What is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
This is a specialist scheme designed to compensate servicemen and women, or their families, for any injury, illness or death sustained while in service. The injury, illness or death being claimed for has to have occurred on or after 6 April 2005 and can be anything from a broken leg to an amputation or worse. The severity of the injury or illness dictates the amount of compensation awarded and any money that is awarded is completely separate from the money awarded in a civil claim. In other words, a claimant could greatly increase their total pay-out by claiming through the scheme and through a civil suit.
What can be claimed for?
Any injury or illness that is incurred while in military service can be claimed for – even if it’s something like a broken ankle sustained during Adventurous Training or a broken finger from an organised inter-service athletics meet. More severe injuries will of course be more likely to warrant a pay-out but any injury or illness is worth claiming for. The death of a serviceman or woman can also be claimed for by the family of the deceased through the scheme.
How much compensation is awarded?
Military accident claims made through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme provide one of two types of compensation pay-out.
- Lump sum payments – this type of payment is made to compensate for the pain and suffering caused by an injury, illness or death while in military service. The amount of compensation awarded is proportional to the amount of pain/suffering endured and ranges from £1200 up to a maximum of £570,000. If more than one injury is sustained during an accident then each individual injury is compensated for, meaning it is worth claiming for every single injury regardless of how insignificant.
- Guaranteed Income Payments – military accident claims that involve long term injury or illness can be awarded guaranteed income payments. This type of compensation is tax free and is paid every month from the time of discharge from the military until death. The amount awarded depends on a number of factors including how the injury or illness is predicted to affect job prospects in the future.
The easiest way to make a claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is with the help of a specialist military accident claims solicitor. Remember, you only have 7 years from your accident to make a claim so the sooner you get the ball rolling the better. Families of those who die while in service only have 3 years to make a claim, making it vital to start a claim as soon as possible.