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Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
If you have suffered an injury or illness during your time with the military, you are entitled to make a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
The specialist team of personal injury solicitors at JMW has years of experience in helping members of the armed forces ensure they get the compensation they deserve following an accident that wasn’t their fault. If you or a loved one has been injured through no fault of their own, we can help you too.
Start your claim with us today by calling 0345 450 9547 or, if you would like us to call you, complete our online enquiry form. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to make a claim, we can answer any questions you may have.
WHAT IS THE ARMED FORCES COMPENSATION SCHEME?
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) provides compensation for any injury, illness or death during service on or after 6th April 2005. Any injuries before this time are compensated by the War Pension Scheme (WPS).
The AFCS is a no-fault scheme, meaning compensation is awarded without proving blame. It is separate to any other personal accident cover, such as PAX or SLI, which means any accident cover you may already hold is not taken into account when determining an AFCS award.
WHO CAN MAKE AN AFCS CLAIM?
You can make a claim under the AFCS regardless of whether you are a current or former member of the UK armed forces. This includes reservists or members of Special Forces. Claims can be made if you have sustained an injury in the course of military service, including during:
- Service approved sports
- Exercise to maintain military fitness
In the event of death during service, the scheme can pay out to eligible partners and children. An ‘eligible partner’ is someone who you are cohabiting with in an exclusive and substantial relationship, with financial and wider dependence.
WHAT ARE THE TIME LIMITS FOR MAKING AN AFCS CLAIM?
Typically, you have 7 years to make a claim under the AFCS; however, there are some exceptions, such as late onset illnesses. Former members of the armed forces can make a claim for late onset illness anytime after the incident that caused the illness, as long as it is within three years of seeking medical advice.
A late onset illness is a condition that is malign or caused by a physical disorder through occupational exposure seven years previous to being diagnosed with the illness. This also covers mental health disorders that are caused by incidents more than 7 years before the onset of the illness.
WHAT TYPE OF CLAIMS CAN BE MADE?
The AFCS covers any injury or illness that has been sustained as a result of service in the armed forces. This includes anything from fractures to amputations and other serious conditions, including mental health disorders.
TYPE OF AFCS AWARDS
There are two main types of AFCS financial awards:
Lump sum - a tax free lump sum payment for pain and suffering, reflected by the severity of your injury or illness. Lump sum payments are made for up to £650,000 and take into account each sustained injury.
Guaranteed Income Payments (GIPs) - this is an income stream awarded by the AFCS for serious injuries and illnesses. This is a tax free index linked monthly payment that is paid, if you make a claim while in service, from the day after service ends, or from the date of claim if you have claimed after discharge.
SUBMITTING AN AFCS CLAIM
We are more than happy to help you with the paperwork needed to submit an AFCS claim, and will talk you through what information you will need to have ready, and the steps included in making a claim. There are certain details you are required to provide so a claim can considered accurately and reasonably.
These can include, but are not limited to:
- Information about the total area covered by a wound or injury
- Details about which side of your body is affected
- The date the injury occurred or when you first started to notice symptoms of an illness
- What you were doing when the accident occurred
- If your injury or illness was sustained during a journey
- If your injury or illness happened during a sporting event
- Why you think your injury was caused by your time in service
WHY PICK ARMED FORCES CLAIMS?
Our team has extensive experience in handling armed forces claims, and we understand the specialist nature of the work carried out by members of the armed forces. We can help you understand what options are in place for you and how to get the best result. We deal with all cases on a no win, no fee basis, meaning you don’t have to worry about any additional financial worries while making a claim with us.
We understand that specialist evidence has to be pursued to make a successful claim, which often involves large amounts of technical documentation. Our solicitors can help you to navigate this by helping you to secure:
- Learning accounts
- LAIT reports
- Joint Service publications
- Standing orders
We know it may seem daunting to pursue a claim against the armed forces, for various reasons. However, your claim, and the compensation you are awarded as a result of your claim, may make a big difference as you look to move forward with your life after your injury.