The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), which was introduced and subsequently reviewed under the previous Labour Government, treats the most seriously wounded personnel more generously than the War Pensions scheme which preceded it. BAFF members who had suffered serious but not catastrophic injuries told us that their claims have been settled promptly and satisfactorily under AFCS. Yet the scheme remains controversial. The Sunday Mirror reports that:
BRITAIN'S most seriously injured war hero has been told he would have got more compensation if he had been blown up TWICE.
Paratrooper Ben Parkinson, 27, lost both legs and suffered dreadful back and brain injuries when a 2006 Taliban blast blew up his Land-Rover in Afghanistan.
His 37 serious injuries should entitle him to more than £1million. But his payout was capped at the government limit of £570,000. Now Defence and Veterans Minister Andrew Robathan has admitted Ben would have got more if his wounds were caused by several blasts.
His furious family contacted the Minister after hearing that other wounded troops got more money than Ben. He told them: "It is possible for individuals to make different claims for injuries received in multiple incidents for which separate payments can exceed the maximum for a single claim relating to a single incident."
Ben's mother Diane Dernie says the family have been told some cases involved troops caught in a second blast as they were evacuated, and others were men sent back to the frontline after recovery who were wounded more seriously later.Diane, 53 said: "This is immoral. Compensation is meant to be about what injuries you have suffered and what your needs are. They shouldn't be using words to get out of paying people what they are due."
Ben of 7 Para, Royal Horse Artillery now has 30 hours a week of rehab and speech therapy as he battles to walk and talk again.
He said: "We thought the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme was about fairness and need." But an MoD spokesman said a review of the scheme concluded the £570k limit "remained appropriate."