GovWire

Detailed guide: Additional period?of Restored War Widows/War Widowers Pension

Ministry Of Defence

February 25
12:42 2021

Overview

Veterans UK is carrying out an administrative exercise looking at restored pensions that have been paid to War Widows/ Widowers. We are checking to see if the correct commencing date was used when the Restored Widows Pensions (RWP) was paid following the end of a subsequent relationship.

Not all RWPs will have been paid incorrectly. We are currently working through records and will contact potential beneficiaries who are known to us.

Applications can also be made but please read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying.

Background

When the restored pension legislation for widows/widowers came into effect in 1995, awards were paid from the date of application. A Court of Appeal decision in March 2019 found that payment of restored pension should be made from the end of the relationship that caused the pension to stop rather than the date of application.

The judgement only applies if:

  • The War Widow or Widower first received their pension because their spouse or civil partner had died whilst they were still serving in HM Forces and
  • Pension stopped due to a new relationship and
  • There was a delay in claiming the pension either when the legislation which allowed restoration was introduced or following the end of the later relationship.

A legislative amendment was made on 9 April 2018 to restore the original policy intent and to make it clear that a claim for restoration is required in all cases. RWP provision was originally provided under The Pensions Act 1995 (from 19 July 1995) and extended to those who had lived with a partner from 7 April 1997.

Administrative Exercise

Since April 2019 the department has been carrying out an administrative exercise looking at the records of widows and widowers who are still being paid an RWP, to see if there is any more money owed. Veterans UK have now started to pay these widows and expect to have this part of the exercise complete by the end of March 2021.Veterans UK will be making contact with people where, either we know additional amounts are owed or records have been noted with contact details of the person who might have been handling the estate.

As the period we need to look at goes back to 1995 not all records are complete, and we do not have names and contact details of people who might benefit from this change. Applications are being encouraged through a publicity campaign.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to claim for an additional period of RWP if:

  • You are the person responsible for the estate, the beneficiary of the estate or the next of kin of a person who received an RWP and
  • The original War Widows/Widowers Pension (WWP) was paid because the serviceperson died in service and
  • The WWP ceased because a new relationship was formed, and that relationship ended and
  • The RWP was not paid from 19 July 1995 where the later marriage had ended before that date or
  • The RWP was not paid from 7 April 1997 where the later living with a partner had ended before that date or
  • The RWP was not paid from the day after the later relationship ended if it was after the above dates.

There will not be any further payment due where the later relationship ended on or after 9 April 2018.

If the service person who the original widows pension was paid for, died after service had ended, regardless of cause, there are no reasons for us to look again at the original commencing date of the RWP.

Important information

Veterans UK will try to process applications as quickly as possible but please be aware that delays are expected due to the amount of years which are covered by this exercise and also current restrictions affecting normal working practice.

Further information and updates will be posted on this page.

How to claim

To apply for the additional period?of RWP, complete the application form:

The form comes with notes telling you how to fill it in.

If you cannot download or print the form, email the Veterans UK Helpline to ask for a copy.

Published 25 February 2021

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