War Disablement Pension 2022: everything you need to know

8 December 2022 by Robin - 9 minutes of reading time

War disablement pension

What is the War Disablement Pension? How can I apply? Am I eligible? The War Disablement Pension is a pension for those who were disabled or injured, either from their service or wartime conditions. Indeed, then, you would receive payments or a lump sum based on your assessed level of disability. This Your Benefits article will tell you all you need to know about War Disablement Pension.

What is a War Disablement Pension? 

War Disablement Pension is a benefit that those disabled or injured. More specifically, for those whose condition was directly because of wartime conditions or their service in Her Majesty’s Forces. Then, you may be eligible for this benefit.

You may be dependent, a widower or widow of someone who died because of a war or their service in Her Majesty’s forces. Then, you could be eligible for a Widower’s Pension or War Widow’s Pension. Lastly, the War Disablement Pension is handled by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

You may claim as a civilian or a civil defence volunteer. In this case, you need to claim no later than 3 months after having your injury. You may only apply later if you can submit independent evidence of the injury which directly led to your disability. Additionally, exceptions can be made.

Am I eligible for a War Disablement Pension?

Am I eligible for a War Disablement Pension?

You may be eligible. Indeed, you may apply for this benefit even if you did not serve in HM Forces or during wartime. You could receive a War Disablement Pension if the following apply to you, you were:

  • Part of the Polish Resettlement Forces, or were in the Polish Forces when they were controlled by the British Command, serving in the war from 1939 to 1945, and were disabled or injured following your service;
  • A coastguard, part of the Naval Auxiliary Services or a merchant seaman, and you became disabled from being a prisoner of war, from being ill or injured because of wartime conditions;
  • A civilian, and became disabled because of enemy action during the 1939 to 1945 war;
  • Civil Defence Volunteer (CDV), and you became disabled while serving under this role;
  • Serving in HM Forces, which includes the Nursing and Auxiliary ServicesHome GuardRoyal Irish Regiment (formerly known as the Ulster Defence Regiment), and were disabled or injured, or experienced a psychological or physical illness because of your service.
You may still be serving in Her Majesty’s Forces. If this is the case, you cannot claim a War Disablement Pension.

You may have a certain level of income. Additionally, you may have other circumstances and factors that you believe can impact your application. However, none of these will impact your application. Only your circumstances and level of disability matter.

You may have a disability that did not occur because of your service, or wartime conditions. If this is the case, it will not be considered for your War Disablement Pension application.

Will my disability be assessed?

Your condition is assessed from 0% to 100%. 0% means that you are not disabled, or your disability does not affect you at all. 100% means that your disability manifests itself the most that it can. 

Under legislation for these kinds of pensions, doctors are known as medical advisors. Indeed, they will look at your medical conditions to assess your eligibility for this pension. They have the training and expertise necessary to assess situations for War Disablement Pensions.

The people who will assess your application are lay officers. However, sometimes, your level of disability or cause of injury or disability may have to be checked by another person. Then, that is when medical advisors are needed.

It could be that you need to be examined medically in order to assess how your condition affects you. Indeed, your health will be compared with the condition of a healthy person with the same sex and age as you. 

Furthermore, it’s likely that you will have medical tests done in relation to your specific condition. Indeed, you may be hard of hearing, or deaf. If this is the case, you will likely have to undertake a test that will administer audio stimulus to you, and see how you react.

As such, your application may be looked at by a medical advisor. All this means for you is that you can be sure that, if expertise is needed to assess your claim correctly, it will be requested. However, this does not require any input on your end. 

How much is a War Disablement Pension?

Disabilities are assessed on a percentage scale. In fact, your disability could be anywhere from 0% to 100%. In order to be eligible to receive payments, your disability assessment needs to be at least at 20%. 

Your disability assessment may be below 20%. If this is the case, you may still receive money. In fact, you could receive a lump sum payment. This is also known as a gratuity. It consists of a one-time payment.

You may not be able to receive a lump sum. Indeed, this may be even if your disability assessment is below 20%. For this to be the case, your disability needs to be a noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss. If your assessment is below 20%, you will not be eligible for the benefit.

The money you receive from your lump sum mainly depend on a couple of factors. First, on your level of disability. Second, on how long you will be disabled for. However, your assessment may be increased within six years of your receiving your lump sum.

Let’s say that your disability assessment was at 15%. You then receive a lump sum. Then, within 3 years, your disability was reassessed. In fact, your level of disability was raised to 50%. Then, your lump sum would be considered an advance payment.

It is possible that you are familiar with the definitions of handicap, disability and impairment laid out by the World Health Organisation. However, the definitions used for the purpose of this benefit are different. Indeed, they are defined in UK legislation and are specific to this kind of pensions.

How is “condition” defined?

How much you receive from a War Disablement Pension depends your level of disability. Indeed, your level of income does not have any impact on your application. By “condition”, what is implied is the following, a:

  • Disease;
  • Injury;
  • Wound;
  • Anything else that occurred from an accident.

What if I get other benefits?

You may receive benefits from other organisms within the UK government. In fact, you could receive benefits another organism within the Ministry of Defence. Furthermore, you may even get Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB).

To top it off, said payments could be for the same condition as the one for which you want to receive a War Disablement Pension. Then, you could receive less pension payments, or less money with your lump sum. Indeed, the government does this so that you are not paid twice for the same condition.

Some payments will not be considered for this condition. Indeed, this includes payments done in the context of the UK Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. Indeed, these are done following terrorist events. These payments will not reduce your War Disablement Pension payments.

War Pension Scheme amount for April 2019 and April 2020
War Pensions Scheme Benefits April 2019 £ weekly April 2020 £ weekly
Armed Forces Independence Payment 148.85 151.40
War Pensions
Disablement Pension (100% rates) officer (£ per year) 9,904.00 10,071.00
Other ranks 189.80 193.00

Will I need to pay tax on War Disablement Pension payments?

Since 6 April 1979, War Disablement Pensions are not taxed. Indeed, when you fill out your income tax return, make sure to indicate on it that you get war pension payments. Then, when your income tax is calculated, your war pension payments will be omitted. 

You may be able to receive a higher-rate pension scheme. Indeed, this is called the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (or Service-Attribual Pension). In fact, you could be eligible for this pension if both of the following applies to your situation:

  • You were discharged for medical reasons either on 31 March 1973 or after;
  • Said conditions, which resulted in you being medically discharged, were a direct result of your service.

What if I left the Forces too soon?

You may have left the Forces too soon. In this case, you may not receive an ‘immediate pension’. However, then you could receive a Preserved Pension. Typically, two things will need to be true for you to get this pension, you:

  • Are 60 years or older;
  • Were part of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme for a minimum of two years.

You may be likely to receive this kind of pension if you are unable to work because of your condition. More specifically, you are permanently unable to work. The condition can be a physical or mental illness.

War Disablement Pension: how do I apply?

War Disablement Pension: how do I apply?

You may want to claim War Disablement Pension. If this is the case, you can send a letter to the following address to receive a written form:

Customer Service Manager
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

You may also contact them by email at Finally, you may ask for a form by phone on 0800 169 22 77. You may have already received a letter with a claim form. If this is the case, you must fill it out and send it back within 3 months. More specifically, 3 months from the date indicated on the form.

On the claim, you will need to include some information. Indeed, you will need to indicate your full name, as well as any prior names you may have used in the past. Additionally, you will need to include your National Insurance number

Furthermore, you may be claiming this benefit following your service in certain either the Polish Forces under British Command, or HM Forces. In this case, you will need to indicate the following:

  • The exact dates on which you first enlisted, then were discharged;
  • Your branch within the forces (this must include your corps or regiment);
  • Your own rating, rank or service number.
In your application, you will need to include information about your disablement or injury. There, include as many details as you can. The more information, the better.

How will I be paid?

You will receive payments directly into your account. Indeed, this is like how most benefits, pensions and allowances are paid. You can be paid in your building society, bank, or other kind of account. Indeed, you could even get cash payments at the Post Office.

If you have questions about this benefit or your claim, you can contact Veterans UK. Indeed, you may call their helpline on 0800 169 22 77.

You may be unsure of all the benefits you could receive. If this is the case, Your Benefits can help. In fact, we provide a free simulator that can show you all the aid that you are entitled to. Indeed, you could increase how much money you receive. And again, it’s a free service!

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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