AFPS 75 Member
PLEASE NOTE: Whilst we have tried to make the rules below as clear as possible, they are still quite complicated. We do not expect members to understand every aspect of them, but it would be wrong not to detail them here for those who wish to familiarise themselves with them. If there are elements you do not understand, don’t worry, just contact one of the Pensions Volunteers whose details are below.
Medical Discharge Benefits
All personnel on this pension scheme who are subject to a medical discharge (irrespective of attributability) will be awarded what is known as a Service Invaliding Pension (SIP) under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) – this is based on your rank and time served and is at a higher level than you would receive if you were not being medically discharged; it is to compensate for the early termination of your Service career and happens irrespective of the cause of the illness/injury. You will also be awarded a terminal grant of 3 times your pension (terminal grants are always tax free, irrespective of attributability).
Depending on whether the first symptoms of your MS (or other illness/injury) occurred before or after 6 April 2005, your case will be considered for attributable benefits under either the War Pension Scheme and the Armed Forces Attributable Benefit (AFAB) Scheme (before 6 Apr 05) or the AFCS (after 6 Apr 05).
Symptoms pre 06 Apr 2005 – War Pension
Please see the war pension pages for detailed information regarding the War Pension Scheme.
Once the decision to award a war pension has been notified, the SPVA will pass your case back to the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA) who will ask the Discretionary Awards Panel (DAP) to decide whether to award attributable benefits. If agreed, you will be awarded a Service Attributable Pension (SAP), sometimes known as Annual Compensation Benefit, or AFAB. This consists of an annual compensation payment. The AFAB Scheme provides for a minimum level of income based on the level of disablement determined by the SPVA and exists to top up the existing SIP entitlement to the level set by the Scheme. All benefits payable under AFAB are tax free. You will also be paid an additional attributable gratuity, also linked to the level of disability awarded by the SPVA. For those with long service and a low level of disability, the SIP is normally higher than the AFAB and thus no top up is due. However, the SIP is made tax free.
Army & RAF: For cases falling between 1 Apr 04 and 5 Apr 05 (for the RAF and Army) the balance of probability rule is used and therefore attributable benefits may not be paid for these cases.
Navy: For Navy members it is the date of discharge that is relevant when determining whether attributable benefits will be paid and not the date of onset of the illness or injury. For members discharged prior to 31 March 1999 attributable benefits were paid if a war pension was awarded but for discharges since that date, the ‘balance of probability rule’ is used and benefits may not be payable as it has to be shown that it is more likely than not that Service was the cause of the illness or injury (the war pension rules are not as tight and the MOD has to disprove that the illness or injury was caused by Service).
Leaflets Applicable to AFPS 75
War Pension Information
If you need any further information about your claim or to obtain an update on the progress of your claim, please contact:
Free Veterans Helpline
Freephone 0800 1914 2 18 (UK only)
0800 169 34 58 Textphone facility (UK only)
+44 1253 866043 (Overseas)
Telephone lines are open:
8.15am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday; and
8.15am to 4.30pm Friday
Mutual Support’s Pension Volunteers
Mrs Heather Smith
Tel: 01803 311527
Tel: 01294 203377
Important Note: We strongly recommend you contact Mutual Support as soon as you have been diagnosed with MS and certainly well before discharge – we also recommend you do not make an application for a WP or an AFCS award without reference to us first, we do have a lot of experience handling claims.