Guidance

War Pension Scheme (WPS)

A compensation scheme for veterans for any injury or illness which has been caused by or made worse by their service in Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

Overview

Coronavirus: Changes to Veterans UK Services

Please note there are changes to our services in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please see Coronavirus – Changes to Veterans UK Services.

The War Pension Scheme (WPS) compensates for any injury, illness or death which was caused by service before 6 April 2005.

There are 2 main types of WPS awards. Which one you get depends on the level of your disablement:

  • a gratuity is a lump sum payment for disablement less than 20%
  • a pension is an ongoing payment paid weekly or monthly for disablement more than 20%.

If your condition is Noise-Induced Sensorineural Hearing Loss and your disablement is less than 20% we will not be able to pay you a pension or lump sum.

The rules of the scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament. The value of the payments increase each year in line with the consumer price index.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme provides compensation for any injury, illness or death which is caused by service on or after 6 April 2005.

Who is eligible?

You can claim under the WPS if you are no longer serving in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces and your claimed disablement arose before 6 April 2005.

There are other similar minor schemes available, please see the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Statement of Policy(JSP 765) for full details.

Important information:

Free independent advice

You do not need a paid representative such as a solicitor or claims management company to apply for compensation. Free independent advice is available from the Veterans Welfare Service or other charitable organisations.

If you choose paid representation, we cannot meet the cost of this and you will have to pay these costs yourself. Where someone is representing you on a ‘no-win no-fee’ basis this usually means that they will keep a share of your payment to cover their fees. You may wish to check how much of your payment will go to your representative before you agree to paid representation.

Time limits for claims

There are no time limits for claiming, but any award will only be paid from the date of your claim.

How to make a claim

If you served with United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF)

If you have served (whether directly or in a support role) with United Kingdom Special Forces (UKSF) must seek advice from the MOD A Block Disclosure Cell before completing the claim form. If you have served at any time after 1996, you will be subject to the UKSF Confidentiality Contract and must apply for Express Prior Authority in Writing (EPAW) through the Disclosure Cell before submitting a claim where you may be asked to disclose details of your service with UKSF or any units directly supporting them.The Disclosure Cell can be contacted by emailing MAB-J1-Disclosures-ISA-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk.

To make a claim

Download and fill in the claim form.

The form comes with notes telling you how to fill it in.

If you cannot download or print the form, phone or email the Veterans UK helpline to ask for a copy.

Medical Discharge

If you are medically discharged from HM Armed Forces, your service documents may be referred to Veterans UK. In certain circumstances, we will automatically consider whether you are entitled to an award under the Scheme - you do not have to do anything.

We will consider any injury, illness or disease identified as the main reason for your medical discharge, and any associated conditions.

What happens next

In order to consider your claim, we will collect relevant information from sources both inside and outside the Ministry of Defence. Once we have this information, we decide what other information we need. This could be a report from your GP or Medical Officer, or if you have had recent hospital treatment, a copy of your medical records from the hospital concerned.

If you can provide copies of any supporting documentation such as reports from your Medical Officer, copies of orders, accident/incident reports, please do so as soon as possible. This may help us deal with your claim quicker.

Sometimes we cannot decide on the up-to-date medical information alone, or you may not have visited your GP for a while. If this is the case, we may arrange a medical examination with an appointed doctor.

You will receive a letter with the reasons for decision.

You should let us know if you receive any other compensation for the same disablement for which you are getting a War Pension or if you start to receive any other benefit, pension or allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions. We may reduce your War Pension or lump sum. We do this because you cannot be compensated twice for the same disablement.

You must let us know immediately about any changes in your circumstances so that we can make sure that you are getting the right amount of money.

What to do if you disagree with our decision

If you do not agree with our decision and you think there are some facts Veterans UK may not have known when we made our decision, you should contact us and ask for us to review your claim.

We will notify you of the outcome of the review. If you still feel our decision is wrong you can appeal to an independent tribunal.

How to apply for a review

If we have made an assessment, we will normally not look at your case again unless you ask us to.

If we have awarded a pension or allowance for a limited period, we will look at your case again at the end of that period.

You can ask for a review at any time. There is no time limit for asking for a review.

Further conditions

If you have already claimed a War Pension and you have an additional condition which you think was also caused or made worse by service in the armed forces before 6 April 2005, you can apply to claim for a further condition.

Other help and allowances you may be entitled to

Find out more about:

If you need help

If you have any questions, contact Veterans UK.

This guidance provides general information only. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, but it is not a full and authoritative statement of the law. The Scheme rules are the authoritative document and can be found in the Service Pensions Order legislation.

Published 21 February 2020
Last updated 20 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Text added to overview with link in view about the current COVID-19 situation.

  2. First published.