Veteran Walter Jones backs Royal British Legion’s Insult to Injury campaign as it calls for protection of military compensation

Veteran Walter Jones

Veteran Walter Jones - Credit: Archant

An 81-year-old former soldier is backing a Royal British Legion campaign calling for the Government to give added protection to veterans’ military compensation.

The issue surrounds social care payments for injured former servicemen who are treated differently depending on when they received their injuries.

Any Armed Forces personnel injured before April 5, 2005 have social care payments taken from their military compensation, which they receive via the War Pension scheme.

But those who suffered injuries from April 6, 2005, who are on the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, do not make any payments towards their social care costs.

The RBL has now launched a campaign, called Insult to Injury, urging the Government to correct the irregularity.

Walter Jones, who lives in Halesworth, is one of the more than 100,000 war pensioners that would stand to be around £74 a week better off in the scheme is successful.

Mr Jones, who served as an Army driver in Germany in the early 1950s, gets a war pension of £140 a month after an army medic accidentally pierced his left eardrum when treating him for an ear infection.

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He was invalided out of the Army after four years and 10 months of service.

Now Mr Jones suffers from poor hearing and is concerned the current scheme may disadvantage him in the future.

“Although I don’t receive any social care at the moment, there’s every chance I may need it in the future,” he said.

“Unless the system changes, I’m concerned that I will lose a lot of my pension, which I think isn’t fair.

“People who receive compensation via the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme don’t pay for their social care – and rightly so – but why should we pay just because we were injured before April 2005?

“It doesn’t make sense. I don’t think that any veterans should pay for social care, so I hope the campaign gets the go-ahead in government.”

Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, said: “Not only is it unfair that War Pensioners are treated less favourably than a veteran injured at a later date, but it’s also unfair that War Pensioners’ compensation is seen as normal income in means tests for social care.”