Armed Forces: Widowed People

Defence written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Lindsay Hoyle Lindsay Hoyle Labour, Chorley

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the provision of continuing financial support to the widows and widowers of service personnel who die (a) on and (b) off operations while in receipt of armed forces' continuity of education allowance.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)

If a continuity of education allowance (CEA) claimant dies in service, the allowance will continue to be paid either to the end of the current stage of education, or for up to two full terms after the term in which the death of the service person occurred, whichever is the longer extension. This support applies to all children for whom CEA was being claimed prior to the date of death in service, and delivers the very continuity that the allowance was designed to provide.

Moreover, if a child is already studying for public examinations, CEA will continue to be paid for up to four years or to the end of the term in which the child takes the examination and then leaves school, whichever is soonest. By way of example, for a child aged 14 to 16 years who subsequently moves on to A-level studies, this would normally be up to four further years. Conversely, for a child aged 16 to 18 years, it would normally be up to two further years.

Given the emphasis on providing continuity of education, the allowance does not infer new entitlement for any child(ren) not already in receipt of CEA when the service parent dies.

Importantly, however, the same degree of support is available in all cases where a CEA claimant dies in service, whether or not the individual was deployed on operations. The above provisions are also available in all instances where CEA claimants are invalided from the armed forces.

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