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Armed Forces: Compensation

Volume 508: debated on Monday 22 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has paid to relatives of servicemen killed in action in each of the last five years. (321372)

It is not possible to provide a definitive figure for all aspects of the payments made to bereaved families as benefits are payable under a range of different provisions and, as the information is not held centrally, it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Armed Forces Pension Scheme provides a death- in-service lump sum and the appropriate family forces pensions, including enhanced payments where death is related to service. It is estimated that at least £14 million has been paid in death-in-service lump sums over the last five years to the families of those killed in action.

The War Pension Scheme provides for ongoing payments to families of personnel killed, as a result of service, before 6 April 2005, with the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) making that provision for those who have died since that date. In addition to a Guaranteed Income Payment, a Bereavement Grant of up to £20,000 is payable under AFCS. Payments amounting to some £8.8 million have been made to bereaved families under AFCS since 2005 including those killed in a non-operational environment where death was attributable to service.

Funeral grants are also payable where a service funeral is held or the cost of a private funeral (up to a current maximum of £2,786) will be met. In the region of £112,000 has been paid in funeral costs. In addition costs associated with family attendance at repatriation ceremonies and any pre-inquest and inquest hearings are met by the MOD.