Information for Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans

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This page is intended to bring together useful information from across Ipswich Borough Council for Members of the Armed Forces and Veterans.

Discounts for Veterans and Armed Forces Community on Ipswich Buses

Eligible veterans can now enjoy a 20% reduction in the price of all Ipswich Buses period tickets ranging from the 7-Day Pass to the 52-Week Pass, upon production of their Defence Discount Service Privilege Card.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Council has a guaranteed interview scheme for members of the armed forces and veterans. This means that if a member of the armed forces or veteran applies for a job, ticks the box to say that they are a member of the armed forces or a veteran, and meets all of the essential requirements of the person specification, they will get an interview.

Sports Centres

The Council has a Military iCard which helps serving members of the Armed Forces to keep themselves in peak physical condition. The Military iCard allows all day access to gyms at Ipswich Borough Council Sports Centres from Monday – Friday, except at Crown Pools where access to the gym is limited to 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Please note that this offer is only for serving members of the Armed Forces; depending on their circumstances, Veterans may be eligible for a concession price. You can find out more at or by visiting one of our Sports Centres.


The Council has a dedicated webpage for ex-forces personnel who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Please see the information provided on this page.

Useful Council Tax and Benefits Information

Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support 

War Disablement Pension, War Widow’s Pension or War Widower’s Pension will not be taken into account when calculating income for Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support.

Discretionary Housing Payments

In special circumstances, we can make a discretionary housing payment to give extra help with rent. If the amount you are awarded is not enough to meet your rent, you can apply for a discretionary housing payment. We treat every claim individually.

  • Discretionary housing payments are not Benefit payments, but are paid from a discretionary fund. Benefit appeal rules do not apply.
  • There is a limited budget for discretionary housing payments and awards made are usually temporary and for a fixed period. We cannot make an award in every case.
  • We can only consider a discretionary payment towards your rent if you are receiving some Housing Benefit or the housing cost element of Universal Credit.

For more information about Discretionary Housing Payments please see this page.

Council Tax

If you are a member of the armed forces and you and your family have to temporarily move out of your main home to take up residence in accommodation provided by the MOD, you may be eligible for a 50% job-related discount. 

Service personnel who live in a privately owned or rented home can claim Council Tax Relief (CTR, not to be confused with the Council Tax Reduction Scheme) whilst on certain deployments abroad. This scheme is funded and administered by the Ministry of Defence, not the council. CTR is paid to service personnel who pay Council Tax while they are in the UK. CTR is paid for each day that the eligible service personnel is in the location (deployed overseas) where the relief has been declared as payable, and includes days out of theatre on Rest and Recuperation.  It stops being paid the day after they leave the area.


Local Voluntary / Third Sector Support

  • Combat2Coffee CIC – Combat2Coffee also provide rehabilitation, support services, employment opportunities and wellbeing drop-in sessions.
  • Veteran’s Welfare Advice Service – The Royal British Legion, Combat Stress and Veterans UK hold a drop-in advisory service for Veterans or their family members at 12 St Margaret’s Green in Ipswich. Representatives are able to advise on welfare issues, allowances, specialist services, service pensions, wellbeing issues and more. 
  • The Matthew Project – the charity supports children and adults across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, and run an initiative called ‘Outside the Wire’ which is a veterans substance misuse support service. ‘Outside the Wire’ run sessions at the Key Café, St Margaret’s Plain, Ipswich, 10.30am – 12.30pm, every third Thursday of the month.
  • Suffolk Mind – although not solely focused on supporting veterans, Suffolk Mind do support veterans with mental health and wellbeing.
  • Blind Veterans UK – although this is a national charity, there is an active membership base in Ipswich who regularly undertake fundraising activities.
  • Disability Advice Service – this group are able to support and advise disabled veterans, their family members and carers with disability-related issues.
  • Headway Suffolk – Headway Suffolk offer rehabilitation and recovery services to people and their families affected by any form of brain injury or neurological condition. They also run an initiative called Brainy Dogs, to train rescue dogs to provide life-changing support to adults living with neurological conditions. This initiative is aimed at supporting individuals on probation, those living with mental health issues, young people who struggle at school and veterans.
  • Sensing Change Ipswich – based out of Stone Lodge Community Centre, they provide social work, rehabilitation, support and communication to individuals with sight and/or hearing loss.


Other Useful Sites

SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity

Veterans Gateway

Royal British Legion

Suffolk Military Covenant

Contact Details

Ipswich Borough Council,
Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432000