Thursday 7 December 2006 15:28
Ministry Of Defence (National)
War Pension increase announced
War pensions and service disability and bereavement allowances will be increased by 3.6% from 2007, the Under-Secretary of State for Defence Derek Twigg announced today. The new rates come into effect from 9 April 2007.
Mr Twigg said:
"The annual increase is based on the September 2006 Retail Price Index (RPI) which will see war pensions and related allowances increase by 3.6%. We are currently making weekly payments to over 221,000 people and in the last financial year paid out over £1 billion.
"I would encourage those who think they may be eligible, to call the national Veterans Helpline on 0800 169 2277. This is also the number to call for help and advice on any issue affecting a veteran's life".
The new and the existing rates are set out below:
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. War Pensions were the responsibility of the Department for Work and Pensions until 11th June 2001 when responsibility was transferred to the Ministry of Defence.
2. Although a new compensation scheme has been introduced for disablement and death related to service on or after 6th April 2005, there are still many veterans who will continue to claim and be paid under the War Pension Scheme for many years to come.
3. Since 1979 the RPI has been used to calculate increases in war pension and allowance rates and Social Security rates. Using the same RPI across the board ensures a fairer and uniformed system.
4. The level and nature of disability awarded are calculated on the veteran's degree of disablement. This is assessed on a percentage basis by comparing their health with that of a normal, healthy person of the same age and sex; with 100 per cent representing maximum disablement.
5. In addition to the basic War Disablement Pension, the War Pension Scheme includes a substantial range of tax-free supplements and additional allowances, many of which are paid at preferential rates to their social security equivalents.
6. Despite the name "war pension", payments can be considered for any disablement or bereavement related to service, whether or not these occurred during a period of armed conflict. Those occurring during peacetime and training exercises are also included. Pensions, allowances or other payments may also be awarded if an injury was sustained as a result of war-time service in the Naval Auxiliary Service, or the Merchant Navy. Awards may also be made in respect of service in the Polish Forces under British command during World War Two. Whilst most payments are made to people living in Great Britain or Northern Ireland, many recipients are from overseas.
7. The MOD's on-line news service, UK Defence Today, can be accessed at http://www.news.mod.uk .