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If death occurs whilst serving in HM Armed Forces

(This section describes the procedure for considering claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Deaths resulting from Service prior to 6th April 2005 will be considered under the War Pensions Scheme)

Stage 1.

All Deaths that occur whilst a person is serving in HM Armed Forces are notified to Service Personnel and Veterans Agency normally within 24 hours of death.
Upon receipt of notification, we establish if there is a surviving adult dependant; this could be a widow, widower, civil partner or a partner of the opposite sex if they were in a substantial relationship at the time of death. We also establish if there are any eligible children.

Stage 2.
If it is established there is a surviving adult dependant and/or eligible child, we arrange for a Veterans Welfare Manager to visit to assist in the completion of a pension claim form. The Welfare Manager will also offer advice regarding other benefits that may be available to claim.
Evidence is obtained to establish if Service was the predominant cause of death.
The type of evidence varies depending on the cause of death, for example:

  • if death is due to natural causes we would normally obtain the Service Medical Documents and any hospital records; or
  • if death is due to an accident we need to obtain details from the Commanding Officer and any board of enquiry reports.

Stage 3.
Once all the evidence is obtained clerical staff consider the case.
If an award of Survivors Guaranteed Payment (SGIP) and/or Childs Guaranteed Income Payment (CGIP) is appropriate, we obtain details of the deceased’s salary at the time of death and pension payments due to the widow, widower or partner.
Stage 4.
The amount we pay is calculated by multiplying the salary by a factor based on age at the time of death. 60% of that figure will be paid for the surviving adult dependant. The SGIP is reduced by any benefit paid under the Armed and Reserve Forces Pension Schemes by 75%. Please note any money due is taxable.
In addition to the SGIP, a surviving adult dependant may also get a tax-free bereavement grant.

For regular service personnel, if death occurs in service the following provisions apply.This reflects the different levels of death in service benefits paid under the two pension schemes:

a. If the deceased was a member of AFPS 75, then the dependant will receive the
full grant of £25,000.

b. If death occurs in service and the deceased was a member of AFPS 05 and the
annual salary at death was less than £25,000, the dependant would receive the
balance between that salary and £25,000. If salary at death is more than £25,000,
no bereavement grant is payable.

For members of the reserve forces, where death occurs in service, the amount of bereavement grant payable will be dependant on the type of service engagement and pension arrangements at the time of death.

If death occurs after service has ended, a bereavement grant of £37,500 is payable regardless of which armed forces pension scheme the deceased was a member of.  This applies to both regular and reserve forces.

All decisions are notified in writing.
If you wish to make an enquiry about these procedures, timescales involved or any other related matter, please contact us.



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