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Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Find out more about the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

1. What is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme provides financial help if you have an illness or injury caused by service in the Armed Forces on or after 6 April 2005.

It can also help if you are the spouse or civil partner of a service person whose death was caused by service. In the case of unmarried partners, a substantial relationship must be demonstrated.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme consists of weekly payments and lump sum payments.

The weekly payment for serving personnel or veterans is known as a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) or there is a Survivor's Guaranteed Income Payment (SGIP) for surviving spouses or civil partners.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age Rules: You must be of the legal age to join the Armed Forces

Type: Non means tested

Taxable: No - for those who have served

Administered by: Veterans UK

2. Can I apply to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?

Serving Personnel or Veterans

You might be able to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme if you have an illness or injury caused by service in the Armed Forces on or after 6 April 2005.

You do not have to have fought in a war or seen active service to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, as long as you are injured or disabled because of serving in the Armed Forces.

If the period of service which caused your illness or disability was before 6 April 2005, you might get help from the War Pension scheme instead.

Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP)

A GIP is payable for life to those who could be expected to experience a significant loss of earnings in the future as a result of injury or illness caused by service.

This may be payable to someone who was injured but returned to service or to someone who leaves the UK Armed Forces after injury or illness caused by service.

Bereaved partners of serving Armed Forces Personnel

You might be able to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, if your spouse or civil partner was a service person and their death was caused by service. In the case of unmarried partners, a substantial relationship must be demonstrated.

If the death happened prior to 6 April 2005, you might qualify for a War Widow's/Widower's Pension instead.

3. How much can I get from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?

Serving Personnel and Veterans

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is based on a tariff system.

The weekly Guaranteed Income Payment you get will depend on how severely you have been hurt or disabled and your age.

A lump sum is payable, also based on the tariff system. It can take an expected level of deterioration of health into account.

If you get a GIP of 50% or more, you may also be entitled to an Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).

Payments might affect other means-tested benefits.

Bereaved partner of serving Armed Forces Personnel

The weekly Survivor's Guaranteed Income Payments (SGIP) are based on your spouse or civil partner's earnings.

How will I be paid an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payment?

If you are still serving when your decision is made, payment will be made into the account(s) held on the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system. If your salary is paid into more than one account, you need to check them all.

If you are no longer serving when you make the claim or receive your decision, any payment will be made into your nominated bank account.

If you have been notified that you are also entitled to a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP), this will be payable from the day after your service has ended if your claim was made whilst you were still serving. If your service had already ended when you made your claim, it will be paid from the date your claim was made.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and other benefits

Payments from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme might affect other means-tested benefits.

Benefit cap and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

If you or your partner receive an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payment, you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap.

4. How do I apply to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?

Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans

You should contact Veterans UK to get a claim form. They will also help you fill it in. You should claim no later than seven years after the injury or illness, unless you’re claiming for an illness that started later (sometimes known as a ‘late onset illness’).

You can call their helpline on:

  • 0808 1914 218 (uk) or

  • +44 1253 866 043 (overseas)

You can download a claim form from the Veterans UK website

Bereaved partner of serving Armed Forces Personnel

You should contact Veterans UK to get a claim form. A war pensions welfare officer will visit you to help you claim SGIP and anything else you may be entitled to.

You can call their helpline on:

  • 0808 1914 218 (uk) or

  • +44 1253 866 043 (overseas)

You can also get a form from your nearest War Pensioners' Welfare Service Office. You'll find them in the local phone book under 'Veterans Agency'.

You can also download a claim form from the Veterans UK website.

What documents will I need to apply to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?

If your claim is in relation to a specific incident or accident, you should provide the following documents or any  papers you may have: 

  • Accident Report Forms

  • Hurt Certificates

Change of circumstances

Awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are intended to be full and final, taking into account the expected development of an injury or illness.

Under certain circumstances, previous decisions to award injury benefit can be changed if there have been further developments since the original decision was made. For instance, if you feel that your injury or illness has worsened or caused a further injury to develop, you can ask for your original decision to be reviewed.

For details of circumstances in which a review can be carried out and when a decision may be changed contact Veterans UK 

You can also get further details from the Gov.UK information guide 'Armed Forces Compensation : What you need to know'

 

5. How do I challenge an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Decision?

If you do not agree with your Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) claim decision, you can ask for the decision to be reconsidered. This means that your claim will be looked at again by a different assessing officer.

Requests for a decision to be reconsidered must be made in writing, within 12 months of the date on your notification.

You will need to give reasons for your request:

  • Explaining why you consider the decision is wrong

  • Providing any information that relates to your injury/illness which were not provided at the time your claim was originally considered and that you think will help with the reconsideration.

If you ask for a decision to be reconsidered, you will be notified in writing,

Veterans UK will either:

  • Uphold the original decision, or

  • Change the original decision.

If you still feel the decision is wrong, you can appeal to an independent tribunal within 12 months.

If the tribunal rejects your appeal, you can request the written reasons for their decision. You have six weeks from receiving the reasons to appeal their decision

The steps that you must take in order to appeal depend on where you live. You can get further details on appealing from Veterans UK:

You can call their helpline on: 0808 1914 2 18 (UK) or +44 1253 866 043 (Overseas)
Email: veterans-uk@mod.uk
Post: Veterans UK, Norcross,Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire, FY5 3WP.

6. Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and Motability

You can use some of your payment (an amount equivalent to the Disability Living Allowance high rate mobility component or Personal Independence Payment enhanced rate mobility component) towards the hire or hire-purchase of a vehicle through the Motability scheme.

You usually have to pay a deposit but might get help with this.

If you lease the car, then insurance, breakdown cover, and repairs are included. Mileage up to a certain limit is included in the price as well.

If you cannot drive, or prefer not to drive, you can name up to two other people as drivers.

Motability also offers a contract hire scheme for powered wheelchairs or scooters.

For more information, see the Motability website or phone 0300 456 4566 or text phone 0300 037 0100.