Your guide if you are injured at work or become too ill to work

On this page:

  • Police Injury on Duty Award 
  • Ill Health Retirement

Police Injury on Duty Award

What is the Police Injury on Duty Award

As a Police Scotland officer (even if you aren’t a member of your Police pension scheme) you’re automatically covered for an injury on duty award from the day your employment begins.

This means you could receive financial compensation if you’re permanently disabled because of an injury received on duty and have to leave Police Scotland employment as a result.

This includes injuries suffered while making a journey that was necessary to report for duty or to return home. You can also apply in instances where you’re injured as a result of an off duty incident that wouldn’t have happened had you not been known to be a police officer.

The rules on Police Injury Awards are set out in the Police (Injury Benefit) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 and the Scottish Police Authority makes the final decision on all applications, based on the recommendation of the medical practitioner assigned to each case. Awards are administered, calculated and paid by the Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA).

Please note that injury awards can’t be paid if the injury was caused by your own negligence or misconduct.

How to apply

To apply you should contact People Direct, Police Scotland’s Human Resources team on 01786 897022 or email

Your application must include full details of the relevant incidents, including the date, location, details of the events and the injury sustained.

If you’ve retired on ill-health grounds, it’s recommended that you should submit your application within 14 days of your retirement date, or as soon as possible after that.

Note that as part of the process, you must claim all relevant Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits. These include, but are not restricted to, Employment and Support Allowance and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. Note Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are not regarded as relevant DWP benefits. The relevant DWP benefits will be deducted regardless of whether you claim them or not until entitlement can be established so it's in your interest to establish your entitlement to these benefits.

You should notify SPPA that you're applying for DWP benefits and confirm the outcome of your claim once you've been informed by DWP. Remember to quote your National Insurance number in any correspondence with SPPA.

Injury assessment

People Direct, Police Scotland’s Human Resources team, will gather all the relevant information in your case before the Scottish Police Authority appoints a qualified doctor, known as a Selected Medical Practitioner to assess your application. You’ll receive a letter from People Direct advising this has been done.

All cases are assessed by the Selected Medical Practitioner against criteria that are set by the regulations. They’ll determine:

  • whether you’re disabled
  • whether your disability is likely to be permanent
  • whether your disability is the result of an injury received in the execution of duty
  • the date on which you became disabled.

If the Selected Medical Practitioner determines that your disability is permanent, they’ll then assess the ‘degree of disablement’. This is expressed as a percentage, and put into one of four bands. These are:

Band 1 – 25% or less (slight disablement)

Band 2 – more than 25%- but not more than 50% (minor disablement)

Band 3 – more than 50%- but not more than 75% (major disablement)

Band 4 – more than 75% (very severe disablement)

The Selected Medical Practitioner may also suggest that the degree of disablement should be reviewed on a particular date.

What happens after a medical assessment?

If the Selected Medical Practitioner believes that an award should be made, People Direct will ask SPPA to calculate how much should be paid. You’ll then be informed of this decision in writing and you’ll have the opportunity to comment.

If the Selected Medical Practitioner does not believe an injury award is applicable, People Direct will send you a letter with a copy of the Selected Medical Practitioner’s report explaining why the decision was made. You’ll then have 28 days to lodge an appeal with People Direct. It’s also possible to appeal against reassessments using the same procedure.

Who makes the final decision?

The Scottish Police Authority Chief Executive makes the final decision. People Direct send them the Selected Medical Practitioner’s report, and any comments you have made. If the Board approves the award, People Direct will inform you.

When are successful applications paid?

An injury allowance is usually calculated from the date you retired. The first pension payment, including any lump sum and backdated arrears, will be made as soon as practicable after the injury award has been approved by the Scottish Police Authority. The injury allowance would then be paid monthly on the first banking day of each month.

What does an injury award entail?

If you qualify, you’ll receive an ongoing, tax free, monthly, injury allowance and a one-off, tax free lump sum payment.

Injury allowance

The purpose of the injury allowance is to make sure that you have a guaranteed minimum income in the future.

If your total income from 75% of your gross Police pension and relevant DWP benefits is less than your guaranteed minimum income, you’ll be paid an injury allowance to make up the difference.

If your police pension and relevant DWP benefits add up to more than your guaranteed minimum income, no injury allowance will be payable. (This may change in the future should DWP benefits cease or reduce).

The relevant DWP benefits will be deducted regardless of whether you claim them or not. SPPA carries out regular DWP benefit checks and you’ll be asked to complete an authorisation mandate each time this happens. Also note that the State Pension is not taken into account in the calculations.

Minimum income guarantee

The minimum income guarantee is a percentage of your pensionable pay. The percentage depends on:

  • your length of police service (including forces other than Police Scotland and any service transferred into your pension scheme, if applicable)
  • your level of permanent disability as a direct result of your injury, assessed by a Selected Medical Practitioner.

There are four bands of disability and the table below shows the minimum income guarantee that applies in each case, expressed as a percentage of the pensionable pay.



Minimum Income Guarantee expressed as a % of Average Pensionable Pay

(Based on Years of Service)

Degree of Disablement


Less than 5 years

5 or more but less than 15 years

15 or more but less than 25 years

25 Years or more service

25% or less115%30%45%60%
More than 25% but not more than 50%240%50%60%70%
More than 50% but not more than 75%365%70%75%80%
More than 75%485%85%85%85%

Lump sum

The lump sum calculation depends on your degree of disablement and it’s expressed as a percentage of your average pensionable pay as shown in the table below.






% of average pensionable pay



Calculating your annual injury allowance and one-off lump sum

The annual injury allowance is the minimum income guarantee minus 75% of your annual police pension, minus the value of any relevant DWP benefits. (Note that the pension figure here is the ‘gross’ pension figure before any pension is given up to create a tax-free lump sum.)

Example: Officer A has been assessed as Band 3 and has 24 years’ pensionable police service. They have a minimum income guarantee of 75% of their £38,000 annual salary which is £28,500 per year. Officer A receives a gross annual police pension of £15,000 per year and DWP benefits of £2,000 per year.

Annual injury allowance calculation

Minimum income guarantee: £28,500 per year

Deduction for pension: £11,250 per year (75% of £15,000)

Deduction for DWP benefits: £2,000 per year

Total deductions: £13,250 per year

Injury allowance total: £15,250 per year

Lump sum calculation

Having been assessed as Band 3 with a relevant pensionable pay of £38,000 per year Officer A would receive a lump sum of £14,250 (37.5% of £38,000).

What happens if something changes?

If you’re successful in being awarded injury benefits, it’s your responsibility to inform SPPA of:

  • any change in circumstances, such as name, address or phone number
  • any change in bank details (which must be supplied in writing)
  • any changes to relevant DWP benefits, such as start or stop dates, or variations in rates
  • any substantial change in your disability that may require your condition to be reassessed.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and if you don’t inform SPPA of any relevant changes, any overpayment of pension will be reclaimed and the pension may be suspended.

Injury allowance reviews

The Scottish Police Authority can review injury awards at suitable intervals at their discretion. If they find any significant changes, for example that the injury is substantially better or worse than at the previous assessment, then the injury allowance may be adjusted accordingly.

If that happens, People Direct will contact you about a reassessment of your injury award and your case would be referred to a Selected Medical Practitioner for consideration.

Similarly, if you consider that your injury has improved or deteriorated, you can apply to the Scottish Police Authority for a reassessment by contacting People Direct and submitting up-to-date medical evidence to support your claim.

Lump sum payments are not affected by injury allowance reviews but any overpayment of Injury Allowance will be recovered.

What happens to the injury allowance when you die?

The injury allowance ceases when you die but if your death was caused or hastened by the injury, certain adult survivors and dependent relatives may be able to claim a Special Award.

Further information

For more information on the application process, contact People Direct on 01786 897022 or email

The full conditions regarding Injury Awards are contained in The Police (Injury Benefit) (Scotland) Regulations 2007. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the following guidance is accurate, it does not replace or supersede the regulations.

Ill Health Retirement

Ill Health Retirement

In some circumstances you may be able to retire early due to ill health. If agreed, the benefits you receive will depend on the nature of your illness or disability.

It’s important to note that even if you are assessed as being permanently disabled and unable to carry out your ordinary duties as a police officer it does not automatically mean that you will be retired on ill-health grounds.

Police Scotland will consider your specific disabilities and overall capabilities to see whether there are alternative duties which you could undertake whilst remaining as a police officer.

Police Scotland also has discretion to review the payment of ill health awards from time to time.

If you do qualify, there are two levels of ill-health pension depending on the severity of your illness:

  1. A standard ill health pension. This becomes payable if you’re permanently unable to carry out your duties as police officer, but you could take on other work outside the police force. If you qualify, you will receive a pension benefits based on the benefits you have earned so far.
  2. An enhanced top-up ill health pension, payable in addition to a standard ill health pension. This additional payment is made if you are unable to carry out any regular employment at all (of at least 30 hours a week). If you qualify, the top-up has the effect increasing your pension by up to half of the additional pension you might have built up had you been able to continue working.

Officers with short service

If you need to retire on the grounds of ill health but have been in the scheme for less than two years, you will receive a lump sum payment which will be at least the value of your total contributions into the scheme. This payment is taxable.

How to apply

To apply for Ill Health retirement, you should request a form from your HR department.

Payment of a pension on the grounds of ill health can only be made following an assessment by Police Scotland’s independent medical adviser. If you leave Police Scotland because of ill health it doesn’t automatically mean that you qualify for pension payments.


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