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LGA responds to removal of war pension 'penalty' for veterans

The Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing spokeswoman, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, responds to the announcement in the Budget that the war disablement pension for veterans will no longer be taken into account when calculating the amount they must pay towards their care costs.

"Councils have for some time been calling for the thousands of war heroes injured in combat to be treated fairly and equally when calculating how much they need to pay towards their care. For too long this has been an unfair anomaly that has penalised our injured veterans.

"It is not right that some war veterans should be made to use the pension they were given after being injured during their dedicated service to help fund the dignified care they deserve.

"We are pleased that the Government has listened to our call for the war pension to be protected and service men and women are not forced to use it to pay for their care.

"However, this will create a new burden on councils, which the Government must fully fund. Adult social care budgets are already under enormous strain and should not be expected to absorb further costs resulting from government policy changes."

Notes

1. Under the previous rules, war heroes who were injured in service on or before 5 April 2005 received a War Disablement Pension which is treated like an income and counts towards care costs. Those injured after this date fall under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which awards a lump sum and additional regular payments to the most severely injured, both of which cannot be taken into account in financial assessments. This unfair anomaly meant veterans have been receiving different amounts of publicly-funded care depending on when they have been injured in the line of duty – even if they have the same injuries. The Royal British Legion estimates that around 4,000 war pensioners could have been having to pay more towards the costs of their care as a result.

2. All councils across the UK have signed up to the voluntary Armed Forces Community Covenant, which commits them to helping forces personnel and their families integrate into their communities.

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