The Secretary of State for Defence (Bob Ainsworth MP) has announced an increase in compensation available to injured service personnel through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
The findings of the review panel chaired by Admiral Lord Boyce, a former Chief of the Defence Staff, have been accepted in full.
Summary of changes;
- Increasing the tax-free, index-linked Guaranteed Income Payment (which is paid for life) to reflect the lasting effect of more serious injuries, likely promotions, and extended retirement ages
- The top level of award, already doubled in 2008, will remain at £570,000, but all other award levels will be increased
- Those with the most serious multiple injuries will continue to receive full tariff value for each injury, up to the maximum £570,000. The rules below that will change so that all injuries in a single incident will receive some compensation (rather than the first three injuries as now)
- The maximum award for mental illness will be increased
- A new fast interim payment will be introduced so those injured can receive some compensation before the entire claims process is complete
- A new expert medical body will be created to advise on compensation for particular injuries and illnesses, such as hearing loss, mental health and genital injury
- The burden of proof will remain largely as it is, but improvements will be made in cases of illness and where records have not been properly maintained
- The time limits by which claims must be made will be increased
- Improvements to the way in which the scheme is communicated to Service personnel and their families, focusing on how the scheme works, what payments they might be entitled to, and the calculations behind them.
Full details are here
Bob Ainsworth also announced a 30-bed increase to capacity at DMRC Headley Court, it’s not like the place it full to the brim or anything.
This is undoubtedly good news and the Government and Secretary of State should be congratulated but one can’t help feeling 3 things
1. About bloody time, we have only been engaged in high intensity combat in the Middle East for little under a decade.
2. What about personnel awarded derisory compensation under the old War Pensions Scheme, prior to 2005
3. What bad news is on it’s way
UPDATE: What bad news is on its way, that would be the Army Recovery Capability then