Introduced in 2005, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), is a no fault compensation scheme for injuries or illness caused by Service in the Armed Forces. Both the War Pensions Scheme (WPS) and benefits paid under the Armed Forces Pensions Scheme 1975 (AFPS 75), are replaced by the AFCS. Despite this, the WPS continues to be available for veterans who suffered an injury, illness or death on or before 5 April 2005.
The changes introduced by the AFCS include:
• In the first six months of Service the AFCS will not pay compensation for injuries disclosed – even though personnel have been deemed medically fit when recruited
• The AFCS allows for interim awards. This means payments can be made while someone’s condition is unstable
• Armed Forces personnel now have the ability to claim while still in service – under the WPS claims cannot be made until personnel have been discharged
Military injury compensation claims – time limit
The AFCS includes a five year time limit, whilst the WPS has no time limit for initial claims from the date the injury occurred, or the date that medical treatment for an illness was first sought. The only exception is where a claimant is too ill to make a claim or the onset of a condition is recognised late. There is also a 10-year time limit for claims for worsening conditions; again this does not apply to the WPS. There is a one year time limit for claims in the case of death, although, where there is a possible beneficiary, these are automatically referred to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), an agency of the Ministry of Defence.
A lump sum for up to only three injuries will be paid by the AFCS, where there are multiple injuries from a single incident. A reduction in the tariff percentage will occur for second and third injuries. In this instance: the first injury will receive 100% of the lump-sum tariff; the second 30% of the lump-sum tariff will be paid; and for the third 15%.
Standard of proof
Under the AFCS, claimants must prove on the balance of probabilities that any injury, illness or death was caused predominantly due by the injured parties service in the Armed Forces. Claimants are required to provide “reasonable, reliable evidence”. Gaps in medical knowledge can often cause problems in presenting such evidence on cause(s) of said illnesses. An incomplete medical record of such personnel can also become problematic as well as the fact that their employer whom the claim is being made against, holds their medical records on their behalf.
Our team are specialists in military injury claims
If you are currently serving in the UK Armed Forces, or have recently retired from the military, and you want to know how to claim injury compensation for a military accident – email our specialist compensation solicitors, or ring us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 today. Initial advice and your first appointment are both free – and we regularly run military personal injury claims on no win no fee agreements.
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