Help for veterans

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DURING and after every war, questions are raised about the adequacy of care for wounded service people returning home. Since the days of Elizabeth I, some provision has existed, although the extent of state sponsored largess is often seen as inadequate.

Today, UK taxpayers support two schemes to provide for those injured or disabled serving in HM Forces and for their dependants. Both schemes are administered by the MoD’s Service Personnel & Veterans Agency (SPVA).

The War Pensions Scheme, covering all injured service people up to 2005, and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme which, unlike its predecessor, accepts claims for injury, ill health or death arising from service as a regular or reservist.

War pensions committees were established by an Act of Parliament in 1921. These committees have recently been reconstituted with a wider brief now including the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

The committees are independent of the SPVA and members, all unpaid volunteers, are appointed by the Secretary of State.

Committee members are tasked to raise awareness of the schemes among the general public and ex-Forces community. New members are needed and, if any readers are interested, details of the VAPCs can be found on the SPVA website

Any ex-service people encountering difficulties relating to ill health or injury can call the SPVA helpline 0800 169 2277 or direct to the Veterans Welfare Service on 01562 825527.

R E Toland,

Eastern Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee.