Posted: Thu 13th Jul 2023

Welsh Government pressed for statement on military compensation means testing

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 13th, 2023

North Wales Member of the Senedd (MS), Mark Isherwood, has sparked a pivotal conversation on the means testing of military compensation for the Armed Forces Community.

Speaking in a meeting of the Welsh Parliament, Mr Isherwood stressed that the current system unfairly deprives veterans and their families of thousands of pounds each year.

The issue was raised during Tuesday’s parliamentary meeting, where Mr Isherwood underscored the ‘Credit their Service’ campaign recently launched by the Royal British Legion.

This initiative urges an end to the treatment of military compensation as income during welfare benefit means tests.

Mr Isherwood said, “A hundred and fifty thousand members of the Armed Forces Community receive military compensation awarded to support the ongoing costs of an illness or injury acquired in Service.

Means testing results in some of the poorest members of the Armed Forces Community being denied thousands of pounds of support.”

The North Wales MS also pointed out that civil compensation, such as that for personal injury or medical negligence, is exempt from such means tests. He emphasised the 2011 Armed Forces Covenant, pledging that Armed Forces Community members should face no disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services.

Mr Isherwood has urged Welsh Local Authorities to use existing discretionary powers to ensure military compensation is never treated as income during means tests for locally administered benefits.

His call extends to the Welsh Government to collaborate with the UK Government to amend benefit regulations and ensure no Armed Forces Community member in Wales sees their compensation treated as income by any means-tested benefits.

The Minister responded, saying: “The Deputy Minister for Social Partnership is very aware of the Royal British Legion Credit their Service campaign, and I know her officials have met with the charity, and are continuing to work closely with the armed forces expert group, the armed forces liaison officers, and all our partners across Wales to uphold the principle of the Armed Forces Covenant.”

“This is a UK-wide issue, but there are obvious implications for areas where Welsh Government leads, and the campaign really cuts across several policy areas, and we will need to assess the issues raised.”

 

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