This section explains the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal process. Find out how to appeal a war pension decision, the deadline, and what happens at a hearing.
MAKING AN APPEAL: There is a set process to follow if you disagree with the decision on your war pension or a claim for compensation.
Appeals go to the First-tier Tribunal. That is the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber.
The tribunal functions independent of government. As a rule, that means they listen to both sides of an argument before they make any decisions.
Note: Appeals must get made within one (1) year of receiving a decision letter. War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal rules differ in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.
There are several different decisions that a tribunal can make. The most important will be deciding whether an injury got caused or worsened through serving in the armed forces. If the tribunal finds this to be the case, their decisions relate to:
Currently, there are two specific pension schemes running. The War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal process deals with appeals for both. The two different schemes are:
It is advisable to legal help and expert advice before making an appeal. Even so, there are several organisations that offer further specialist information such as:
Before you go through the appeals process you can write a letter to the Veterans UK. It is worth asking them to reconsider their decision again. It is also an opportunity to explain why you feel the decision is wrong.
Be sure to add any extra information not included in the original claim. Veterans UK will study your case once more and write to you with their final decision.
Veterans UK Address
Norcross, Thornton Cleveleys
Lancashire FY5 3WP
Veterans UK Helpline
Telephone: 0800 169 2277
Check call charges to 0800 numbers.
Note: Veterans UK use to be the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (or SPVA for short).
What if you are still unsatisfied with the outcome? You should contact the Veterans UK helpline and request an appeal form. This is the first step in the process of taking your case to a tribunal. Fill in the form and then return it to Veterans UK.
Appeals to the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal should take place within one year of the decision. But, they do allow some exceptions for making an appeal after one year. You would need to explain why you made a late appeal. Even so, the absolute deadline for appealing a decision is two (2) years.
Once an appeal gets lodged, Veterans UK send a response about your appeal to the tribunal. You will also get a copy of their response.
You can choose to send them a reply in writing. The process calls this a 'written submission'. It should explain why you disagree with the facts they used. This procedure should occur within one month of getting the copy letter.
The tribunal will take a look at your case. They might ask for more information from you. Remember to send any other facts or evidence to the tribunal if it supports your case.
War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation
14 Grays Inn Road
London WC1X 8HN
War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Appeals Tribunal
Telephone: 020 3206 0701
Note: After the tribunal has dealt with your appeal they will then inform you if there is to be a hearing.
As a rule, the hearings take place in the major cities across England and Wales. The tribunal will inform you where you need to attend and give you notice of 14 days (or longer).
They usually appoint a hearing date within 4 months of receiving a response from Veterans UK. You must inform the tribunal if you are unable to attend the hearing. As a rule, they will arrange another date if you have a valid reason for missing the original hearing.
Note: The tribunal may hold the hearing in your absence if you fail to attend.
You can attend the hearing on your own or you can have someone represent you. You may also call a witness to support your case. There are several organisations that can help to represent you such as:
Remember to take the appeal papers and support documents with you to the hearing. The tribunal and Veterans UK will need copies of these before the tribunal hearing.
As a rule, three people make up the panel on the tribunal. There will be a judge, a medical member, and a service member.
Certain people will ask you questions about your particular case. It could be the judge, Veterans UK tribunal members, and your representative (if used). The tribunal may also ask questions to any witnesses you take to the hearing.
Note: In most cases you get a decision from the tribunal on the same day as the hearing.
In some cases, you can claim expenses or compensation. You may get reimbursed for travel costs - but only in the United Kingdom. Expense claims may also cover your living costs for the time away from your home and loss of earnings.
There is another step in the process if you lose your appeal. Ask the tribunal for permission to appeal to the 'Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)'. The Upper Tribunal examines the case to see if the original decision was correct.
Note: Asking for permission to appeal must occur within six (6) weeks of getting the tribunal decision.
Appeals to the Upper Tribunal only occur if the decision was wrong for a legal reason. Valid reasons for making this type of appeal include cases where the tribunal failed to:
Note: Get a written statement of reasons for its decision from the original tribunal before making an appeal.
Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)
Telephone: 020 7911 5662
Fax: 0870 324 0028
Typetalk: 18001 020 7071 5662
5th Floor Rolls Building
7 Rolls Buildings
London EC4A 1NL
The tribunal will make decisions based on several laws and previous cases of legislation. The tribunal must also follow the rules and process set out accordingly.
The War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Tribunal Process in the United Kingdom