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War Pension Scheme

If you have hearing loss that was caused by military service or wartime experiences before 6 April 2005, you may be eligible for compensation.

What the War Pension Scheme is

The War Pension Scheme gives money to ex-service personnel for any disablement caused by service. It’s run by Veterans UK, which is part of the Ministry of Defence.

If you were injured on or after 6 April 2005, your claim will be considered under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) instead.

A War Disablement Pension may affect other benefits you receive. To find out more, contact Veterans UK

Who can claim

You may be eligible for a War Disablement Pension if your hearing loss is the result of military service or wartime experiences, such as military noise, before 6 April 2005.

To qualify for a pension due to hearing loss, you must be assessed as being at least 20% disabled from service-related, noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss.

You will be assessed as 20% disabled or more if your hearing loss in each ear averaged over 1, 2 and 3 kHz is at least 50 decibels (dB). Your audiologist (hearing specialist) will be able to confirm this.

To make a claim, your hearing loss does not have to be caused by active service or combat. For example, if your hearing loss was caused by an injury on a military base, or by an ear infection linked to service, you can still claim.

You don’t need to have paid national insurance contributions to get a War Disablement Pension. Your level of income or savings does not affect your claim.

If you are a widow or widower of a war pensioner, you may also be eligible for a War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension. To find out more, contact Veterans UK

If you have tinnitus

Separate awards are not paid for tinnitus. But, if your tinnitus is ‘part and parcel’ of your noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss, which is accepted as being due to service, and assessed at more than 20%, an additional allowance may be made.

How to claim

If you are medically discharged from service through injury, your claim under the scheme may be automatically assessed. Otherwise, you need to download, print and complete an AFCS and War Pension Scheme claim form, which you can find online at GOV.UK

The form comes with notes telling you how to fill it in.

If you cannot download or print the form, contact the Veterans UK helpline for a copy:

0808 1914 218

The Veterans UK helpline is open 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have accessibility needs

By law, government departments must make reasonable adjustments for disabled people and their representatives, to allow them to have equal access to their services and to claim benefits.

This means that if part of the claims process is not accessible for you, you can ask for changes to be made – for example, a different way to apply for the benefit.

Contact the Veterans UK helpline (see details above) if you need any reasonable adjustments to make a claim.

Support to make a claim

The Confederation of Service Charities(Cobseo) has an online directory of charitable organisations that provide support and advice for the serving and veteran community. For information and contacts, visit the Cobseo online directory 

If you need more help with benefits

Find out what benefits you’re entitled to

To find out which benefits you can claim, use the online Turn2us benefits calculator.

Get support in British Sign Language (BSL)

To get benefits advice or support in British Sign Language (BSL), contact the deafPLUS Advice Line They also have an online service to help you find local benefits advisors.

Get in touch

We’re unable to provide benefits advice at RNID, but we’ll let you know where to get the information and support you need. Contact us

Page last updated: 21 August 2023

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