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War Pensions

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of cases considered by the war pension appeal tribunals resulted in (a) the rejection of an application by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency for an appeal and (b) a settlement in favour of the claimant for each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (258188)

The proportion of cases under the War Pension Scheme (WPS) considered by the Pension Appeal Tribunal/First-tier Tribunal (PAT/FTT) over the last five years which has resulted in a rejected application is 64.4 per cent. and (b) a settlement in favour of the claimant is 34.9 per cent. Table 1 gives a detailed breakdown of rejected and successful appeals by calendar year.

Table 1: Percentages of rejected and successful appeals by calendar year1

Percentage of:

rejected appeals

successful appeals

2004

66.0

33.1

2005

64.6

34.4

2006

61.5

38.0

2007

64.9

34.5

20082

65.0

34.7

Total3

64.4

34.9

1 Percentages of appeals that resulted in a rejected or successful application do not add to 100 per cent. as each year there were a small number of cases where the assessment was reduced by the PAT/FTT. These cases are considered to have been overturned but are not rejected or successful.

2 January to September

3 2004 to September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of decisions on claims made under the (a) war pension and (b) armed forces compensation scheme by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency were overturned (i) at a tribunal and (ii) by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency following a request from the claimant for a review of the decision in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (258189)

Over the past five years—1 January 2004 to 30 September 2008—there have been 86,220 claims with an outcome under the War Pension Scheme (WPS). During the same period there have been 3,925 decisions overturned at a Pension Appeal Tribunal/First-Tier Tribunal (PAT/FTT). However it is not possible to directly associate claims with subsequent appeals on the War Pension Computer System. Therefore, it is not possible to calculate (i) the proportion of decisions on claims made in any one year that are overturned at Tribunal.

Table 1 presents a breakdown of claims with an outcome between 1 January 2004 and 30 September 2008, by calendar year.

Table 1: Number of claims with an outcome under the WPS between 1 January 2004 and 30 September 2008, by calendar year1

Outcomes

2004

21,855

2005

19,365

2006

18,130

2007

15,295

20082

11,575

Total

86,220

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest five. Totals may not add due to rounding

2 January to September

Table 2 presents a breakdown of overturned appeals between 1 January 2004 and 30 September, by calendar year.

Table 2: Number of overturned appeals under the WPS between 1 January and 30 September 2008, by calendar year1

Overturned appeals2

2004

900

2005

815

2006

850

2007

765

20083

590

Total

3,925

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest five. Totals may not add due to rounding.

2 This includes successful entitlement and allowance appeals, which can be made following first and second claims, and also assessment appeals, where the award can be increased or reduced.

3 January to September

Claimants under the WPS have no statutory right to request a review. Therefore it is not possible to provide information on (ii) the proportion of decisions on claims overturned by the Service Personnel and Veterans' Agency (SPVA) following a request for a review from the claimant. However, any decision may be reviewed at any time on any grounds. If a claimant is dissatisfied with their outcome, they may lodge an appeal either with or without having previously requested a review. Information on reviews is not held centrally.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) was introduced on 6 April 2005 and unlike the WPS includes the right to ask for formal review (known as a reconsideration) of decisions. Between 1 November 2005 and 30 September 2008, there have been 6,000 claims with an outcome under the AFCS.

Any claims with a decision made between 6 April 2005 and 31 October 2005 were recorded on an interim system prior to the introduction of the Compensation and Pension System (CAPS). Data held on the interim system are not compatible with CAPS and therefore it is not possible to analyse this data.

35 decisions on claims under the AFCS have been overturned at Tribunal and 95 decisions on claims under the AFCS have been overturned following a request from the claimant for a reconsideration of the decision.

Table 3 presents a breakdown of claims with an outcome between 1 November 2005 and 30 September 2008, by calendar year.

Table 3: Number of claims with an outcome under the AFCS between 1 November 2005 and 30 September 2008, by calendar year1

Outcomes

20052

5

2006

1,085

2007

1,890

20083

3,020

Total

6,000

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest five for data protection purposes. Totals may not add due to rounding.

2 November to December

3 January to September

Table 4 presents a breakdown of appeal and reconsideration decisions overturned at Tribunal between 1 November 2005 and 30 September 2008, by calendar year.

Table 4: Number of overturned appeals and reconsiderations under the AFCS between 1 November 2005 and 30 September 2008, by calendar year1,2

Overturned appeals3

Overturned reconsiderations

20054

-

2006

*

10

2007

15

25

20085

15

60

Total

35

95

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest five for data protection purposes,'*' indicates fewer than five but greater than zero,'—' indicates zero. Totals may not add due to rounding.

2 Claims with an outcome during one calendar year may have had an overturned appeal/reconsideration in a later year. Therefore the number of overturned appeals/reconsiderations in a specific year cannot be directly compared with the outcomes in that year.

3 Of the 35 appeals overturned at Tribunal, fewer than five were subsequently overturned again by the Pension Appeal Commissioner/Upper Tribunal (PAC/UT).

4 November to December

5 January to September