Injury and illness

A major injury or illness is a life-changing event both for the person who is disabled and for their families.

Many people become so overwhelmed by the experience of losing their independence or becoming a carer that they do not realise that there is help available.

In this section you can find out about benefits, grants, respite care and assistance, both for the disabled person and for their carers.

What the MOD provides

In the first instance, you may be able to get compensation for any injury or illness caused by service in the Armed Forces from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for injuries on or after 6th April 2005 or the War Pensions Scheme for injuries before 6th April 2005.  You should consider setting up a compensation trust to help you protect and wisely use any compensation you receive. The MOD may also be able to help by adapting Service Family Accommodation or Single Living Accommodation - see Adapting a home.

Local authority assistance

If you have long-term-care needs that require support out of hospital, your local authority might help with some or all of the costs. Exactly how much you get will depend on your individual needs and how much you can afford.

What care services do local authorities provide?

As well as providing places in residential care homes, local authorities can help people with long-term-health needs to stay in their own homes. They can provide everything from carers, meals and transport, to home modifications and equipment that help with the tasks of daily living. But your local council will only pay for these services if you pass a means test. If you don’t qualify for help, you’ll need to pay for some or all of it yourself. See Adapting a home for more information and Becoming a carer.

If you have a disability, long-term condition or complex medical problems, you might qualify for NHS funding – find out more on the NHS website. 

Claim on your insurance

If you had taken out personal accident or other insurance, now is the time to make a claim - see Making a claim.

Benefits you can claim when you have long-term care needs

Paying for long-term care is a fact of life for many people, whether you choose to stay in your own home or not. Fortunately, there are benefits available to help you manage.

What’s more, not all benefits are means-tested. For example, disability benefits that help with personal care needs don’t take your income or savings into account – see Disability grants and benefits.

Why it’s important to claim all the benefits you’re entitled to

The amount you pay towards your long-term care is worked out as if you’re already receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to. So it’s important to claim everything you can, otherwise you’ll end up paying more than you need to. If you need help, contact the Benefits and Money Advice team at The Royal British Legion.

Change your focus

When things go wrong, it’s natural to focus on all the things you can’t do. One of the ways of coping with major injury or illness is to concentrate on the things you can do and get any help you need to do them.  There are a number of organisations that can help with emotional support for you and your family - see Stressed, depressed or confused? in Where to get help.

Last reviewed: 30/05/2018