Help for Heroes is calling upon the Department for Work and Pensions and local authorities to disregard War Pensions (WP) and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) as income from benefits and pensions.

Military compensation payments are made to veterans in recognition of the pain and disablement that their service injury or illness has caused them. As such, it is distinct from other forms of income replacement or disablement benefits.

In 2022, there were only 150,000 veterans and their families who received military compensation to support the ongoing costs of an illness or injury acquired in Service. Of these, only a small proportion will also claim various forms of welfare benefits.

Why does this need to change?

However, for many types of benefits and pension credit, WP and AFCS payments are classified as income, rather than compensation. This leaves many veterans and their families disadvantaged. We are asking for a unified approach to calculating support across all forms of benefits and for Armed Forces Compensation to be disregarded as income. Families should not have to receive less, or forgo completely, the welfare support they are otherwise entitled to.

The Government has recognised that this is unfair and has already fully disregarded WP and AFCS from Universal Credit – this needs to be extended to all other forms of welfare and pension benefits.

Furthermore, only an estimated 10,000 local benefit awards per year involve military compensation, so there are very few applications per any individual local authority. However, 80 per cent of British councils treat some or all of this as income. We support new legislation that would mandate that local authorities must disregard WP and AFCS from the means tests for locally administered benefits.

In addition to the moral argument presented by the Armed Forces Covenant in favour of this policy, simplifying this overly complicated means test would vastly reduce the operational time and resources spent by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and local authorities administering these benefits, as it already has in the case of Universal Credit.

What we’re doing

  • We are working closely with the Royal British Legion and local authorities across the country to implement disregards within each local authority for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Discretionary Housing Payments, and Disabled Facilities Grants.
  • In January 2024, we published a joint article with the Royal British Legion calling upon local councillors to join this campaign in First Magazine, the Local Government’s Association’s trade publication.
  • In 2023, we included this ask as one of our top priorities for veterans at the next General Election.
  • We have also met with MPs and officials from numerous political parties in support of this policy.

Get involved in this campaign

All you need to do is select the button below and enter your contact details and postcode into the box. This will show you who your MP is and bring up a template letter for you to send. We’ve provided text to use in the template letter, but please, if you have time, do edit to make it more personal. MPs are more likely to take notice of personalised emails and queries.

Write to your MP

If you want more information on this campaign, please contact our Senior Public Affairs and Policy Manager Ted Arnold at