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Armed Forces Independence Payment

Volume 558: debated on Thursday 14 February 2013

In July 2012, the Prime Minister announced that the Government would introduce a new benefit that would provide additional financial support to seriously injured service and ex-service personnel. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are working together to introduce the armed forces independence payment (AFIP) on 8 April 2013. The respective Secretaries of State agreed that MOD will legislate to create AFIP and DWP would administer and pay AFIP.

AFIP is designed to support the most seriously injured. It will be payable to service and ex-service personnel who have an armed forces compensation scheme award that includes a guaranteed income payment of 50% or higher. The payment will be £134.40 per week, which is the equivalent of the enhanced rates of the daily living and mobility components of personal independence payment (PIP). Those receiving AFIP will have access to other benefits in a similar way to those receiving disability living allowance (DLA) now or PIP in the future. In addition, they will not be subject to reassessment and their payments will continue if their circumstances change, for example if they enter hospital or a care home. Those receiving AFIP cannot claim other DWP disability benefits such as DLA or PIP.

AFIP is an example of the Government delivering on their commitment to uphold the armed forces covenant. MOD and DWP will track the progress of AFIP and will report on its implementation in the armed forces covenant report 2013.