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The War Pension Scheme (WPS)

The War Pensions Scheme is one of the compensation schemes administered by Veterans UK. WPS is for former serving personnel with an injury linked to Service in the armed forces.

COMPENSATION ADVICE: Have you suffered an injury or an illness due to Service? If so, you may be able to claim compensation.

There are several different paths you can take to get compensation. The determining factor is the date of when your illness or injury happened.

All claims filed under the War Pension Scheme must be for personnel who are no longer serving. The disablement must be as a result of Service in the armed forces before the 6th of April 2005.

Thus, the WPS compensates for any injury, illness, or death which occurred on or before the 5th of April 2005.

But, you may need to claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme instead. The AFCS is for an injury, illness, or death caused by Service on or after the 6th of April 2005.

War Pensions Scheme Eligibility Criteria

As a rule, you would be able to claim under the War Pension Scheme (WPS) if you:

  • Are no longer serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and a ‘claimed’ disablement arose before the 6th of April 2005.
  • Were injured or disabled through serving in HM Armed Forces, including:
    • The Ulster Defence Regiment (the Royal Irish Regiment).
    • The Home Guard and nursing and auxiliary services.
  • Are a civil defence volunteer (CDV) disabled through serving as a CDV in World War 2.
  • Are a civilian disabled as a result of enemy action in the World War 2.
  • Are a merchant seaman, a member of the naval auxiliary services or a coastguard, and you were disabled because of an injury you received or a disease suffered because of conditions during a war or because you were a prisoner of war during a period when the Mercantile Marine Scheme was activated.
  • Are a member of the Polish Forces under British Command who served in the 1939 to 1945 war, or in the Polish Resettlement Forces, and you were injured or disabled through this service.

Time Limits for Claiming through the WPS

Claims made as a civil defence volunteer or a civilian must take place within three (3) months of the injury. A general exception applies if you have independent evidence of the injury which caused the disablement.

There are no time limits for all other claims. Even so, they would only make payments from the date of the claim.

What You Can Claim For

You can make a claim for any injury or illness caused (or made worse) by result of Service. Claims range from ‘minor’ fractures to ‘major’ amputations. The WPS also covers a range of severe conditions, including mental disorders.

The WPS claims procedure also applies to participation in a service related activity. This can include Adventurous Training (AT), physical exercise, and organised sport (e.g. inter-service athletics).

Submitting a Claim

You must make any claim using the AFCS/WPS001 form. The claimant, or someone authorised to do so, must sign the form.

You can also get help from Veterans UK staff (or the Veterans Welfare Service). They will help you fill in the form and inform you of the outcome in writing.

Veterans UK Helpline
Telephone: 0808 191 4 218
Check the cost of making a phone call.

Required Information to Support a Claim

You should give as much information or evidence that you can to support your claim. Even so, there are certain things they will need to know to process an accurate claim. The AFCS/WPS001 form provides extra guidance notes on the type of information they need.

For example, they will need to know certain facts about the injury or illness that you are claiming for, such as:

  • The total area that a wound or injury covers.
  • Whether it affects only one side of your body (or both).
  • The date that the injury occurred or when you first noticed symptoms of the illness.

They will also gather information about any incident or exposure that you feel caused the injury or illness. This may include questions about:

  • What you were doing when the incident occurred.
  • Whether it occurred during a journey and if so, the details and reason for the journey.
  • Did the incident happen while you were participating in a sporting activity. If so:
    • Were you representing your unit or regiment.
    • Was it during an organised Physical Training (PT) session.
    • Was it in your own time.
  • Why you feel that it was your Service that caused the injury.

Note: Providing copies of any supporting documentation (e.g. reports from your Medical Officer, accident reports) will help them deal with your claim quicker.

Processing War Pensions Scheme Claims

Doctors (aka medical advisers) must consider the medical aspects of war pension claims and appeals. They have medical expertise and special training in the conditions of the War Pensions Scheme.

It will be lay officers who make the final decisions on claims to war pension. Where needed, they will take advice from, or act on, certificates provided by a medical adviser.

Note: The medical adviser takes account of the facts specific to the case and the relevant law and policy.

WPS Legislation

There have been several amendments to the WPS scheme legislation. The AFCS and Service Pensions Order (SPO) legislation page provides access to historic and current consolidated versions in force.

Different Types of Awards

There are two primary types of War Pension Scheme awards:

  • A pension as an ongoing payment paid weekly or monthly.
  • A gratuity (e.g. a lump sum payment).

Award Calculations

The amount of money paid out depends on the extent of a disability. It can include any physical or mental injury or damage, or loss of physical or mental capacity.

How much you earn is irrelevant to the claim. They will look at the conditions that you claim for, such as:

  • A wound
  • An injury
  • A disease
  • Something that happened as a result of an accident or incident

As a rule, they work out an assessment of your disablement as a percentage. If they assess a disablement at 20% or greater, they will pay a regular pension.

A disablement assessed at less than 20% would usually result in a lump sum payment (a gratuity). The amount also depends on how long you are likely to remain disabled.

Note: A condition of Noise-Induced Sensorineural Hearing Loss with an assessment less than 20% would not result in a pension or a lump sum.

Receiving Compensation from Other Organisations

What if you get (or had) compensation from another organisation in the MOD or IIDB for the same conditions as for those you are making a claim?

In this case, they may reduce your War Disablement Pension or lump sum. The policy is not to compensate twice for the same disablement.

Advice about the War Pensions Scheme in the United Kingdom