Wednesday, 9 March 2011

The AFCS Review – one year on

It’s been a busy year since the Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme was published last February. The Review was carried out by former Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral the Lord Boyce, in 2010 and it made a number of recommendations.

The majority of changes required legislative amendments to the Scheme and all of these have now been laid before Parliament.

With this legislation now in place, it will mean that the Government has fulfilled its promise to implement all of Lord Boyce’s recommendations within a year.

Some changes recommended by the Review were made more quickly and took effect from August 2010.

Changes to the Scheme have included an average increase of 25% to all lump sum payments, (except the highest payment which was already doubled to £570,000 in 2008) and a change to the way payments are calculated for multiple injuries, which will ensure that individuals will receive some compensation for each of their injuries that occur from a single incident. The changes will still guarantee that the most seriously injured receive the most compensation.

Another recommendation was for the creation of an Independent Medical Expert Group (IMEG) to look at how specific illnesses and injuries, including mental health, are compensated. The group has just published their first report. All of the recommendations made by the IMEG have now been incorporated to the Scheme for example, the maximum amount payable for mental illness has now almost tripled, to £140,000.

All of the changes to the Scheme will be operational from 9th May 2011.

The Government’s Response to the Lord Boyce Review has now been published. You can read it here.

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