1. Who is a War Widow?

Under the provisions of the War Disablement and War Widows Pensions Scheme, a person is accepted to be a War Widow if the death of their spouse or partner is a direct result of, is attributable to, or hastened, by their Service in the Armed Forces.

2. What is so special about War Widows?

It is the unique nature of service and family life in the Armed Forces that makes War Widows special. Armed Forces personnel must be prepared to respond to the calls of the government of the day, and where necessary, put their lives on the line. The Armed Forces exist to face the challenges and dangers to our security when politics and diplomacy fail.

3. What is the War Widows Pension Scheme, and what is it for?

The War Disablement and War Widows Pension Scheme is a compensation benefits scheme for those who have been injured or suffered an illness as a result of their Service in the Armed Forces, it is also for families of those who die as a result of their service in the Armed Forces. The scheme was succeeded by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme in 2005.

War Widows pensions are paid to surviving spouses and partners of those who die as a result of their service before 6 April 2005. The scheme pays compensation for loss, pain and suffering, and is not taxed. The Scheme is administered by the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency, an agency of the Ministry of Defence.

The War Disablement and War Widows Pension scheme is a compensation scheme, not an occupational pension scheme, and payments are abated with any survivor benefits due from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (the occupational pension scheme for members of the Armed Forces, please see the Forces Pension Society for further information).