Changes to War Pension Scheme - Veterans Beware

Discussion in 'Armed Forces Pension Scheme' started by Tally-Ho, May 11, 2009.

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  1. Although I have made reference to this on another thread, I do not think many War Pensioners are aware of a very recent (April 2009) change to the War Pension Scheme which could cost War Pensioners over £90 per week of their War Pensions.

    The change was 'sneaked' in with the annual uprating Statutory Instrument and concerns those who receive the Allowance for Lowered Standard of Occupation - ALSO (potentially all those assessed as 40% Disabled and above).

    The change is that, until now, those who receive ALSO and for either their accepted condition or any other reason, fall ill and need to claim Incapacity Benefit (or the new ESA) they could keep their ALSO allowance (in a lot of cases it was even increased as ones earnings had dropped).

    With the new change, those claiming ALSO from the 6th April 2009, will now lose their ALSO if they need to claim Incapacity Beneift or ESA.

    As a lot of people no longer get paid when off sick (and we are talking about disabled veterans here), this means not only do they lose their income, they also lose their ALSO (which could be upto £91.44 per week for a 40% War Pensioner)

    Under ESA all they will receive is £64.30 per week for at least the first 13 weeks, possibly longer (just think about it, not only does one lose ones normal income, plus upto £91.44 ALSO they will only get £64.30 per week in exchange!!).

    It unfairly penalises War Pensioners, because if a civvie is awarded Compensation for an injury, in many cases they can keep that and claim ESA/IB as well!.

    Personally I think it is disgusting that this change seems to have been slipped in by Statutory Instrument (ie no debate about it) or without previous consultation. There is no mention of it on the SPVA website, so a War Pensioner would only find out when their income suddenly drops.

    The change is to Article 15 of the Service Pensions Order and is in the following Statutory Instrument:

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/uksi_20090706_en_1

    My main concern is as government have slipped this in this year, what will they 'slip in' next year to further erode War Pensions?.

    The Government makes continual reference to how it has doubled the Compensation awarded under the AFCS, we are now starting to see how that is being paid for - by shafting 'old scheme' War Pensioners!.

    I have written to my MP about this, can I ask others to as well?

    Many thanks

    TH
     
  2. Hi TH

    This is a very good point that you were brought up with this new ruling, on the way it affects War Pensioners.

    After reading the link that you have posted. I am under the impression that it only affects new claimants from April this year, and any war pensioner who was in receipt of LSO before April this year should not be affected.

    I have spoken with the SPVA to get clarification on this and they told me they will get back to me.

    Cheers for bringing this up.
     
  3. The benifits system for war pensioners is confusing enough. The effect of this ruling will affect new claimants and that should be addressed. I have just informed my employer that I will have to go part time due to the pain and the effect of the medication.

    TH would you please paste your thread onto the charities and welfare (medical discharge / war pensions forum). There are several of us looking at these kind of issues and trying to find the best approach for a campaign.


    Regards

    Hitback
     
  4. The SPVA have phone back, they have told me that it only affects new claimants from 6th April 2009.
     
  5. To the Monsstar, thanks very much mate for doing the research.If you read your history in the 1920s,the government tried to take the war pensions off crippled ex servicemen.
     
  6. Hi,

    Yes, whilst it applies to 'new' claimants to ALSO from April 2009, the bit they neglect to say is for example, should a War Pensioner lose their ALSO for some reason (such as High Earnings in a particular job, or they on review drop to 30% WP etc) as and when they claim ALSO again, the 'new 'system will then apply to them.

    The worry in particular is a review where one drops from 40% to say 30% (can no longer claim ALSO) if, as and when they struggle back, this new system will apply - should they fall ill and claim IB?ESA they are shafted.

    It would be also interesting to find out which department is responsible for the instigation of this change (ie DWP or SPVA?). The rationale behind the change would also be of interest. The fact it also brings about a 'two tier' War Pension Scheme (ie those pre April 2009 and those after April 2009) should not be missed out either.

    Also, as I said in my original post, this change was slipped in 'under the radar'. What will be next? It was not mentioned as part of The ongoing Stewardship review into War Pensions, so very 'out of the blue' this appeared. I have spoken today with a chap from my local War Pensions Committee and even they were not aware of or consulted re the change. He says he will look into it and keep me posted.

    TH
     
  7. Yes will do hitbaack.

    TH
     
  8. The comments on here are disturbing to say the least. The two tiar War Pension is already here though. Those on the new pension / AFCS for example.

    The changes pointed out by Tally-ho and Themonsstar, will have a massive affect on those Medically Discharged in the future as well as those that, as pointed out, that get their pension reduced to below 30%.

    TH PM on the way mate. Thanks for placing on the other thread as well.


    Regards

    Hitback
     
  9. Although I have put this on the other thread, just in case someone reads this thread, just a 'warning' of a potential pitfall that could hit War Pensioners regarding this change.

    ''Another thing to be careful of, is, if one decides that instead of claiming IB/ESA, they will just claim the ALSO instead (bearing in mind ALSO could be worth more in cash terms and is Tax Free and one doesn't have to undergo the PCT or new All Work Tests). The danger here is that ones National Insurance Contributions are not credited which creates problems later in life when claiming such as the State Pension (NI Credits are only paid if one claims Unemployability Supplement but one needs a 60% WP to claim UNSUPP. Hence this will hit those in the 40% and 50% War Pension band disproportionately).

    The 'shortened' NI contribution record will lead to a lower State Pension and due to the WP being in payment, could negate a claim for Pension Credit as a 'top up' to state pension.''

    TH