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War Widows Ex-gratia Payment Scheme

Volume 732: debated on Wednesday 17 May 2023

The armed forces covenant is a unique commitment by the nation in recognition of the sacrifices that members of our armed forces and their families make for our security. A key principle of the covenant is that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most, such as the injured and the bereaved. Under old rules in several armed forces schemes, a cohort of bereaved armed forces spouses, civil partners and eligible partners, whose bereavement was attributable to service, forfeited their pensions if they remarried or cohabited before the rules were changed in 2015. It is not possible to restore those pensions, but the MOD and HM Treasury are deeply conscious of the sacrifice these bereaved individuals have made. The Government are therefore pleased to announce today that it is establishing a scheme to make one-off payments to members of this group, in recognition of their sacrifice.

The Government will pay £87,500 to each eligible widow/er. The scheme is scheduled to be ready to receive applications from winter 2023.

We hope that this payment will offer some acknowledgement and gratitude to those who were affected and encourage all those eligible to apply.