Interviewed on the BBC's Good Morning Wales programme about reported delays in processing claims under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), BAFF Chairman Douglas Young criticised the excuse that such delays were "partly down to the compensation culture". While we know that many claimants have managed their own claims successfully, Young queried why injured personnel should not be allowed to seek specialist advice and assistance from the Royal British Legion or others in complex cases. He commented in the interview that the excuse "made a nonsense of the Armed Forces Covenant".
Another excuse was that delays had been caused by the welcome improvements to AFCS as a result of Lord Boyce's Review which reported in February 2010, with its recommendations accapted in full by the then Secretary of State, Bob Ainsworth. But there has been ample time to ensure that the Veterans Agency was sufficiently staffed to cope with any resulting additional work, and the numbers of claims from injured and bereaved should also not have come as any surprise to the Veterans Agency.
While undoubtedly there were claimants who felt that they had been abandoned, Young also mentioned that some BAFF members had reported satisfaction with the processing and outcome of their claim.
BAFF members are invited to let us know of any unreasonable delay in processing your AFCS claim. As ever, favourable reports are also welcome. While we know that not everybody is satisfied, we believe that AFCS is basically a good concept, much improved following Ben Parkinson's campaign, the Daily Telegraph's Justice for Wounded campaign and the Lord Boyce Review.