your require further information.

In occupancy ANDA requests

  1. When families require new adaptations or further adaptations to their current SFA they should access the Pinnacle website – Additional Needs/Disability Adaptations page. You will then be asked to complete the form, which can be accessed through the link at the bottom of the page.
  2. Families are encouraged to ask their OT or medical professional to complete the DIO ANDA assessment form, but these professionals can choose to use their own documentation.
  3. Once you have the supporting medical/OT report required this should be sent to: HomeServicesConfidential@pinnacleservicefamilies.co.uk FAO: ANDA Manager.
    N.B For major adaptations to SFA an OT report will always be requested
  4. The ANDA manager will send the supporting evidence to the DIO ANDA team. They will either agree the works or ask the ANDA manager to seek further clarification of requirements, if this isn’t clear.
  5. Once the work has been agreed the Pinnacle Regional Managers will be responsible for all the ANDA case updates and communications.

New ANDA to SFA on assignment or if occupants move within the same location

  1.  Families requiring ANDA to SFA should submit their e1132 and tick the additional needs box. In the larger information box state that you have sent supporting medical information or an OT report to the ANDA Manager.
  2. Families are encouraged to ask their OT or medical professional to complete the DIO ANDA assessment form, but professionals can choose to use their own documentation.
  3. The medical/OT report  should be sent to HomeServicesConfidential@pinnacleservicefamilies.co.uk  FAO: ANDA Manager.
    N.B For major adaptations to SFA an OT report will always be requested
  4. The ANDA manager will send the supporting evidence to the DIO ANDA team. They will either agree the works or ask the ANDA manager to seek further clarification of requirements, if this isn’t clear.
  5. Once the work has been agreed the Pinnacle regional managers will be responsible for all ANDA updates and communications on ANDA cases.

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 & disability adaptations (ANDA) to your SFA. To reduce the stress of a move, follow our tips so that both DIO and the Pinnacle National Service Centre can make sure that the most suitable SFA is identified and that the adaptations meet your requirements. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Contact the Pinnacle National Service Centre on +44 (0) 161 605 3529 Option 2 or email: hello@pinnacleservicefamilies.co.uk as soon as you can about your requirement for ANDA to SFA.
  • An Occupational Therapists (OT) report or medical report will always be required when you submit your e1132 (or paper 1132). This should be sent to: HomeServicesConfidential@pinnacleservicefamilies.co.uk FAO: ANDA Manager.
    N.B. For major adaptations to SFA an OT report will always be requested
  • You may be entitled to a publicly funded return journey to visit the SFA and meet with the OT. More information is available in JSP 752, Chapter 6, para. 06.0332.
  • Acquiring a Local Authority (LA) OT can take time because in some areas there are long waiting lists. It is best to contact your 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 ANDA Manager or Pinnacle Regional Managers. 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) and/or chain of command.

Further information on the ANDA to SFA process can be found in JSP 464, Vol 1, Part 2, Chapter 6, Annex C to Chapter 6.

Mid- tour moves on compassionate, special educational needs and disability (SEND), medical or welfare grounds

If a family member has SEND or exceptional medical needs and you require a larger or different type of SFA either because the current SFA is not suitable for your family member’s needs, more space is required or it needs to be in a specific location, so that the family member’s needs can be supported you can request a mid-tour move.

You will be required to submit evidence from a healthcare or educational professional to support your request. This should initially be annotated as an ANDA request and the additional needs box ticked on the e1132 and the DIO ANDA team will then decide if your case is an ANDA case or not.

For more information on this process please read JSP 464, Vol 1, Part 1, Chapter 4, Section VIII, para 0425.

Retention of SFA/SSFA

Entitlement to SFA/SSFA normally finishes at the previous duty station on the date of assignment. In certain circumstances, Service personnel are entitled to retain SFA at a previous duty station for compassionate, educational, medical or welfare reasons.

It is the responsibility of the Service person once they have received their Assignment Order for a new appointment, either at the same duty station or at another duty station, to notify the Pinnacle National Service Centre on 0800 031 8628 Option 2 or email: hello@pinnacleservicefamilies.co.uk that they are assigned.

This should be done within 14 days of receiving the Assignment Order (unless they are deployed on operations or at sea, in which case they are to Pinnacle National Service Centre notify within 14 days of their return).

Your soldier can apply to the Pinnacle National Service Centre to retain your SFA/SSFA at the previous duty station beyond the date of assignment as an extension of their entitlement.

Retention of SFA/SSFA is restricted to the minimum period necessary and will not exceed a period of 12 months. Personnel may reapply to the Pinnacle National Service Centre to retain their SFA/SSFA for a further specified period if the circumstances continue, but this will not be for more than 12 months.

Retention can be requested on welfare/medical and educational grounds but will require evidence to support this. More information can be found in JSP 464, Vol 1, Part 1, Chapter 7, Section VIII.

Whatever the reason for your retention, you will be required to complete and submit the RMAT form to the Pinnacle National Service Centre.

If you would like some further information or have any queries about any additional needs, medical or welfare issues relating to your housing please contact Karen Ross at healthsupport@aff.org.uk

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04   Disabilty Benefits, Allowances and Grants

Disability Related Benefits and Allowances in the UK and overseas

There are several benefits and allowances that you may be entitled to, some of these are:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has now replaced 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 have been asked to reapply and this may affect you.

DLA will not be changing for children and young people under 16 years old. To claim for DLA you will need to meet all the eligibility requirements.

Changes to DLA and PIP in Scotland

In Scotland Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children is gradually being replaced by a new benefit, Child Disability Payment. This change has already been rolled out in Dundee, Perth and Kinross and the Western Isles and will continue to be rolled out to the rest of Scotland from November.

Currently, children in Scotland can continue to receive DLA payments until their 18th birthday.

Adult Disability Payment is another new benefit placing replace Personal Independence Payment in Scotland and is being piloted in spring 2022 and is expected to be rolled out in summer 2022. The Adult Disability Payment will be for people aged 16 and over and will be similar to PIP.

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.

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 healthsupport@aff.org.uk

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 Veterans UK.

Direct Payments

You must be over 16 to receive direct payments and they are available in:

England – Apply for direct payments
A Guide to Receiving Direct Payments in Scotland
Wales – Direct payments: a guide
NI – Direct payments

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 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).

For more information

aff.org.uk/advice/finances
turn2us.org.uk
familyfund.org.uk
theboparancharitabletrust.com

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05   Carers Support

Carer’s Allowance

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 do not 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.

Scotland will be introducing a new Carer’s Assistance to replace Carer’s Allowance.

Carer Passport

A Carer Passport is essentially a record which identifies a carer in some way and leads to provision of support, services or other benefits in response.

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.

Carer’s assessments

If you are over 18 years old and are caring for another adult aged 18 or over who is disabled, ill or elderly you can request a carer assessment. The carer assessment will identify the support you may be eligible for to help you help provide this care. Read more at Carers UK.

Young carers

If you are under 18 years old and regularly care for or support someone in your family with an illness, disability, mental health condition or who has an addiction, you are a young carer. More information on the support available to young carers is available at About young carers.

Short Breaks (respite care)

Short Breaks used to be known as respite care and Social Services should assess whether your child is entitled to them. Search for your Local Authority Local Offer page and this should provide details of the short breaks or respite they offer for children with additional needs and/or disability and provide information on the assessment process.

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06   Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

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 see our Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) page.

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07   SEND Local Offer

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. Find your Local Authority

If you are experiencing problems with the 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 healthsupport@aff.org.uk or our Education & Childcare Specialist at educationsupport@aff.org.uk.

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08   Charitable and Other Support

There are a large number of charities that can support adults and children with additional needs. There are some charities that can offer specific support to your family if you have a family member with additional needs and/or disability and these are…

Forces Additional Needs and Disability Forum (FANDF)

The Forces Additional Needs & Disability Forum (FANDF) was set up for Service families who have a child or dependant who has additional needs and/or a disability, or if they are disabled themselves. FANDF is facilitated by SSAFA and is a forum where families can raise issues of importance with the MOD and welfare providers about factors unique to Service life. This is a way of ensuring that both children and adults with additional needs and/or disability have access to the best support available.

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 healthsupport@aff.org.uk

Support4Spouses

Support4Spouses is a Facebook support group set up by a military spouse, Sally Scarborough, whose young son is visually impaired due to a rare genetic condition. It is a place where spouses can discuss problems, let off steam or signpost information and advice.

The Ripple Pond

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.

Jigsaw Support Group Bovington

Jigsaw is a support group set up for parents with children who have additional needs in the Bovington Garrison area. Contact the Garrison Welfare Officer on 07773 618874.

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09   Contesting decisions and more support

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.

Sometimes your or your family’s needs might fall within a grey area, which is not covered by an existing policy. Or your need is interpreted in a certain way by a service provider and you may not agree with their decision.  AFF may be able to help examine your case and if required mediate and advocate on your behalf, particularly regarding services provided by the military chain of command. If we don’t have the expertise to help with your specific issue we will signpost you to someone who does. So if you would like to discuss any issues or concerns you have, please contact Karen Ross at healthsupport@aff.org.uk. Alternatively take a look at the following organisations that may be able to offer you support:

Autism NI
British Deaf Association
Carers UK
Contact
Council for Disabled Children
Disability Rights UK
Enquire
Family Fund
IPSEA
Mencap
National Autistic Society
The National Children’s Bureau (NCB)
The National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF)
RNIB
SCOPE
National Children’s Bureau
SNAP Cymru
Social Care
Studying in UK as a disabled student

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