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MoD TO COMPENSATE INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL

MoD TO COMPENSATE INJURED MILITARY PERSONNEL

11 Oct 07. MoD announces proposals to increase compensation for the most severely injured military personnel

This announcement has particular significance to the Editor whose father lost both hands and an eye fighting for the Welsh Guards in North Africa. To keep his compensation and disability pension, my father had to go to the doctor once a year to prove his hands had not grown back! Thus, nothing changes!

The MoD has completed its review of the Armed Forces Compensation
Scheme’s multiple injury rules.

The Secretary of State for Defence, Des Browne, said: “Our Armed Forces are unique in making a vital contribution to the security of our nation and we have a responsibility to continue to look after them properly when they get injured. This review will benefit those with the most serious multiple injuries – and they will be compensated for all their injuries up to the full £285,000 lump sum payment.”

Additional benefits will be paid to the most seriously injured whose multiple
injury claims have been paid since the start of the scheme in April 2005. This will bring their lump sum awards to the same level as those who will benefit from the proposed changes in future.

Under the new proposals, the lump sum compensation payment for the most seriously injured will be based on the full rate for all their injuries in a single incident, up to the highest lump sum of £285,000. In addition, they will continue to receive the 100% tax-free index-linked Guaranteed Income Payment for life.

The proposed changes follow the completion of a review into the multiple injury rules of the scheme commissioned by the Under Secretary of State for Defence, Derek Twigg, and have the full support of the Service Chiefs of Staff. The Government continues to look at ways in which we can further assist and support our injured personnel.

Currently the most seriously injured receive lump sum compensation payments for only the three worst injuries. Lump sum compensation is paid at 100% for the first injury with the second and third injuries being discounted to 30% and 15% respectively. In addition, the most seriously injured receive a tax-free index-linked 100% Guaranteed Income Payment to compensate for loss of earnings. This can amount to hundreds of thousand pounds over a lifetime.

The changes that are proposed are now subject to a period of consultation, principally with the Central Advisory Committee on War

Pensions (CAC). The CAC includes representatives from ex-service organisations including the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress. This process will take around four weeks. Payments will be processed as quickly as possible after this consultation has concluded and the legislation has been amended, ideally before the end of the year.

Unlike other compensation schemes, awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) are not capped. Immediate lump sums for injury are payable while still in-service up to £285,000, but there is no limit to the total money paid. The tax-free index-linked Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) has the potential to amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds over an individual’s lifetime.

The increased payments will only be paid to those who are assessed as the most severely injured i.e. those with multiple serious injuries who qualify for the full (100%) Guaranteed Income Payment.

The lump sum component of the AFCS award is to recognise pain and suffering and the loss of amenity. The Guaranteed Income Payment is to recognise loss of earnings capacity and loss of pensions. These are not designed to cover on-going medical care which is provided by the NHS. AFCS recipients are also eligible to claim for disability benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The standard of proof used in the AFCS is based on the balance of probabilities. This is the accepted approach in other Schemes, such as the Criminal Injuries Compensation S

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