War Pensions Scheme – A Guide

Focus on Disability - For Disabled People, the Elderly and their Carers in the UK

You may be able to claim under the War Pensions Scheme if you have been injured or disabled as a result of service in Her Majesty’s (HM) Armed Forces, you are no longer serving in HM Armed Forces and the claimed condition was caused by service before 6 April 2005.

See also: Disabled in the Armed Forces – Help and Advice

Who is eligible

You can claim if you were injured or disabled through serving in HM Armed Forces, including the:

  • Ulster Defence Regiment (now known as the Royal Irish Regiment)
  • Home Guard
  • nursing and auxiliary services

Or you can claim if you were injured or disabled through serving as a civil defence volunteer (CDV).

Or you served in the merchant navy, naval auxiliary or coastguard and you were disabled because of an injury you received or a disease you suffered because:

  • of conditions during a war
  • you were a prisoner-of-war

Or during the Second World War, you were:

  • a civilian injured or disabled as a result of enemy action
  • a member of the Polish Forces under British Command (or you were in the Polish Resettlement Forces) and were injured or disabled in service

Where disablement was caused by Service in HM Armed Forces on or after 6 April 2005, claims should be made under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Who is not eligible

You cannot claim a War Disablement Pension under the War Pension Scheme if you are still serving in HM Armed Forces.

How much you can get

The amount you are paid depends on the extent of your disablement. The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency will then decide whether you are entitled to a War Disablement Pension. If entitlement is established, the Agency will then consult medical advisers to work out your assessment.

Your assessment is worked out as a percentage. If the percentage is:

  • more than 20 per cent, you will get a pension
  • less than 20 per cent, you will usually get a lump sum, or gratuity, instead

The amount depends on the extent of your disablement and how long you are likely to be disabled for. If your condition is noise-induced hearing loss and you are assessed below 20 per cent, you won’t get a gratuity.

War Disablement Pensions can also be topped up with allowances. For example, your age, care and mobility needs, or loss of earnings, may affect the amount you get.

How it is paid

War Disablement Pension is paid directly into your bank, building society, Post Office or National Savings account.

If you are registered blind or need someone who cares for you to collect your money, your payment can be sent by cheque to be cashed at the Post Office.

Effect on other benefits

If you get War Disablement Pension or another payment under the War Pension Scheme, this may affect other benefits you might get, such as Disability Living Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Income Support.

Jobcentre Plus can advise on how your other benefits may be affected.

How to claim

Contact the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency to get a claim form and help completing it on:

Telephone: 0800 169 2277

Textphone: 0800 169 3458

Lines are open 8.15 am to 5.15 pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.15 am to 4.30 pm on Friday.

You can also get a form from your nearest Veterans’ Welfare Service Office. This is listed in the local phone book under ‘War Pensions Agency’.

Or you can download a claim form from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency website, Veterans UK.

How to appeal

If you are unhappy with any decision made by the SPVA your decision notification will indicate whether you have appeal rights.

Free help with appeals

You can get free help with an appeal by contacting the: