In April 2013, the Ministry of Defence and Department for Work and Pensions will introduce the Armed Forces Independence Payment, a brand new benefit for members of the Armed Forces and former members of the Armed Forces who have been seriously injured as a result of their service.
In recognition of their immense sacrifice serving their country this will ensure that they receive around £7,000 in financial support every year for the rest of their life. This is in addition to the financial support they receive through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
The Government is committed to helping those that have served their nation in as many ways as possible so it has decided to put in place these special arrangements for seriously injured personnel. Rather than face separate assessments, the Armed Forces Independence Payment will ensure that seriously injured personnel continue to receive on-going payments to help with the additional costs associated with their injuries.
This is the latest measure to be announced as part of the Government’s commitment to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant so that personnel and their families are not unfairly affected by their service to their country and to ensure special consideration is given to the injured and bereaved.
Minister of State for Defence, Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois said:
The men and women of our Armed Forces have served their country with honour and bravery so it is only right that those seriously injured by their service receive financial support to help with the additional costs associated with their injuries. So I am delighted that seriously injured serving personnel and veterans will be able to avoid the unnecessary duplication of reassessments and continue to receive disability benefits via these new arrangements. This is part of honouring the Armed Forces Covenant and I look forward to the introduction of the Armed Forces Independence Payment in April.
Work and Pensions Minister Esther McVey said:
A considerable sacrifice is made by a number of courageous members of the Armed Forces who have been injured as a result of their service to the Nation. That is why we are simplifying and streamlining the welfare support for the most severely injured veterans when they return to the UK. It will help to recognise the unique support needs of veterans.
The Armed Forces Independence Payment will be an alternative to the Personal Independence Payment and is paid for by the Department for Work and Pensions. It will be distributed to the seriously injured through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and will not affect any other benefits to which claimants are entitled. However, those eligible will not be able to also receive Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance.