1. Introduction

There are a number of compensation schemes administered by Veterans UK on behalf of the Ministry of Defence available to serving and former serving personnel who are injured as a result of their service in the armed forces. The scheme that applies to each individual will depend on when and where you served.

  • The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

You can claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme where the illness or injury was caused as a result of service on or after 6 April 2005. You do not need to have left the armed forces before claiming.

  • The War Pensions Scheme

You can claim under the War Pensions Scheme if you are no longer serving and your disablement was caused as a result of service in the armed forces before 6 April 2005.

  • The Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme

You can claim under the Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme if you or your eligible dependants are the innocent victim of a crime of violence while serving overseas.

2. Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS): an overview

The AFCS provides compensation for any injury, illness or death which is caused by service on or after 6 April 2005. The War Pension Scheme (WPS) compensates for any injury, illness or death which occurs up to this date. The AFCS is a no-fault scheme which means payment is made without admitting fault. It is entirely separate from any other personal accident cover, such as PAX or SLI. Therefore, any accident cover that you may already hold is not taken into account when determining an AFCS award.

2.1 Who is eligible?

All current and former members of the UK armed forces, including reservists, may submit a claim for compensation. Unlike the War Pension Scheme, you can submit an AFCS claim while still serving, as well as after you have left the armed forces. While there are time limits, above all you should submit a claim for compensation at a time which is best for you. In the event of service related death, the scheme pays benefits to eligible partners and children. An ‘eligible partner’ is someone with whom you are cohabiting in an exclusive and substantial relationship, with financial and wider dependence.

2.2 Time restrictions for claims

You have 7 years to make a claim. There are some exceptions to this such as late onset illnesses. Former members of the UK armed forces can claim for a late onset illness at any time after the event to which it relates, as long as they do so within 3 years of seeking medical advice. A late onset illness is a malignancy or other physical disorder which is capable of being caused by an occupational exposure occurring more than 7 years before the onset of the illness. Late onset also covers mental disorders which are capable of being caused by an incident occurring more than 7 years before the onset of the illness.

2.3 What can be claimed for?

You can claim for any injury or illness which has been sustained as a result of service. Claims can range from relatively minor fractures to amputations and other more serious conditions, including mental disorders. You can submit a claim for any injury or illness which occurs while you are participating in a service related activity. This includes Adventurous Training (AT), physical exercise and organised sport, for example inter-service athletics.

2.4 Type of awards

There are 2 main types of AFCS benefits:

  • Lump sum payments

For injury or illness, AFCS provides a tax free lump sum payment for pain and suffering, the size of which reflects the severity of the injury/illness. Lump sum payments range from £1,200 to £570,000. If you sustain multiple injuries from the same incident then the scheme awards you some compensation for each injury, up to a maximum of £570,000.

  • Guaranteed Income Payments (GIPs)

For those with the most serious injuries and illnesses, AFCS also provides an income stream known as the Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP). This is a tax free, index linked monthly payment which is paid from the point of discharge for life. A number of factors are taken into consideration when calculating the GIP. These reflect the effect of an injury on future promotion prospects.

2.5 How to submit a claim

If you are medically discharged from the armed forces, Veterans UK will, in some circumstances, automatically consider any illness/injury that contributed to your medical discharge, without the need to submit a claim form.

In all other circumstances, claims for compensation under the scheme must be made on an AFCS / WPS 01 claim form signed and dated by the claimant, or by someone authorised to do so on their behalf. AFCS claim forms can be downloaded here or you can request one by contacting the Veterans UK helpline on 0808 1914 2 18.

Veterans UK staff (including the Veterans Welfare Service) and voluntary organisations can assist you in filling out the form if needed. Once a claim has been submitted, Veterans UK shall inform you in writing of the outcome.

Please note, claim forms that are returned via fax or e-mail cannot be processed.

2.6 Information needed to support your claim

Any information or evidence you are able to give us in support of your claim will be helpful. However, there are certain things we need to know in order for us to gather evidence and to consider your claim accurately and reasonably.

The AFCS/WPS01 form includes guidance notes for many of the questions, which tell you the type of information we need.

For example, we need to know about the injury or illness you are claiming for, such as:

  • the total area a wound or injury covers
  • if only one side of your body is affected
  • the date the injury occurred or when you first noticed symptoms of illness

We also need to know about any incident or exposure you feel caused your injury or illness, for instance:

  • what were you doing when the incident occurred
  • if it occurred during a journey the details and reason for the journey
  • if the incident happened whilst participating in a sporting activity, were you representing your unit or regiment, was it during an organised PT session, or was it in your own time
  • why you think your injury was caused by your service

Veterans UK will, where appropriate, request evidence in order to consider your claim. However, if you are able to provide copies of any supporting documentation such as reports from your Medical Officer, copies of Orders, accident/incident reports, please do so as soon as possible. This may help us deal with your claim quicker.

2.7 How your claim will be processed

Once your claim is received, it will be scrutinised by an assessing officer.

In order to consider the claim it may be necessary for us to obtain further evidence. For instance, if you are still serving when you claim we may ask for a report from somebody in your chain of command and/or your Medical Officer. If you are no longer serving, we may need to see copies of your service records and/or a report from your GP or other healthcare provider.

In the first instance, we will need to consider whether the injury you are claiming for is predominantly caused or made worse by your service. In doing so we take into account what you were doing when you sustained the injury, where you were at the time and what, if any, activity you were undertaking.

The scheme uses the balance of probabilities standard of proof, in line with similar schemes for civil claims. If it is determined that the injury is predominantly caused by service, we will then go on to consider whether an award is warranted under the scheme and if so, the correct level of that award.

Awards are made on a tariff based system, with levels graded 1-15 dependent on the degree of severity of the injury, level 1 being for the most severe injuries and Level 15 for more minor injuries.

2.8 Legislation

The AFCS scheme legislation has been amended several times and the AFCS legislation page provides access to historic and current consolidated versions of the legislation in force, with effect from 2005. Each consolidated version incorporates the effect of amendments to the scheme and shows the period to which it applies. Future revisions will be added as and when legislative amendments take place.

2.9 How awards are calculated

Lump sum awards:

A lump sum is payable to the service person or former service person based on the tariff level for their injury(ies). The AFCS Tariff has 15 levels from 1 (most severe) to 15 (least severe). Each tariff level has a corresponding level of lump sum payment.

The tariffs are made up of ‘descriptors’ which are simply a description of the injury/injuries awarded. In some cases your injury may be described by more than one descriptor.

Supplementary awards:

In some cases supplementary awards may be payable for each of the conditions listed below:

  • incontinence of the bowel, bladder, or both
  • impotence
  • infertility
  • physical disfigurement due to an injury to external genitalia
  • loss of one kidney or treatment for the injury requires a kidney to be removed
  • where an injury to a limb, including a fracture, is accompanied by acute compartment syndrome that requires operative treatment
  • where a blast injury to the ears results in the tympanic membrane being perforated
  • an open fracture

The amount payable as a supplementary award will be added to the value of the lump sum for your descriptor to form the relevant amount (see below).

Body zones:

Where appropriate, injuries are allocated to one of five body zones depending on the area affected:

  • head and neck
  • torso
  • upper and lower limbs
  • senses
  • mental health

The body zones affected determine how your award is calculated. Where you have been awarded for more than one injury, your lump sum award will be calculated according to the severity of your injuries and the number of body zones affected.

There are 3 ways of doing this. These are:

1.Where a descriptor is at tariff levels 1 – 4 or 2 descriptors at tariff levels 5 or 6 have been awarded, the amount of lump sum to be paid will be 100% of the relevant amount for all injuries. Here is an example calculation.

2.Where there are at least 2 injuries at tariff level 11 or above and there is at least one tariff level 11 or above in more than one body zone, the relevant amounts for the descriptors in each body zone are added up and then the body zones are put in order from highest to lowest and the total award is calculated as follows:

  • 100% for the 1st zone
  • 80% for the 2nd zone
  • 60% for the 3rd zone
  • 40% for the 4th zone
  • 20% for the 5th zone

Applying the percentages to the body zones forms the amount payable for each zone. These are then added together to make the total award. Here is an example calculation.

3.Where all injuries are in one body zone, there are no injuries at tariff level 11 or above or there is only one injury at tariff level 11 or above. The descriptors are put in order of their relevant amount and the total award is calculated as follows:

  • 100% for the 1st descriptor
  • 80% for the 2nd descriptor
  • 60% for the 3rd descriptor
  • 40% for the 4th descriptor
  • 20% for the 5th and all other descriptors

Applying the percentages to the descriptors forms the amount payable for each one. These are then added together to make the total award. Here is an example calculation.

In addition to a lump sum award, a graduated Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP), payable for life, will also be paid to those whose injuries would cause a significant loss of earning capacity. This monthly income stream is intended to supplement any income and pension you are able to earn. The payment takes into account your age, salary, the severity of your injuries, the pension you might have earned, the potential loss of promotions you might have gained and the pension you will also be paid.

If you have an injury or illness that has been awarded between tariff levels 1 to 11 you will be entitled to a GIP. This is paid from the day after service ends (where a claim is made whilst still in service) or from the date of claim (if you claim after discharge). GIP is up-rated annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Awards of GIP are subject to adjustment where appropriate. Awards made in tariff levels 12 to 15 do not attract a GIP.

The GIP is calculated by multiplying your basic salary (excluding allowances) by the appropriate age factor. Here is an example GIP base figure calculation.

The final amount of GIP payable is a percentage of the GIP base figure dependent on the tariff level of the injury for which an award is made. The percentages are in four bands as follows:

  • Band A: tariff levels 1 to 4 = 100% of GIP base figure
  • Band B: tariff levels 5 to 6 = 75% of GIP base figure
  • Band C: tariff levels 7 to 8 = 50% of GIP base figure
  • Band D: tariff levels 9 to 11 = 30% of GIP base figure

The GIP band is determined by the most serious injury or injuries.

If the two most serious injuries are within the same band, then the amount of GIP payable will be calculated using the band above the band the injuries are within. Band A is the maximum amount payable. If the two most serious injuries are within different bands, the amount of GIP payable will be calculated using the band appropriate to the most serious injury.

2.10 Example calculations

Here is an example calculation involving one qualifying injury.

Here is for an example calculation involving more than one qualifying injury.

2.11 Adjustment

Awards of GIP may be subject to adjustment due to payments made under the Armed Forces Pensions Schemes (AFPS 75, AFPS 05 and RFPS) and, in the case of members of the Army Reserve and reservists, under civilian occupational pension schemes.

Where a service person is receiving either an ill-health pension from AFPS 75, AFPS 05 or RFPS for the same injury for which an award under AFCS has been made, any GIP payable is adjusted by the full value of that pension. This is because the ill health pension becomes tax-free once an award under AFCS has been made.

Here is an example calculation where an ill health pension is paid for the same injury as the AFCS award.

Where a service person is receiving either an ill-health pension from AFPS 75, AFPS 05 or RFPS for a different injury for which an award under AFCS has been made, any GIP payable is adjusted by 75% of the value of that pension. This is because the ill-health pension remains taxable.

Where a service person has a normal occupational pension in payment (AFPS 75, AFPS 05 or RFPS) or is receiving an Early Departure Payment, the GIP is adjusted by 75% of the value of the occupational pension or Early Departure Payment. This is because the occupational pension and Early Departure Payments are taxable.

Here is an example calculation where an ill health pension is paid for a different injury to the AFCS award or an occupational pension is in payment.

2.12 Preserved pension benefits

Where a service person has entitlement to preserved pension benefits under AFPS 75, AFPS 05 or RFPS, the GIP is not adjusted until that pension comes into payment. When the preserved pension comes into payment at either age 60 or 65, the GIP is adjusted by 75% of the value of the preserved pension. This is because the preserved pension is taxable.

2.13 Reservists

Where a reservist (including Army Reserve) is in receipt of a civilian occupational pension for the same injury or illness for which an award has been made under AFCS, the GIP is adjusted by 75% of the value of the civilian occupational pension. This is because the civilian occupational pension is taxable.

2.14 Adjustment

Adjustments will also be made if you have received compensation from another source for the same injury/illness for which you have also been awarded injury benefit under AFCS a negligence claim made against the MOD. It is important that you give us any details regarding any settled or outstanding claims as soon as possible.

Payment received as a result of a personal insurance policy which has been purchased, such as PAX or SLI, will not be taken into account.

Your notification will give details of how any adjustments have been made.

2.15 It is important that you tell us about any payments you have received in respect of the illness/injury you are claiming for under AFCS.

3. Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

The Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) is a new benefit introduced by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to provide financial support to service and ex-service personnel who have been seriously injured as a result of service. It is designed to cover the extra costs they may have as a result of their injury. Individuals awarded a Guaranteed income payment (GIP) of 50% or higher under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme will be eligible.

The amount paid for AFIP will be £134.40 per week. Individuals eligible for AFIP will not be required to undergo an assessment, nor is there any future reassessment process.

Service personnel and veterans injured before 2005 or compensated for a less serious injury sustained since 2005 will be able to apply for PIP in the usual way.

AFIP will be administered by Veterans UK (formerly the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency) as part of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. DWP will make the payments.

3.1 Further information on AFIP

4. Survivors benefits

In the event of death, benefits may be payable to your spouse, civil partner, surviving adult dependant and eligible children such as an income stream known as a Survivors’ Guaranteed Income Payment (SGIP), Child Payments and a Bereavement Grant of up to £37,500.

A surviving adult dependant is someone who is cohabiting and in a substantial and exclusive relationship with the deceased serviceperson, was not prevented from marrying or forming a civil partnership with them and was financially dependent or interdependent on them. The serviceperson must not have been in a relationship with someone else.

An eligible child is;

  • a child or adopted child
  • any other child who was financially dependent

and

  • aged under 18
  • in full-time education and under 23
  • unable to engage in gainful employment due to physical or mental disability

A child can be considered an eligible child if they are born within one year of the death.

4.1 Survivors Guaranteed Income Payment and Child Payments

A graduated Survivors Guaranteed Income Payment (SGIP), payable for life, is payable to spouses, civil partners and surviving adult dependants. Child payments are made to eligible children who meet the criteria specified above. The payments are based on the serviceperson’s age at death and their salary.

4.2 Bereavement Grant

The Bereavement Grant is a one-off lump sum, tax-free payment. It is intended to supplement the lump sum paid under the Armed Forces Pensions Scheme (AFPS). The amount payable depends upon whether the death was in-service or post-service and any pension scheme payments.

4.3 Death in service

Your family will be fully supported by Visiting Officers and Veterans Welfare Service Managers and be provided with help to complete the information gathering form. If there is no surviving adult dependant but there is an eligible child, their parent/guardian will have to ask for a claim form.

4.4 Death after discharge

Benefits may be payable if the death occurs within 7 years of discharge. The exceptions to this are the death is as a result of a late onset illness which was caused by service or as a result of an injury for which an award at tariff levels 1-9 has been previously made. A claim will need to be made within 3 years of death.

4.5 Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme (AFBSS)

The AFBSS is a further education and university scholarship for bereaved service children. Further information is available here.

5. Payment arrangements

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. This is the account you told us about on the claim form you sent us.

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.

6. Reasons for not receiving an award

There may be a number of reasons why you are not entitled to a payment under AFCS and the ‘reasons for decision’ included as part of your notification letter should explain them fully.

In most cases, benefit will not be paid to you if your injury occurred in the following circumstances:

  • injuries sustained in the course of normal home to place of work travel (and return)
  • injuries predominantly caused by non-authorised sporting activities
  • injuries predominantly caused by attendance at social events
  • injuries predominantly caused by slipping, tripping or falling

However, in some instances we may still be able to pay benefit and whilst considering your claim we will check whether any of these apply to you.

Benefit will not be paid for injuries which occur due to:

  • the use or effect of tobacco
  • the consumption of alcohol
  • drug abuse
  • consensual sexual activity

Also, in most cases benefit will not be paid for injuries or illnesses which have occurred because of events or activities which happened to you before you entered service or for illnesses you were born with or have inherited from your family.

We also won’t pay for infections that:

  • have no external cause, i.e. appendicitis
  • infections that anyone can catch, i.e. mumps, chicken pox or measles

as none of these can be caused by your service.

6.1 If you disagree with the decision

If you do not agree with the Veterans UK decision there are a number of things you can do.

6.2 Reconsideration

If you do not agree with our decision, you can ask us to reconsider our decision. This means that your claim will be looked at again by a different assessing officer.

If you would like a reconsideration to be carried out on our decision you will need to:

  • request this in writing within 12 months of the date on your notification
  • give reasons explaining why you consider the decision is wrong
  • give us any information that relates to your injury/illness which we did not have at the time we originally considered your claim and that you think will help us reconsider

If you ask for a decision to be reconsidered, we will do one of the following:

  • uphold the original decision
  • change the original decision

We will notify you of the outcome of the reconsideration in writing. Should you still not agree with the decision made, you may appeal to an independent tribunal.

6.3 How to appeal (Pensions Appeal Tribunal Act 1943)

If you think our decision is wrong you can appeal to an independent tribunal. The steps that you must take in order to appeal depend on where you live and are set out below.

If you live in England, Wales or overseas, you must either complete an appeal form or write to us stating:

  • your name, address and member number
  • the name and address of any representative
  • an address where documents can be sent or delivered (this will normally be your home address)
  • the date and details of the decision you want to appeal against
  • why you disagree with the decision
  • sign and date your correspondence

If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland you must complete an appeal form and send it to us. To obtain a form call our Veterans UK helpline on 0808 1914 2 18.

6.4 Time limit

Your letter or appeal form must be received by us within 12 months; starting with the day after the date on which the decision letter was sent to you (this could be 12 months from the date of the original decision on your claim or 12 months from the date of a reconsideration of your claim).

If you request an appeal we will always send you a letter to acknowledge receipt of your appeal; if you do not receive this from us you should contact us to check we have received your request.

6.5 Late appeals

In some circumstances you will be allowed to appeal even if you have not written to us within the 12 month period. When you write after this period, you must state why you (or someone on your behalf) did not write to us within the 12 month period. The Tribunal may extend the time limit up to a maximum of a further 12 months. There is no provision to appeal later than this date. If you did make an application after 24 months this would be processed as an Out of Jurisdiction Application instead of an appeal.

6.6 Help and advice

If you would like some help or advice about making your appeal you can contact:

  • the Veterans UK Helpline on 0808 1914 2 18
  • the Veterans UK Veterans Welfare Service (VWS) who will be happy to conduct home visits and provide assistance on any practical issues concerning your appeal
  • any of the service charities or support organisations who provide guidance and offer personal representation at appeal hearings. This assistance is available to all those who are currently serving, as well as those who have left service

6.7 Decision of the tribunal

The tribunal may agree or disagree with our decision. Please be aware that it is possible that a tribunal could make a decision which is to your disadvantage, for example, it could reduce an award that has already been made.

Once the decision of the tribunal is received by both parties (you and Veterans UK), any further appeal (by either party) must be made within 6 weeks. If following consideration within the 6 weeks Veterans UK does not appeal the decision, then the tribunal decision will be implemented immediately. You may still apply to appeal the decision following implementation by Veterans UK as long as it is within the 6 week time limit to do so.

6.8 Further information

Contact Veterans UK’s free Helpline: 0808 1914 2 18 (UK only) +44 1253 866 043 (overseas)

The helpline provides information and guidance on all aspects of the scheme, including obtaining and completing claim forms.

7. What to do if your condition worsens

Awards under AFCS 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 revised 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 us to review our decision.

The circumstances in which a review can be carried out and following which a decision may be revised are set out below:

Service Termination Review

Decision to be reviewed: Injury benefit award previously paid under AFCS for injury/illness following a claim made whilst still serving

Criteria for carrying out the review:

  • service ended on or after 9 May 11
  • application for review must be made within 1 year of service ending
  • previous decision to award injury benefit must have been made no more than 7 years before the day service ended

Other information:

  • a service termination review can only be carried out once for each decision made
  • the injury benefit award will only be revised if the injury/illness has become worse or caused a further injury to develop

Exceptional Review, within 10 years

Decision to be reviewed: Injury award previously paid for injury/illness

Criteria for carrying out the review: review application must be made within 1 year of the claimed worsening or further injury developing

Other information:

  • an Exceptional Review can only be carried out once for each decision made.
  • the injury benefit award will only be revised if the injury/illness has become worse or caused a further injury to develop, that the worsening or development is unexpected and exceptional and occurred within 10 years of the original decision

Review Final

Decision to be reviewed: injury benefit award previously paid for injury/illness.

Criteria for carrying out the review:

  • review application made 10 or more years after the previous decision to award injury benefit
  • review application must be made within 1 year of the claimed worsening or further injury developing

Other information:

  • a Review Final can only be carried out once for each decision made
  • the injury benefit award will only be revised if the injury/illness has become worse or caused a further injury to develop and that worsening or development is substantial, unexpected and exceptional

8. Other benefits that may be available

The information below provides a broad indication of those benefits that may be available to former Service Personnel who are entitled to a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) from the AFCS. It is for illustrative purposes only and should not be quoted as an authoritative source of information. Eligibility to benefits depends upon the circumstances of the claimant and if further information is required it should be sought from the benefit provider directly.

8.1 Armed Forces Independence Payment

Available from: Veterans UK

What it provides: AFIP is a simplification of the financial support available for members of the Armed Forces who have been seriously injured as a result of military service since 6 April 2005.

Qualifying criteria: AFIP will cover those most seriously injured as a result of service. Service personnel and veterans awarded a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) of 50% or higher under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme will be eligible.

Impact of GIP: none

Impact of lump sum: none

8.2 Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)

Available from: Department of Communities & Local Government (administered by local authorities])

What it provides: grants for house adaptation etc in the form of a one-off grant (max £30K)

Qualifying criteria: means tested based on capital (not income) of £6K AFCS tariffs 1-6 are exempt from means testing for DFGs

Impact of GIP none

Impact of lump sum: over £6K impacts on entitlement

8.3 DLA care paid at 3 rates

Available from: DWP Benefits and Carer Service. Claim via the Benefits Enquiry Line

What it provides: benefit for those with disabilities and need help looking after themselves Not paid after 28 days in hospital

Qualifying criteria: Non means tested non contributory

Impact of GIP: none

Impact of lump sum: none

8.4 DLA mobility Paid at 2 rates

Available from: DWP Benefits and Carers Service Claim via the Benefits Enquiry Line

What it provides: Benefit for those unable or virtually unable to walk. Withdrawn after 28 days in hospital unless Motability agreement in place.

Qualifying criteria: Non means tested non contributory

Impact of GIP: none

Impact of lump sum: none

8.5 Incapacity Benefit (IB) Paid at short term(lower and higher) and long term rates

Available from: DWP Jobcentre Plus

What it provides: Benefit for those unable to work due to ill health or disability

Qualifying criteria: Non means tested but with certain exceptions contributory

Impact of GIP: none

Impact of lump sum: none

8.6 Income Support (IS)

Available from: DWP Jobcentre Plus

What it provides: Benefit intended to provide for basic living expenses applies to people who do not require to sign on for work or incapable of work

Qualifying criteria: Means tested non contributory amounts paid vary dependent on income and capital, a partner, have a disability, housing costs, a carer some benefits wholly disregarded, others partially

Impact of GIP: capital over £6K reduces amount of benefit

Impact of lump sum: capital above £16K = no benefit payable

8.7 Housing benefit (HB)

Available from: HB is sometimes known as rent rebate or rent allowance. Paid by local councils to qualify, an individual does not need to be on other benefits

What it provides: helps people pay their rent

Qualifying criteria: No entitlement to HB if living in a close relative’s household

Impact of GIP: capital over £3K reduce amount of benefit

Impact of lump sum: no eligibility if savings over £16K

8.8 Council Tax Benefit (main type is main CTB )

Available from: local authority

What it provides: helps people pay council tax

Qualifying criteria: on income support, low income

Impact of GIP: up to £10 disregard

Impact of lump sum: as for income support

8.9 Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Available from: HMRC

What it provides: helps people whether working or not on low income and responsible for children Awarded on an annual basis

Qualifying criteria: means tested

Impact of GIP: taken into account full

Impact of lump sum: capital disregarded wholly but not income from savings

8.10 Working Tax Credit (WTC)

Available from: helps people in low paid work Awarded on an annual basis

What it provides: means tested for those with disability. Must work at least 16 hours a week, also meet disability and benefit tests

Qualifying criteria: Taken into account fully/capital disregarded wholly but not income from savings

Impact on GIP: taken into account fully

Impact of lump sum: capital disregarded wholly but not income from savings

8.11 Independent Living Fund (ILF)

Available from: Administered by trustees of the ILF

What it provides: provide a “direct payment” to enable disabled people to live in the community rather than in residential care people to purchase care. Pays agency or wages of a privately employed Personal Assistant.

Qualifying criteria: Means tested, offsets include IS, JSA, AFCS GIP payment

Impact of GIP: capital above £11.5K affects eligibility

Impact of lump sum: capital above £11.5K affects eligibility

8.12 Resident outside UK

If you fulfill the eligibility criteria, the MOD can exercise a discretionary power to pay for necessary medical expenses incurred as a result of your injury, if you choose to live permanently outside the UK.

Payment of medical expenses will be considered if you:

  • receive at least one AFCS award within tariff levels 1 to 8, defining you as seriously injured
  • become ordinarily resident outside the UK within 12 months of termination of service
  • are ordinarily resident outside the UK when the expenses are incurred

An individual’s care requirements will always be assessed on a case-by-case basis, however, in general the MOD will only consider paying for:

  • health care costs
  • travel and subsistence costs
  • adapted aids & appliances

This provision was introduced on 9 May 2011, however, if you moved to live permanently overseas before that date, your claim can still be considered providing it is made within 1 year of the day this discretionary power was introduced.

8.13 Further help for those with severe mobility problems

The Blue Badge scheme is for people with severe mobility problems, and allows the holder to access parking closer to where they need to go. Although it is administered by Local Authorities, and must be applied for from them, those who:

  • have received an AFCS tariff 8 or higher
  • have sustained an injury that makes walking impossible or very considerably difficult are eligible to apply for a Blue Badge

Any notifications for awards under AFCS, which meet the criteria, will include documentation which may be used in support of an application for a blue badge.

9. Can I claim a fast payment?

A fast payment provides more seriously injured service personnel with the option to claim an upfront AFCS payment without the need to go through the complete AFCS claim process. This payment will give those injured service personnel who wish it, some financial support as quickly as possible after the injury has been sustained.

In order to apply for a fast payment, an application form for a fast payment will need to be submitted within 6 months of the incident or event that caused the injuries. Veterans UK will conduct appropriate checks to confirm whether the entitlement criteria are met. Two criteria must be met for an individual to be eligible to receive a fast payment:

  • the injury (or injuries) occurred in service and were clearly caused by service
  • at least one injury sustained would be awarded within tariff levels 1 – 8 upon full claim consideration

If it is not clear that both of the criteria are met, then a fast payment cannot be made. However, a full AFCS claim can still be made in the usual way.

If the criteria are met, then a payment of £60,000 will be made. As the entitlement criteria for a fast payment are that at least injury is at tariff levels 1 – 8, the fast payment amount is the equivalent of a tariff level 8 award.

If a full claim is made later, the final award will be adjusted to take account of the £60,000 received as a fast payment.

10. AFCS forms

For information on help completing claim forms is available here

This form should be completed if you want to make a claim for compensation. For your claim to be considered under AFCS, you must be serving or have served in HM Forces (including reserve forces and Brigade of Gurkhas) and your illness or injury was caused by your service on or after 6 April 2005. If you are no longer serving and your illness or injury was caused by your service before 6th April 2005, you may be considered under the War Pensions Scheme.

This form should be completed if you want to make a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and you are the dependant (or the Guardian or legal representative of a dependent child) of a former service person who died after leaving service on or after 6th April 2005. The death must have occurred within 7 years of leaving service and claims must be made within 3 years of the death

This form should be completed to confirm dependant’s details and to make a claim for children under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) and/or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), where death occurred in service on or after the 6th April 2005.

A fast payment provides more seriously injured service personnel with the option to claim an upfront AFCS payment without the need to go through the complete AFCS claim process. This payment will give those injured service personnel who wish it, some financial support as quickly as possible after the injury has been sustained. Note specific criteria need to be met for a payment to be made.

11. Further Information

Developed by the MOD in partnership with the Royal British Legion and Combat Stress, this video aims to raise awareness of the financial support available to those injured as a result of service. It is specifically designed to engage young personnel, complementing the more traditional methods of communication.

AFCS awareness video