Medical Discharge / War Pension?

Is there a need to change the present Medical Discharge and War Pension System

  • Total voters
Please give feedback on this idea. I have spoken with the Veterans Agency as I was Medically Discharged back in March 2007 and I'm still awaiting on my % of disability and, having to pay �50 a month on perscription charges. The VA has said that the system is not correct and the fact they are not permitted service leavers documents until their last two weeks of service causes problems in its self. If you think about it, in which other employment would you be injured and removed from their employment without knowing what their compensation package was going to be for you.

The duty of care we should all be getting from the MoD is failing. I asked the VA if I don't agree with the % of Disability I'm awarded, how long would I have to waiting to get an answer. I was informed that at present the waiting time is anything up to 12 months plus. I asked what do you expect a medically discharged person to live on, I was informed "Charity". This is why I believe the system requires to be given an overhaul, upgraded to ensure it's covering the most vulnerable service leavers.



The current Medical Discharge system is works against the service leaver and hinders their rehabilitation in to civilian life.

On all three medical boards that are held to discuss and opt on the injured persons medical treatment and discharge, very little is discussed about the welfare, benefits, or percentage of disability the person has. I hope in this very informal paper to explain a simple method of improving the present system.

On a service persons final medical board it's important that a member of the Veterans Agency is present. All the medical documents on the person being discharged require to have been seen by the Veterans Agency at least four weeks before the final board.

The medical discharge will be done as per the normal manner but for one crucial piece of information. The degree of disability to be offered to the service leaver will be told there and then. The Service Leaver can get this redressed later if they don't agree with the percentage being offered. They can also discuss the percentage being given with the Veterans Agency person present in phase two of the discharge. It's phase two that will be of great importance to the service leaver.

Phase Two

Once phase one is over the service leaver will meet the Veterans Agency person. It will be down to this person to explain the percentage of disability and the Benefits the service leaver is entitled to.

All paperwork for a war pension is completed before the final Medical Board, Remember the Veterans Agency has had the Medical Documents for four weeks and between them and the Military Doctors have come to their findings.

All the Benefit forms; Incapacity, Mobility, Carers Allowance, housing benefits etc. These are to be filled in at this point. An exemption certificate for prescriptions is issued, this will allow the person to get their medication without any cost to themselves.

Phase Three

The discharge date once confirmed requires to go directly to the Veterans Agency. This will allow them to get all the benefits started in time for the persons discharge date. All follow up medical appointments require to be in place with the Date, Time and location of treatment before the service leaver enters civilian street. This is essential for those suffering from Mental Health Issues (PTSD). Combat Stress should be made aware of the service leaver if they have PTSD.
I got the following reply from Mark Harpers PA. I have now contacted the new Shadow Defence Team about this issue. I hope Arrse users will be as supportive about this issue as they were about the Homelessness Legislation.



Dear Hitback,

Thanks for the email. As you may know, we have recently had a reshuffle in the Party and Mark is no longer a member of the Defence team (we are now doing Work and Pensions). Mark has been replaced by Andrew Murrison (former Surgeon Commander in the RN I believe) and his researcher is Robert Pettigrew - copied. They will be leading on these issues from now on.

Your thoughts below do look interesting. It always struck me that the key issue with the medical discharge is the poor transition, especially the transfer of info from the Services to VA/NHS.

Thanks for all the work you have done on the social housing – a massive achieve for one person to get the government to move. We will have to wait and see what their proposals are when the Bill is produced. We have briefed Andrew and Robert on this too.

Best wishes


Barnaby Wharton

Political Advisor to Mark Harper MP ( Forest of Dean)
Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions

House of Commons
Hi Hitback
Can I add this to your post

Medical Forces Pensions awards:
If you were medically discharged from the forces and you received a medical forces pension with a percentage and you also receive a war pension, the percentages on both should be the same.

In other words if you get an increase on your war pension the forces pension should also increase to the same percentage.

What should happen
If the Veterans Agency put your award up they are supposed to inform the forces pension department advising them of the increase. You may then be entitled to an increase in line with the war pension award. What has actually been happening is the Veterans Agency have not been advising the forces pension people so for many veterans their war pension is a higher percentage than their force pension.

What you need to do
Get in touch with the relevant service pension scheme and ask them what you are receiving your forces pension for, you will then need to get in touch with the Veterans agency to send an update of your war pension award to the relevant service pension scheme. It is advisable to keep an eye on this and chase up after a few weeks.

To find out further info regarding your forces pension ring 0800 085 3600 (all schemes) and they will advise you accordingly.

Hope this helps someone.
Keep the receipts for the prescriptions. I believe in youur case you will be able to claim back all pertinent costs.
Thats great informtion, thank you. themonsstar, I will email you to get more details on what you just said above. I'll have to wait to find out what % im going to get first from the Vets Agency. Is that correct?

Get a full copy of your F/Med/4 as well as the notes made by the VA. Then if you're not happy with the award you can get independent specialists involved quickly. Be aware that after a year to 18 months the VA/War Pensions sometimes do a paper sift and attempt to downgrade your disability without so much as a review. Tried it with me and several others I know.
Speaking of prescriptions. Make very sure that if you're written a mixed scrip that you pay for any meds not related to the disability.

At present they don't normally check this stuff but since you'll be collecting to claim on the award they might dig deeper to squeeze pennies.
Thanks for that. As well as all the other help being given.
As you can see Derek Twigg hasn't answered the question. If anyone out there know's the true figure, then please post it on here with the evidence showing the figures.

I was informed it stood at 7 thousand personnel waiting for their war pension. Not sure who told me but I will go through my emails.



Exservicemen: Disabled
Nick Harvey ( North Devon , Liberal Democrat) | Hansard source

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel are on the waiting list for a redress of their veterans disability entitlements.

Derek Twigg (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence) | Hansard source

Under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme there are two options available for armed forces personnel who are dissatisfied with the decision made on their claim.

They can ask Service Personnel and Veterans Agency to look at the decision again—this is called reconsideration. As at 30 June 2007 there were 48 cases awaiting completion of which 27 were from serving armed forces personnel.

They can appeal to the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, which is independent of the MOD. As at 30 June 2007 there were 43 cases awaiting appeal hearings of which 20 were from serving armed forces personnel.


hitback. Did Nick H ask this on your behalf or was he looking at this anyway?
Hi mate, he was already looking into several area's. I spoke about this and other issues when I met him this month. Why's that?


hitback said:
Hi mate, he was already looking into several area's. I spoke about this and other issues when I met him this month. Why's that?
Might press him to get a correct responce, however his surgery is on Friday and I am away and he is not to keen on responding to emails.
Hitback, allied to this is treatment for war pensioners by GPs as well as receiving priority for war pensioned conditions - Downing Street state that war pensioners rights are protected by legislation - Service Personnel & Veterans Agency says NHS abides by NHS guidelines, two different things.
Under NHS guidelines there is no onus on a GP to give priority treatment to, or refer to hospital on a priority basis - any war pensioners.

anyway there is a thread HERE titled Should war veterans have right to treatment on NHS?

BTW Twigg couldn't be bothered to answer my letter either! :mad:
Thank you to all those that have placed their vote in the poll. I would like to discuss on this thread with anyone that is or has been Medically Discharged on the advice given to them on the area's covered above.

I was informed that once I was discharged all the agencies would kick in and my war pension would start approx 30 day's after the day I left. I was discharged on the 31 March and still no war pension or % of disability given!!

Do we get told the best case scenario, or just mislead by those wishing to clear their desks?

I have had alot of information sent to me from several people on this issue, I'm going through it at present and a lot of the problems are the same. Basic admininstration issues. One point that shocked me is; If a soldier is discharged with PTSD and gets less than 30% for their disability, they have to find the funding for combat stress. Yes I know the Benevolent funds will help out, but only for so many session....

Please PM me if you have an example of how this system could be improved

This is a reply I got back from the Shadow Defence Minister for the Conservative Party. This was reference the idea above on medical discharges / war pensions.

Thank you for this. I've been sent it as I've taken over from Mark Harper.

You obviously have some experience in medical discharge and I am alarmed to find that the process is no smoother and no more helpful than when I had some dealings with it prior to 2001.

I will reflect on your proposals as I draw up our Services welfare manifesto during the summer. At first glance I welcome a lot of it.

Best wishes,
Andrew Murrison
Thanks for that oldtimer. all the best.

As it was told to me, it costs £1,000 per week to attend Combat Stress. So your initial assessment is ca. £1,000. This can be funded either individually or as a group via regimental association, RBL, ABF, etc. The main charity which steps in initially, from my experience, seems to be the ABF.

If, after the initial 1 week assessment, CS decides you need further help then costs will mount up. The good thing is they will support any war pension appeal to up your disability after such a decision. They do offer respite days occasionally rather than the usual 2 week stint but clearly it helps to be close to the house to benefit.

Edited to add - I was already in receipt of a war pension for physical injury when referred to CS. The ABF picked up my tab in full. If you have such then it might not be as bad as you fear.
Good Luck.
The cost of CS should be off set by the Gevernment, they sent our troops too war they should stand the cost.

Similar threads

Latest Threads