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Factors which can affect the SMP's reassessment

Regulation 37 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 provides that an injury award is only revised if there has been a substantial alteration to the pensioner's disability.  In this, "substantial" has been determined by case law to mean that there must be such a significant alteration to the pensioner's medical condition or overall earning capability that will affect the percentage in that it warrants a move from one band to another.  This can be up or down.

Factors which may affect such a change are:

A substantial deterioration or improvement in the pensioner's overall medical condition 

This can be either the actual qualifying injury giving rise to the award itself or any other medical condition that impacts on the pensioner's overall work capability.  In this respect, if there is no substantial change to the qualifying injury, but a substantial change to the pensioner's overall medical condition, which of itself has a greater impact on earning's capability, this can be taken into account by way of apportionment.  The SMP can take account only of the causes relating to the qualifying injury.  The SMP    cannot introduce into the reassessment any new medical conditions caused by injuries sustained on duty which were not part of the original assessment for an injury award.

A substantial change to the overall earning capability of the pensioner

Notwithstanding there is no identified change to the pensioner's actual medical condition, it is possible for the matter to be assessed with regards to recognised changes in the employment field that may substantially affect their overall earning capacity.  To this end it would be possible to recognise that there are either work, education or training prospects available that were not so previously, or that work possibilities taken into account previously no longer exist.  Either scenario could give rise to a determination that a substantial downgrading or upgrading of the award is possible.  


The fact that an injury pensioner has now reached State Pension Age no longer means that their award will be reduced automatically to Band 1 (the lowest banding).  The same criteria must be applied as outlined above in all cases.