Pensions / Compensation
War Pensions Scheme
What if I disagree with your decision?
If you disagree?
How do I appeal?
Can I get help?
What is the appeal process?
How long does the appeal process take?
High Court cases/Pension Appeal Commissioners
- ask us to give you more information about our decision;
- ask us to look at our decision again if there are some facts about your claim that we may not have known about when we made our decision, or
- make an appeal to the Pensions Appeal Tribunals.
- you think our decision is wrong; and
- you want to appeal to the Pensions Appeal Tribunals, please contact us immediately.
For more information on appeals please read Notes for Appeals
- 3 months for interim assessment decisions
- 6 months for all other decisions that have a right of appeal.
The time limit starts from the date of notification, in practice this is the date that is printed on the decision letter.
In exceptional cases, there is also a 12 month period after the normal time limits in which you can make an appeal. You should be able to show that the main reason for delay in appealing within the normal time limits was because of:
- death or serious illness of the person who claimed, their husband, wife, partner (by partner we mean someone who lives with you as a husband or wife) or dependants;
- failure by the Secretary of State to let the person who claimed know about the appeal;
- a disruption to the normal postal services; or
- exceptional circumstances which apply to the person who claimed.
It is the responsibility of the Pensions Appeal Tribunals to decide whether a late appeal should be allowed to go ahead.
If you are sending a late appeal, you should explain the reasons why it is late. We will send this to the tribunal who will write to you. The tribunal will tell you if they accept your appeal and will include the reason for their decision.
The Pensions Appeals Tribunal cannot accept appeals that are made more than:
- 15 months after the date on our decision letter if it was an interim (short-term) assessment
- 18 months after the date on our decision letter if it was any other decision that has a right of appeal.
Can I get help?
You may wish to ask someone to help you with your appeal or represent you at the appeal hearing. If you appoint someone as your representative, they will have all the rights and powers you are entitled to. For example, at a tribunal hearing they can call witnesses or question witnesses.
The Royal British Legion and The Royal British Legion Scotland will act for all ex-Service personnel and their widows/widowers or surviving civil partners free of charge. You do not need to be a member.
Contact details for the Royal British Legion and The Royal British Legion Scotland are listed below.
The Royal British Legion
199 Borough High Street
Telephone Number: 020 32072100
Fax Number: 020 32072276
Legionline: 0845 725 725
Website Address: www.britishlegion.org.uk/
The Royal British Legion (Scotland)
New Haig House
Logie Green Rd
Telephone Number: 0131 557 2782
Fax Number: 0131 557 5819
Website Address: www.rblscotland.org.uk
The Royal Air Forces Association will act for all ex-Service personnel and their widows/widowers or surviving civil partners free of charge. You do not need to be a member.
Contact details for the Royal Air Forces Association are:The Royal Air Forces Association
117 1/2 Loughborough Road,
Tel: 0116 266 5224
What is the appeal process?
When an appeal form is received your appeal will be formerly registered and lodged. We will prepare a document called a Statement of Case, containing the evidence on which our decision is based and the reasons for our decision. You will be sent a copy to read and you will be given the opportunity to comment. Your appeal will then be passed to the Ministry of Justice to be listed for a hearing with an independent Pensions Appeal Tribunal. The decision made by the Tribunal will then implemented by the Agency.
All the necessary appeal documentation, e.g. the Statement of Case, is prepared and managed by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency staff. We aim to refer appeals to the Ministry of Justice within an average of 110 working days.
The appeal hearing is administered, co-ordinated and managed by the Pensions Appeal Tribunal (PAT). The Ministry of Justice has responsibility for the PAT, both are independent from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. The Ministry of Justice Court Service target is to clear war pension appeals within an average of 100 working days by 31st March 2007.
Decisions made by the PAT have to be implemented by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. Others are otherwise cleared during this stage. We aim to action the PAT decision within an average of 10 working days.
By 31 March 2007, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency in partnership with the Ministry of Justice Court Service aim for appeals to be fully processed within no more than 220 working days.
High Court Cases
Prior to 6 April 2005, all Pensions Appeal Tribunals (PAT) decisions except assessment decisions may be set aside by the High Court on a point of law. Interpretation of the law is to a large extent founded on such cases. As many of these decisions were considered to be important they were published in sets of legal volumes called Reports of Selected Pension Appeals (ROSPAs).
Many of these cases may be relied upon to establish a principal or a question on War Pension Law and are used to achieve uniformity of decision in similar cases where the facts are the same.
Due to changes in modern medicine it is no longer correct to automatically make reference to such cases. However, where a legal principle is important, reference will be made to that principle and the High Court Case containing it in legal argument.
A selection of High Court Cases are listed below.
Please click on one of the links to view the judgment.
From 6 April 2005, all Pensions Appeal Tribunals (PAT) decisions except assessment decisions may be set aside by the Pension Appeal Commissioners on a point of law. Leave to appeal to the Commissioners can be given by the Chairman of the Tribunal, or President or Deputy President of the PAT.
Social Security, Child Support and Pensions Appeal Commissioners