As part of an ongoing effort to modernise and improve services for customers, the Ministry of Defence has introduced an updated process for actioning War Pension and Armed Forces Scheme complaints, to simplify the process and reduce the time taken to receive a final response.
The streamlined process will see a reduction in the overall stages from five to three following the removal of the Independent Complaints Panel, reducing the internal target time for resolution from 60 to 40 days. It has been developed in consultation with, and endorsed by, the Chairs of the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees (VAPCs) and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
As of 1 September 2023, the process is as follows:
- Complaints should now be submitted via formal complaints form. A new online form is now available on Gov.uk with support still available via Helpline (0808 1914 218). This online submission method enables complainants to provide all information at the outset, which will enable the MOD to provide a comprehensive and full response as quickly as possible.
- A paper copy for is available via Helpline for non-digital customers.
- Following initial submission, the complainant will receive a response from the Head of the Complaint Resolution Team within 20 working days. If the complaint is not resolved at this first stage, it will be escalated to the Head of Service (or 1* level).
- At each of these two stages, the complainant will be offered a phone call within three working days to ensure all concerns are fully understood, and to help work towards earliest possible resolution.
- If the complaint remains unresolved, it will be escalated to the independent PHSO.
The new process will shorten the time it takes for a complaint to reach the independent Ombudsman where necessary, and MOD will continue to monitor this updated process as part of ongoing continuous improvement efforts.
For further guidance, please visit the complaints procedure page.