UK - The Veterans' Agency has been warned it could face a judicial review if it attempts to amend disability pension payments to a serviceman.
The High Court has ruled that William Reid – who served in the armed forces between 1942 and 1955 – was due a backdated ill-health pension to 1962 for worsening shrapnel wounds sustained in the Second World War.
Law firm Linder Myers – which represented Reid – insists the backdated pension, on the basis of 50% disability, is final.
But the Veterans’ Agency says it is considering its own appropriate level of assessment.
Linder Myers partner Mark McGhee warned that if this assessment was anything less than the 50% agreed by the High Court, the firm would take the matter back to court or seek a judicial review.
McGhee believes the Veterans’ Agency is carrying out its assessment because it is concerned the ruling sets a precedent for claims by other ex-servicemen who, like Reid, were not told they were eligible for a war disablement pension.
The Veterans’ Agency insists other cases “are not affected by this judgement” and that it is not expecting a flood of claims.
But it added: “If somebody else does come in we are going to have to look at each case individually. This means that each claimant will have to establish ignorance on the basis that reasonable steps were not taken by the secretary of state in their particular case.”
McGhee, though, is adamant the case does set a precedent and says he is currently representing another serviceman in a case against the secretary of state for defence.
He said: “This is an important decision. These veterans rightly deserve their pensions and deserve them to be awarded at the appropriate level. “The decision is fair and just – not only for Mr Reid but for other British veterans around the world.”
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