Armed Forces: Disability Living Allowance

Defence written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Nick Harvey Nick Harvey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) service personnel and (b) veterans are (i) waiting for and (ii) in redress of disability allowances being offered.

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

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) administers two schemes under which disability allowances may become payable—the armed forces compensation scheme (AFCS) and the war pension scheme (WPS). In the case of AFCS, ongoing disability allowances are payable to the most seriously injured and this payment becomes due on discharge. Therefore there are no such claims for ongoing disability allowances outstanding for serving personnel. However the majority of awards comprise of a lump sum payment which may be paid in service or following service depending on when the individual decides to make a claim. WPS claims are always made and awarded following discharge.

SPVA records show that at 31 March 2008 the number of claims of disability related payments, in the process of consideration, against each scheme was 1,292 for serving personnel and veterans under AFCS and 7,238 for veterans under WPS. This does not constitute a backlog as the claims are at various stages of consideration in line with the normal procedures. In considering claims under both schemes, medical evidence of the condition(s) claimed, prognosis for recovery or enduring disability and evidence of the link to service is required. Depending on the complexity and needs of the individual cases, gaining sufficient information in order to properly inform the correct decision can take a varying amount of time.

With regard to the number of claims under redress both schemes offer an appeals process which utilises the independent Pension Appeal Tribunals (administered by the Ministry of Justice). Personnel may decide to appeal for a number of reasons such as the availability of additional information or because they disagree with any aspect of the decision made. The number of appeals currently in progress is 102 for AFCS and 565 for WPS.

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