Im looking for a bit of advice from those with indepth knowledge of the various pension schemes regulations and/or someone whose good at decoding legislative wording into english! Basic situation, was invalided out in 2008 initially awared SIP. Later awarded a war pension scheme gratuity as assessed 6-14% disablement. My SIP was then paid tax free. Unfortunately i lost both my jobs recently and am struggling to make ends meet, so have been forced to look at what state benefits i may be able to claim until i can get a job again. Any of you who have done similar will know you get **** all from the job centre as most forces pensions pay too much over their income thresholds - no surprises there. However housing benefit/council tax benefit in war pension cases can offer more than the standard £10 disregard and most councils waive the entire amount of any pensions classed as a "war disablement pension". initially and as in previous post-service unemployment, i assumed id get sweet FA as i earn too much. To my surprise when i signed on to get my NI Stamp, i soon recieved a letter from the council about housing benefit saying that if i can provide information on the status of my pension then they may be able to disregard some or all of it. this was surprising as I only get a tax free sip. What i basically need to know is am i barking up the wrong tree completely. The following will be long! however a bit of googling and i came up with this social security commissioners decision: CIS 276/98  UKSSCSC 6 (15th September, 1998 in essence its about a serviceman applying for benefits (in this case income support, but the general references are all general social security so basic definitions apply to all) who has a war pension gratuity like me and a tax free SIP. He successfully argued using case law that his tax free SIP was a "war disablement pension" for the purpose of the regulations. Now it gets a bit more complicated because i thought "well he doesnt have war pension just gratuity so how does that work" but essentially its a play on words with the social security legislation using the phrase "war disblement pension" to include more than just the traditional war pensions and the newer AFCS equivilent. Some of the legislation references are out of date so i had to look up new ones but the crux of it is this: from social security act 1986: "'war disablement pension' means - (a) not relevant bit (b) without prejudice to paragraph (a) of this definition, any retired pay or pension to which sub-section (1) of section 365 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1970 applies". The social security act was amended in 1987 and absorbed into the act in 1992. The 1970 act has been updated several times and is now the ITEPA 2003 section 641 but the words are pretty much the same. The relevant bits are: (1) No liability to income tax arises on (a) a wounds pension granted to a member of the armed forces of the Crown; (b) retired pay of a disabled officer granted on account of medical unfitness attributable to or aggravated by service in the armed forces of the Crown; (c) a disablement or disability pension granted to a member of the armed forces of the Crown, other than a commissioned officer, on account of medical unfitness attributable to or aggravated by service in the armed forces of the Crown; The rest of the list is WWII era and before. So by that definition in the ITEPA, my tax free SIP would logically be tax free under paragraph C. There is nothing else written in the ITEPA on income tax exemptions for service pensions so again by logic my SIP has to be "granted on account of medical unfitness attributable or aggrevated by service........" so by that logic as i read it, because i have income tax -free status, then according to the 1986 act qouted above, i must by that definition fulfil the criteria of paragraph b) meaning that my tax-free SIP counts as a war disablement pension. The commissioner in that report came to the same conclusion even stating how the 1986 act definition was still valid despite the regulations being absorbed into the new act. The cynic in me then comes out and says that despite the regulations being posted as is, and despite the commissioners report, there must be a catch somewhere. I can only reason that perhaps since the decision in 1999 there has either been a significant change to to the regulations or his decision was overturned as an error. I can find no evidence of the latter, and the former as explained above uses the latest references i can find. So i looked into the housing benefit regulations themselves as they never used to exist as a seperate act and it wouldnt surprise me if over the years definitions have changed. Helpfully the housing benefit WP disregard regs 2009 include a table of the allowable pensions included as a War disablement pension for the mandatory and discretionary disregards. It is as follows: 1. The war disablement pensions prescribed are (a) any retired pay or pension or allowance payable in respect of disablement under an instrument specified in section 639(2) of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003(4); (b) any retired pay or pension payable, to a member of the armed forces of the Crown in respect of a disablement which is attributable to service, under (i) an Order in Council made under section 3 of the Naval and Marine Pay and Pensions Act 1865(5), (ii) the Army Pensions Warrant 1977(6), (iii) any order or regulations made under section 2 of the Air Force (Constitution) Act 1917(7), (iv) any order or regulations made under section 4 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996(8), (v) any instrument amending or replacing any of the instruments referred to in paragraphs (i) to (iv), or (vi) any power of Her Majesty otherwise than under an enactment to make provision about pensions for or in respect of persons who have been disabled or have died in consequence of service as members of the armed forces of the Crown; and (c) a payment made under article 14(1)(b) of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2005(9). part a) is wwII era pensions again so not relevant. However paragraph b i-iii) are the perogative instruments for paying pensions to armed forces personnel rather than individual pension schemes. They do not contain the full rules, refering to the scheme legislation for the WPS and AFCS. In effect ALL pensions wether normal retirement or invaliding are paid via those statutory instruments. Thats how it reads to me. if that is how they intended it to read, then by paragraph b) above, my tax-free SIP (shown to be "attributable to service" by the income tax exemption) should count on the list of pensions to be disregarded. Ive been and spoken to the council housing benefit assessor (we have walk ins here for just such cases) and quite frankly he doesnt have a ******* clue. He seemed friendly enough and spent 45 minutes with me discussing this but as soon as i got into the regulations and legislation it seemed to go over his head and he simply isnt prepared to make a decision on it. My council has very few war pension cases. He suggested i speak with SPVA to see if they can write a letter or similar to clarify things. SPVA were baffled as they cannot make a statement or claim about benefits as its not something they deal with, and all they can do is send a new letter outlining the status and type of awards i already have. The SPVA couldnt understand why the council would not be able to get thier head round the terminology which on the SPVA letters is fairly clear to see. So any ideas where i go from here? Does anyone know of any other (easier to read) references or policys that i could use to support my case and help them understand. Also does anyone have any views on the interpretation of the legislation and the intent. ie did they intend the tax free SIP to count as a WDP or is it an anomoly/mistake in the rules. Any help would be gratefully appreciated!!!