National award for research exposing the welfare benefits issues facing Armed Forces veterans
A Salford-led project has been recognised with a national award as the first substantive UK research to focus on veterans’ experiences within the benefits system.
The ‘Sanctions, Support and Service Leavers’ project, led by Professor Lisa Scullion (pictured) from the Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) at the University of Salford, has been awarded the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) Research Award 2020 for achieving significant impact in the preceding year.
The research team carried out 120 in-depth interviews with veterans and their families. Overwhelmingly, participants said they found the benefits system complex and difficult to navigate. There were also significant concerns raised that mental and physical health issues which had developed as a result of service in the Armed Forces were poorly understood by those undertaking benefits assessments.
It was evident that information about the benefits system was largely absent from the information provided when leaving the Armed Forces.
Since publication of the report, the government has announced additional funding to support veterans.
Lisa said: “We are so proud to receive this award. This is a fantastic recognition of the significant impact our project has had in terms of policy. More specifically it recognises how our research helped support a £5 million investment that the government made to support veterans within the benefits system."
Founded in January 2012, FiMT awards grants and commissions research, coordinates the efforts of others, and supports projects that deliver long-term solutions to the challenges faced by the Armed Forces Community.
The annual FiMT awards and conference recognise excellence in research impact and provide an opportunity to hear from and network with those working to support veterans and their families.
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