Duncan Lewis

Training a new generation of Lawyers

authorised by The Law Society to recruit

68 Trainee Solicitors

Disability benefit cuts not to effect seriously wounded war veterans says ministers

Date: (15 February 2013)    |    

Total Comments: (0)    |    Add Comments

War veterans who have been seriously wounded are being exempted from disability benefit cuts and would be given their own special allowance government has announced.
The government said that they would be guaranteed benefits worth £7,000 a year for life.
The new Armed Forces Independence Payment is part of the Coalition’s attempt to honour the Military Covenant, the contract between the nation and the Services, ministers said.
The payment would prevent changes in disability support which could have affected the veterans and has been worked out jointly by the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) comes in two parts one is the mainstay payment of up to £77.45 a week and a “mobility component” of up to £54.05. The DLA is being replaced as Ministers have said that lax checks have allowed many undeserving people to claim the benefit, and promised to overhaul it.
There were 1.1million people claiming DLA in 1992 but by the end of last year it shot up to 3.2 million.
Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has said he will replace the DLA with a benefit called Personal Independence Payment, which will have tighter criteria and a simpler approval system.
A DWP “impact assessment” of the plans, released last year, disclosed that the change will cut benefit payments by £2.24?billion annually and lead to about 500,000 fewer claimants.
Among those who would have been affected were former service personnel who lost limbs or suffered other major injuries in the line of duty.
Following a warning by the Royal British Legion that the cuts could mean many veterans were going to lose vital support the MoD said that the new payment would ensure that the veterans got help with the additional costs associated with their injuries.
Once sanctioned the payments would last for life, ensuring that veterans need not have to go through the duplication of reassessments and continue to receive disability benefits.
Esther McVey, the work and pensions minister said the courage and sacrifice made by a number of members of the Armed Forces who have been injured as a result of their service to the nation would be honoured.
She added that the simplification and streamlining of the welfare support was being done for the benefit of most severely injured veterans when they return to the UK. It was recognition of the unique support needs of veterans.
The new benefit will be payable to veterans who have received major awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which gives money to the most seriously wounded.