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Friday, 5 October 2012

Medical costs for war pensioners

If you're a war pensioner who needs medical treatment or care because you were disabled while serving in the Armed Forces during war, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency may be able to help you with costs. The War Pensioners' Welfare Service (WPWS) can give you advice.

Who is eligible?

If you're injured or disabled as a result of your service in HM Armed Forces you may be entitled to a War Disablement Pension, which may help with the costs of medical requirements like:

  • appliances
  • convalescence
  • home nursing equipment
  • hospital travelling expenses
  • house adaptation grants
  • part-time treatment allowance
  • prescription refund
  • priority treatment
  • private treatment
  • provision of treatment overseas
  • skilled nursing care
  • treatment allowance

You can call the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency helpline free on 0800 169 2277, textphone 0800 169 3458 (8.15 am to 5.15 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.15 am to 4.30 pm on Fridays).

If you're calling from overseas: +44 (0)1253 866 043 or email:

veterans.help@spva.gsi.gov.uk

War Pensioners' Welfare Service (WPWS)

The WPWS can help you claim a War Disablement Pension if you're eligible. They can also help in other ways like contacting social services on your behalf.

Who isn't eligible?

Only ex-service men and women can claim. You can't claim a War Disablement Pension if you're still serving in HM Armed Forces.

How much do you get?

Your entitlement to a War Disablement Pension depends on the extent of your disablement; any physical or mental injury or damage, or loss of physical or mental capacity. Each request for a supplement or allowance is assessed individually.

How it's paid

Medical costs for war pensioners are normally paid with your War Disablement Pension into your bank, building society, Post Office® or National Savings account that accepts Direct Payment.

If you're blind or need someone who cares for you to collect your money, a cheque can be sent to cash at the Post Office®.

Effect on benefits or tax credits

Payment of Medical costs for War Pensioners is tax free and doesn't affect other benefits or tax credits you may be getting. But other payments from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency may have an effect.

How to claim

The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency can help with your application. They will need your full name and National Insurance number.

Call the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency free on 0800 169 2277, textphone 0800 169 3458 (8.15 am to 5.15 pm Monday to Thursday and 8.15 am to 4.30 pm on Fridays).

If you're calling from overseas: +44 (0)1253 866 043 or email:

veterans.help@spva.gsi.gov.uk

How to appeal

If you disagree with a decision about your claim you may be able to appeal, but before doing so you should:

  • ask for more information about how the decision was reached
  • ask for the decision to be reconsidered if there are some facts that the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency may not have known about when they made their decision

If you're still unhappy with the outcome, ask the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency if you can  appeal - they will give you advice.

If you're told you can't appeal, you can ask for your case to be reviewed by a War Pensions Committee. The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency will advise you who to contact.

What else you need to know

Disability Needs

If you need items like a stair lift, bathroom adaptations or personal alarm system, the War Pension Welfare Service can help you get these from your local social services.

They can also contact ex-service organisations to help you get money to buy wheelchairs and scooters.

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