Bob Ainsworth announces AFCS changes
In hailing the AFCS increases and congratulating those involved in the review, BAFF added in the article below that "there is obvious unfairness in the fact that those injured before 6 April 2005 in earlier conflicts including the Falklands War and even in the first two years of Operation TELIC in Iraq will not benefit at all from these improvements."
(10 Feb 2010) This is a quick summary of the improvements announced by the Secretary of State in Parliament at 13.20 today. All recommendations by Lord Boyce's review have been accepted in full.
The changes were generally well received by MPs of all parties, with a number of detailed points. Mr Ainsworth also announced a 30-bed increase to capacity at DMRC Headley Court. Note BAFF reference to a further announcement expected tomorrow (Thursday), which would not necessarily be good news for everyone involved.
- Increase most of lump sum compensation payments, but maximum remains at £570K
- increase annual tax free guaranteed income payments to the most seriously injured, with payments to the youngest in the higher range being increased by 35%
- increase top level compensation and GIP awards for mental injuries such as PTSD
- treat more fairly those with multiple injuries from one incident
- new fast-track interim payment
- extend from 4 to 7 years time limit to make claims, and improved ability to take into account late-onset conditions including mental conditions; new opportunity for late review of compensation cases
- burden of proof unchanged, but with ability to make allowance for incomplete records
- MoD accepts other recommendations such as increasing payments to widows
- new independent medical group to advise on AFCS
- all those who are already receiving benefits under AFCS 2005 will benefit retrospectively from the changes
The above is an early summary of Mr Ainsworth's speech and should not be treated as an authority, pending the issue of more details on the MoD's website. A number of questions arise, and there is obvious unfairness in the fact that those injured before 6 April 2005 in earlier conflicts including the Falklands War and even in the first two years of Operation TELIC in Iraq will not benefit at all from these improvements.
- UPDATE: MoD announcement: Payments under Armed Forces Compensation Scheme to increase
- MoD - Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme: Report in full, and downloadable leaflet
- Background: BAFF welcomes compensation boost for injured service personnel - and expresses concern that today's announcement is preparing the ground for a further announcement tomorrow (Thursday), which would not necessarily be good news for all personnel involved. UPDATE: see MoD: New plans to support sick and injured soldiers
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