New quarterly results released by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, show the demand has never been higher for Forcesline, its free helpline which is independent from the chain of command…
The first half of 2018 saw 14,339 incoming contacts by telephone or email, compared to 12,888 for the same period in 2017. This represents an 11% rise in serving personnel, veterans and their families reaching out to SSAFA for support.
Debt is one of the main reasons for incoming contacts to Forcesline with Advisors also seeing an increase in calls from those having negative and suicidal thoughts. Due to changes and reassessments of those eligible for Personal Independence Payments, many veterans and their families who were already struggling to live on low incomes are now being cut to the bone.
Recent research found 87% of veterans helped by SSAFA had experienced financial problems since leaving the Armed Forces with the average net household income under £17,000 per year. As a result, 79% of veterans surveyed said they struggled to make ends meet at the end of the month.
SSAFA has been supporting the Armed Forces community for 133 years and its experience suggests that if concerns are not addressed early, problems around employment, finances and mental health could escalate to a stage where more drastic intervention is necessary.