FAQs

Many people want to know the answers to more or less the same questions so we have gathered together some of the most frequently asked topics which might be of use to you in the first instance. Remember, we are always happy to hear from you if you would prefer to talk to us personally.

How can the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust help me?

We are predominantly concerned with helping people financially who are serving or ex-serving Royal Naval ratings or Royal Marines other ranks or their dependants who are in need, or who are facing a time of crisis. If this is you, our Grants Committee would be happy to consider an application forwarded on your behalf.

How can I make an application to the RNBT for help?

Most of our cases are referred to us by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). You can find their local phone number in the telephone directory, or you can contact them online at www.ssafa.org.uk (link opens in new window).

A representative from SSAFA will visit you to talk about your particular case to potentially make an application to us on your behalf. Other service related organisations who also do this include the Royal British Legion (www.britishlegion.org.uk, opens in new window) and the Royal Naval Association (www.royal-naval-association.co.uk, opens in new window) who you might like to contact instead. If you're still a serving Royal Naval rating or Royal Marine you can apply through the Service Welfare Organisation and their local representatives.

How soon will I know if you can help me?

Our Grants Committee meet on a Thursday to review applications. You would be told of their decision in your case and any funds would be released normally within days of their meeting; it's a very fast procedure (of which the RNBT is justifiably proud!).

Can you help me with residential/nursing care?

We only have one residential/nursing home, Pembroke House in Gillingham, near Chatham, Kent but the The Royal British Legion (www.britishlegion.org or helpline 08457 725 725) can give you contact details of all homes for former Service Personnel.

Can you assist with 'top up' fees for residential/nursing care?

Yes, please apply for assistance in the normal fashion.

Can you still help me if I have savings?

It does depend on your individual circumstances. If you have a need, or sudden crisis, which is beyond your means then the Grants Committee will always consider your application. It goes without saying however, that if using your savings could resolve the problem without causing other difficulties then the Committee would be unlikely to provide assistance.

Can you help me with funeral expenses?

As long as the application is made by the appropriate person who has responsibility for the funeral then yes. We would, of course, expect any insurances and estate be used predominantly to cover the costs along with any grant from the State Social Fund. Your application should be accompanied by a copy of the Funeral Account and a statement from the Department of Works and Pensions regarding the State Social Fund grant. Please be aware that our grants won't be given to cover costs of press announcements, memorials, organists, catering etc.

Can you help me with my debts?

We don't normally help with debts unless we're sure that a sensible plan has been drawn up to stop any further debts being accumulated and to pay off the existing ones. The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) runs an excellent free debt counselling service (www.citizensadvice.org.uk, opens in new window) and a report from them will often help support your case for financial help from the RNBT. Another helpful service for people in debt is the Credit Action Helpline sponsored by Aggie's (www.aggie's.org.uk, opens in new window). We may help out with grants towards food and/or utility bills in times of debt crisis. 

Do I have to live in the UK to receive your help, or can I apply if I live abroad?

We help people all over the world. Applications from outside the UK are normally handled by the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (www.commonwealthveterans.org.uk, opens in new window). European claims should be directed to the Royal British Legion or SSAFA.

Where is the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust?

Our administrative headquarters is at Castaway House in Portsmouth (see our Contact page) along with the WRNS Benevolent Trust, The RN and RM Children's Fund, Naval Military and Air Force Bible Society, a branch of the Regular Forces Employment Association, Seafarers UK and the administrators for Aggie's (www.wrnsbt.org.uk; www.rnrmchildrensfund.org.uk; www.Aggie's.org.uk; www.nmafbs.org; www.rfea.org.ukwww.seafarers-uk.org each link opens in a new window).

Where does the money come from to fund your work?

Our grants and Regular Charitable Payments (RCP) are made possible mainly from our investment income, regular funding from other organisations, Greenwich Hospital and The Royal Naval and Royal Marines Charity and from bequests, legacies and welcome donations from individuals and organisations.

How do I make a donation to the RNBT?

We are always very grateful to receive donations both large and small as these help us to continue our much needed work in the naval and ex-naval community. As well as individual donations, we are happy to receive regular donations such as covenants, standing orders etc and details of all of the ways you can make a donation can be found on our Donations and legacies page.

I left the Service as a Lieutenant, can you still help me?

All officers' enquiries should be made to The Officers' Association (www.officersassociation.com, link opens in new window). Even if you were promoted from the lower deck, they should still be your first port of call.

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