The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a no-fault accident insurance policy. The scheme is administered by Veterans UK, a government department within the MOD.
Veterans UK cannot independently advise you upon the merits or otherwise of your award because it is they who are making the award.
You can bring a personal injury claim and an application for an AFCS award concurrently. We will almost always advise you to do so. If you instruct us to do both, our work and advice on the AFCS claim will form part of the overall costs in your claim. If we are instructed by you on the AFCS claim alone, we may ask you to agree to pay us a fee for our work at the very end but only if your claim is successful.
This scheme covers all service-related injuries with effect from 6th April 2005. The injury or illness must have been caused by service or service is the predominant cause.
You do not need to have left the military before making a claim and you do not need to prove fault.
You normally have 7 years from the date of the injury to claim. In the case of a late onset illness or physical problem, which includes mental disorders such as PTSD, you can usually claim outside this time limit. The rules are subject to change and we will advise you on a case-by-case basis.
Most awards are lump sums. If the lump sum reaches a high enough tariff then, assuming you are medically discharged, an award called a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) may also be paid. This is a monthly sum broadly based upon a % of your annual salary at the time of discharge.
We can prepare your application and advise you upon whether, or not, the award offered to you is reasonable and give you options if an application is refused, or we think the award is too low.
Note: If Veterans UK makes you an award, by doing so they are not admitting fault for your injury, but the fact that they have done so confirms that the MOD accepts that your injury was caused by your service.
How to Claim an AFCS award
You should apply to Veterans UK as soon as possible after the injury. Money is set aside each year by the Government to compensate our injured troops and it is your right to claim. You can download and prepare the application yourself or contact Veterans UK for assistance. You may ask a reputable service charity to help you or, we can prepare the application for you for a modest fee, payable only if the application is successful. The more complex the case, the greater the incentive should be for getting expert advice and support from Alma Law. We would need your permission to receive a full copy of your service medical records before preparing the application and supporting evidence, such as a witness statement, giving a fuller picture of the effect the injuries have on your day-to-day activities.
You can only claim a War pension if you have a continuing disablement (it must still be causing you a problem at the time of claiming) that was caused as a result of an injury suffered during your service before 6 April 2005. There are no time limits on claiming but, and we stress, you must have a continuing disability because the decision on whether to award you a war pension depends on how serious your disablement is today. That assessment is made as a percentage. If the doctors instructed by Veterans UK assess your disablement at 20% or more, then they will usually pay you a regular monthly pension. Payments are backdated to the date you lodged the application. If your disablement is assessed at less than 20%, veterans UK may pay a lump sum, called a gratuity. The amount depends on the extent of the disablement and how long they assess you are likely to be disabled.