General Unsplash stock image of a man on the telephone to represent the RAFBF's Benefit Advice Service.

Friday 19th February 2021

It can be difficult to navigate the complicated benefits system, whether you are currently serving or retired, especially when the need comes at a stressful or challenging time in your life. The RAF Benevolent Fund’s Benefits Advice Service can help those serving in the RAF (veterans too) and their family understand what welfare benefits they are entitled to and assist in challenging benefit decisions.

Means-tested and non means-tested benefits

The service provides bespoke, tailored advice on both means-tested and non means-tested benefits. This means that even if you or a partner/spouse has a good income and/or savings, it is still worth checking if there are any non means-tested benefits you or a member of your family may be eligible to claim. In particular, if the potential claimant finds themselves out of work, unfit to work due to a disability or long-term ill-health (physical or mental-health related) or are caring for someone.

Advocacy and representation with disability benefit decisions

The Fund also provides advocacy and representation with disability benefit decisions such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP) up to First Tier Tribunal. It is also worth noting the Fund’s benefits team can undertake a benefit check and offer advice on a situation in advance of a change in circumstance occurring for example in advance of employment ending or before taking on new employment, so that you can make informed decisions about how best to support yourself and your family.

Specialists on the UK’s general welfare benefits system

The remit of the service is that of the UK’s general welfare benefits system. The Benefits Advice Service is not able to provide advice on military benefits however, the team has a specialist knowledge and understanding of how military benefits interact with the wider welfare benefits system. They have also recently been instrumental in obtaining a clarification in guidance by the Department of Work and Pensions ensuring that it is clear that 100% of the income from a Service Attributable Pension or an attributable Service Invalidity Pension (awarded if you are medically discharged due to a reason caused by/attributed to your time in service) is disregarded when calculating entitlement to Universal Credit. In 2020, the Benefits Advice Service provided the RAF Family with advice on just over £2.7M of benefits.

For further information

If you wish to check your benefit entitlement or have any questions, contact the Benefits Advice Service at [email protected] or calling 0800 169 2942. For more information visit the RAF Benevolent Fund’s website

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This story comes to you as part of the RAF FF’s themed months over January and February on all things relating to careers and finance. You can keep yourself up to date with ongoing information and advice shared by signing up to our (free) weekly eBulletin and/or Envoy magazine

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