You can only make a claim under the War Pensions Scheme after you have left the Armed Forces. There is no time limit on when you can claim, but if you claim more than seven years after leaving the Service you will have to raise a reasonable doubt based on reasonable evidence that the principal cause of your condition was your service.
If you claim within seven years after leaving the Service, the burden of proof will be on the MOD to show that the condition was not caused by or made worse by service.
Your award is based on your current level of disablement - stated as a percentage.
If you are assessed as being less than 20% disabled you will receive a tax-free lump sum payment only.
If you are assessed as having disablement of 20% or more, you will receive a tax-free War Disablement Pension (WDP). The maximum amount for 2016/17 is £178.20 per week, although you may get extra supplementary allowances on top. If your condition worsens, you can apply for your War Pension to be reassessed.
For more advice contact The Royal British Legion who can help you through the process and represent you at Tribunal if you wish.
The War Pensions Scheme is run by Veterans UK (formerly SPVA). You can find more information about the scheme and rates payable on their website.
War pensions and allowances have not been taxed since 6 April 1979. When you fill in your Income Tax return, write a note clearly on the form to say that you receive a war pension.
The Tax Inspector will then ignore your war pension when he or she assesses how much Income Tax you have to pay.
Armed Forces Attributable Benefits (AFAB)
If you served for more than two years and you were a member of the AFPS 1975 you may be awarded a terminal grant and a Service Invaliding Pension (SIP) – whether or not your injury or illness was attributable to service.
The amount of the SIP is based on your length of service and rank. If if you have served for more than five years the amount is usually enhanced, although the Scheme administrators decide the award and may take into account whether your condition arose from your own negligence.
Once you have been awarded a SIP, your case is referred to Veterans UK to consider if you are eligible for a War Disablement Pension (WDP).
If a WDP is payable for your principal invaliding condition, (that is your WDP is payable for the same condition as caused you to be medically discharged), you may be awarded a Service Attributable Pension (SAP). This is non-taxable. The amount of SAP payable is based on your rank and percentage of disablement.
If you are assessed as being less than 20% disabled, you will not be awarded a SAP. However, your SIP will become non-taxable and will be treated as a SAP for benefit calculation purposes.
For more information on pensions and compensation contact The Royal British Legion or Veterans UK by phone, email, letter or fax.