The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
This guide looks at the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme – what it is, who it’s for, how it’s paid, its benefits and some of its limitations. Lastly, it looks at insurance plans that may compliment the scheme through protecting you against the prospect of getting and injury or illness that is not covered by the scheme.
What is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) pays a lump sum, or guaranteed income, to members of HM Armed Forces who are injured as a result of a military activity. Broadly speaking, the more serious the injury, the higher the level of pay out.
It’s a ‘no fault’ scheme, which means it provides compensation without admitting liability. Imagine, for example, that you suffered a blast injury to your ears while on duty. The AFCS would pay out a lump sum of £6,000 (according to their latest figures).
If an injury or illness was so serious that it affected your ability to work, you might be awarded an income stream known as the Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) – a monthly payment which is paid from the day after service ends.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is designed to protect military service personnel injured as a result of professional duty. However, it does not cover:
- Long term critical, serious or terminal illness unrelated to service – for example being diagnosed with cancer.
- Injuries sustained during activities away from duty – for example, a ruptured cruciate sustained playing football in your spare time.
Military critical or serious illness, as well as personal accident insurance, can plug these gaps left by the AFCS. To get further information about how you can be fully protected, call 0333 772 0613.
Who can benefit from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
All members of the British Army, RAF, Royal Marines, or Royal Navy are eligible for the scheme, as well as reservists.
The AFCS started on 6th April 2005, which means that in order to claim an award, you have to have been injured after that date – although you may not necessarily still be in service.
In the event of death, the scheme pays benefits to an ‘eligible partner’ and/or children. Except in the case of late-onset illness (which gives you more time), you have seven years to make a claim.
How are Armed Forces Compensation Scheme awards paid?
This depends on many factors, such as age, income and the type and severity of the injury suffered. The value of claims varies, depending on the severity of the injury or ailment – from relatively minor fractures to amputations and other critical conditions, including mental disorders. At the lower end of the scale, a serious burn might carry an award of £1,200 – while a complex injury to the chest with complications could carry an award of £140,000.
Whatever the injury or illness suffered, the maximum award the AFCS will pay out is £570,000. This may seem like a lot of money, but when you take into account the expenses of having a serious illness, it could be used up much faster than you would expect.
We can help you with additional information about complimentary insurance products for members of HM Armed Forces. Give us a call now on 0333 772 0613.
What are the benefits of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
Obviously, no one wants or plans to get injured while on active service. But if this happens, it’s good to know that you will probably receive some form of compensation and that you have a generous amount of time (seven years – or more, if the onset is delayed) to make a claim.
The AFCS also covers mental illnesses, which can be considered ‘late-onset’ conditions. This means that if you suffer trauma due to your work which affects your ability to function, you will be eligible for compensation.
Got a question? Call one of our friendly advisors on 0333 772 0613.
What are the limitations of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
The AFCS is very useful for those who meet its criteria. However, not all injuries and circumstances are covered – and there are certain exemptions which could leave an Armed Forces member completely unprotected if he or she didn’t have additional insurance.
In most cases, benefit won’t be paid if the injury was:
- sustained in the course of normal home to a place of work travel (and return)
- predominantly caused by non-authorised sporting activities
- predominantly caused by attendance at social events
- predominantly caused by slipping, tripping or falling
Also, compensation will be refused for injuries which occur due to:
- the use or effect of tobacco
- the consumption of alcohol
- drug abuse
- consensual sexual activity
Importantly, benefit won’t pay for conditions that:
- have no external cause, e.g. appendicitis
- infections that anyone can catch, e.g. mumps, chicken pox or measles
- pre-existing or hereditary conditions
There are therefore a lot of situations that would leave you unprotected by the AFCS – which is why it might be wise to consider protecting yourself through an insurance plan.
Wondering which insurance plans are most important for military personnel? Call us on 0333 772 0613.
Which insurance plans should be considered to offer protection against risks not covered by the AFCS?
The types of insurance to consider are critical illness insurance or serious illness insurance as well as personal injury insurance. These cover many of the conditions which are not compensated by the AFCS. They include:
- Depending on the policy type, cover for up to 178 illness conditions, including all heart attacks, all strokes and more types of cancer
- Some less severe and early stage conditions that other policies may not cover
- Optional ‘enhanced critical or serious illness cover – which provides early screening for serious illnesses, often resulting in diagnosis before symptoms even develop
- Injury resulting from activities whilst not on duty – For example, a broken arm sustained playing football.
To talk to an advisor about ways you can make sure you’re fully protected in the event of an illness or accident, whether on or off duty, call us today on 0333 772 0613.