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Sunday, July 21, 2024

A Brief Guide to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Being discharged from the military after injury or illness is likely to be a stressful and difficult process.

Ex-service personnel of all kinds have to contend with adjusting to life after the forces. This is never an easy process with such a dramatic change to your lifestyle and sense of identity. However, those that have been permanently impacted, both mentally and physically, by their service have much more to face.

The Ministry of Defence created the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme which was created to support veterans and ex-service personnel suffering from injury and illness.

In this guide, we discuss the basics of the scheme and how it might be useful to you or a loved one in need of support.

What is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a scheme run by the Ministry of Defence and Veterans UK to provide compensation for injury, illness or death that has occurred after 6th April 2005.

It’s a completely standalone scheme that doesn’t take into account any life or accident cover you may have had whilst on service. Claimants don’t need paid legal representation to make a claim but they can choose to have some if they wish.

What sort of compensation can I receive?

All compensation is monetary but the amounts and types of payments can depend on your circumstances.

The two main types of compensation are a tax-free lump sum payment and a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) which pays you every month for the rest of your life.

The value of payments depends on the amounts set by the government and the nature and severity of your injuries or illness.

Who can claim?

Anyone who is still serving in the armed forces or has subsequently left can make a claim if they feel they’re entitled to compensation. This includes all regular members of the armed forces and members of the reserves in any of the three services.

The scheme was created to provide fair compensation to people impacted by their service, regardless of blame or who’s responsible. You must ensure you claim within 7 years to be considered for compensation.

Can I still make a legal claim?

The AFCS doesn’t impede your right to bring a civil case against the Ministry of Defence if you believe that negligence caused or worsened your condition. As such, you can still reach out to military solicitors if you want to know more about how you can take legal action.

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