War Pension Information

Multiple Sclerosis and Attributability to Service

Best foot Forward - Army Personnel in Procession

For cases where symptoms of MS arose before 6 April 2005, attributability will normally be awarded for all cases where symptoms of MS (not diagnosis) arose between three months after the date of enlistment and three months after date of release and you will be awarded under the War Pension (WP) Scheme. If your first symptoms of MS arose after 6 April 2005 the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) applies, please go to the AFCS page.

Attributability is accepted on the grounds of causation or exacerbation, or both. Although the exact cause of MS is as yet unknown, there is good medical evidence to show that some aspects of Service life can trigger the disease in susceptible individuals. It is further accepted that continued service following diagnosis exacerbates the progression of the disease.

War Disablement Pension

You can claim a War Disablement Pension for your MS (and any other injuries/illnesses) under the War Pensions Scheme if you are no longer serving in HM Armed Forces and your claimed disablement/injury arose before 6 April 2005.

  • It is only the start of your symptoms that need to have started before 6 April 2005 and not your formal diagnosis
  • You can claim up to 7 years after leaving the Armed Forces but if you had recorded symptoms whilst serving, you might have a valid claim outside 7 years – though never delay making a claim
  • You do not have to have seen ‘active’ service to make a claim.
  • For MS, claims are made on the basis of causation and/or exacerbation of the condition by continued service.

How Much Do You Receive?

The amount you’re paid depends on the extent of your disablement.

You’ll be asked to complete a claim form about your disablement before the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) checks your Service records. The degree of your disability will then be decided by Veterans Agency medical advisers who see your medical records.

Your assessment is worked out as a percentage.

  • more than 20 per cent – you’ll get a pension
  • less than 20 per cent – you’ll usually get a lump sum (or gratuity)

The gratuity amount depends on the extent of your disablement and how long you’re likely to be disabled. War Disablement Pensions can also be topped up with the supplementary allowances below. For example, your age, care and mobility needs, or loss of earnings may affect the amount you get.

The level you are paid should be kept under review and if your condition deteriorates a review of your award should be requested. It is helpful to have a copy of the medical board that awarded you the pension to use as a benchmark.

Effect On Other benefits

Other benefits you might get can sometimes affect the amount of War Disablement Pension you’re entitled to and some of these benefits can also be transferred over to become a supplement to your War Pension instead. Our Support Team can advise on this or you can also get help and advice from your nearest War Pensioners’ Welfare Service Office. You’ll find them in the local phone book under ‘Veterans Agency’.

Already in receipt of a War Pension?

If you are lucky enough to be receiving a WP, the following benefits should also kick in automatically, so check that you are getting those that are appropriate to your circumstances:

  • Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance

    If you get Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) at either of the two highest rates on a permanent basis, you will get this allowance on top of your WP.

  • Severe Disablement Occupational Allowance

    If you are in employment but get CAA at either of the two highest levels, you will get this allowance on top of your WP, but not in addition to certain social security benefits like Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.

  • Comforts Allowance

    All members in receipt of a WP AND Unemployability Supplement or Constant Attendance Allowance will get this allowance.

  • Age Allowance

    This is paid at age 65 if your WP is 40% or more and varies according to your award.

The Following Allowances Must Be Claimed!

  • Clothing Allowance

    This allowance can be claimed if your WP is paid at the lowest level of 20% or more and your disability causes undue wear and tear on your clothing e.g. incontinence or wear to shoes due to poor gait or to lower clothes due to wheelchair use.

  • War Pensioners Mobility Supplement

    If your WP is 40% or more you can make a claim for this supplement which will replace the mobility component of your DLA and is paid at a higher rate!

    If you are already in receipt of DLA mobility component, swapping this for the WP mobility supplement is very straightforward.  If you do not have the mobility element of DLA you will need to do a self assessment or have an examination, but unlike DLA, you do not have to have a 3-month qualifying period.

  • Allowance for Lowered Standard of Occupation

    This allowance can be claimed if your WP is paid at 40% or more and although you are in employment, you are not able to follow your regular occupation or do work of an equivalent standard.

  • Unemployability Supplement

    This is similar to Incapacity Benefit (IB) or Employment and Support allowance (ESA) and you can claim it if your WP is paid at 60% or more and you are not in work because of your disabling condition.  It is not paid in addition to IB, but it is beneficial to swap from IB to Unemployability Supplement.

  • Constant Attendance Allowance

    If your WP is paid at 80% or more and you consequently need a lot of personal care and attention, you can make a claim for this supplement that is paid at 4 different levels according to your needs.  This allowance overlaps with ordinary Attendance Allowance and DLA care component and qualification for both means you will be paid the higher amount.

  • Treatment Allowance

    You can claim this allowance if you are having treatment for your disabling condition that means you suffer a loss of earnings whilst the treatment takes place.  You must claim before the treatment starts.

  • Rent Allowance

    If you are getting a surviving spouse/civil partner’s pension AND a child allowance you can claim an allowance towards your rent.

How to Claim

Medical Discharges
If you are medically discharged from the Armed Forces, the SPVA should normally automatically consider any illness/injury that contributed to your medical discharge, without the need to submit a claim form but this does not always happen, in which case speak to us.  In all cases it is critical that your personal statment comleted at or prior to your discharge medical, details the circumstances surrounding the onset of your MS and its severity

Claiming a War Disablement Pension
In all other circumstances, claims for compensation under the Scheme must be made on a afcswps001 claim form signed and dated by the claimant, or by someone authorised to do so on your behalf. Please read the following document AFCSWPS Leaflet 1

Application for a review
If you already have entitlement to a War Disablement Pension but your condition changes, you can ask the SPVA to review the assessment of your disablement. You can do this by completing WPS0012_On_line_version (See Paragraph 6)

Claim for a further condition
If you already have entitlement to a War Disablement Pension and want to claim for an additional medical condition, you should complete WPS0002_On_line_version (See Paragraph 6)

If you want a representative to help you
If you wish to nominate a representative to help you with your claim, SPVA need your permission to send details about your claim to them. To give this permission, please complete the reply part of this form.20140124AFCSWPS0001B20Final-U

There is a free Veterans-UK Helpline on 0800 1914 2 18

+44 1253 866 043 (overseas)

Important Note: Please do not make a claim for a War Pension without talking to our Pensions volunteers. To help them speed up the process you can apply for a copy of your medical records by downloading this form. The Pension Advisors will help you write your personal statement – it is essential that you get help from us with this.

More important details can also be found in the ‘members only’ area.

Full details of the War Pension Scheme can be found on the Veterans UK website


You can download the PDF MMP 106 – Your Pension scheme explained here.