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Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

A review of the multiple injury lump sum element of the armed forces and reserve forces compensation scheme has been undertaken over recent weeks. The purpose of the review was to ensure that the scheme’s intent of focusing benefit on the most seriously injured was being delivered. We have concluded that, while the scheme overall remains fundamentally sound, the existing rule for multiple injuries received in a single incident was not intended for the type of multiple injury cases seen today, and that it is appropriate to reinforce the focus on the most seriously injured.

Subject to consultation, we are proposing to amend the rule so that those with multiple injuries who qualify for 100 per cent. of the guaranteed income payment (GIF), who are by definition the most seriously injured, will receive the full lump sum compensation award for each of their injuries sustained in a single incident, up to the maximum of £285,000. It is also proposed that additional benefits will be conferred on those who have had their cases determined under the current rule, so that they receive the same level of compensation as those determined after the rules have been changed. Those with less serious injuries, who do not qualify for 100 per cent. GIF payments, will continue to have the current rule applied to their multiple injuries.

The proposal has the full support of the service chiefs of staff. We are now consulting the members of the Central Advisory Committee, the statutory consultative body which advises on war pension and compensation issues, before finalising arrangements and making the necessary changes to the secondary legislation to put the new rule in place at the earliest opportunity.