Expert Lawyers Concerned Over Government’s Armed Forces Benefits Reform

'Fundamental' That Injured Servicemen Get Support They Need

28.05.2012

Armed forces experts at Irwin Mitchell are urging the government to not go ahead with reforms that would see half a million people, including servicemen wounded in action, lose their disability benefits.

The call comes as Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said losing a limb should not mean automatic entitlement to benefits if prosthetic replacements mean their mobility is not reduced.

Specialist military lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, Andrew Buckham, said while former members of the armed forces should be encouraged and given support to get back into work, soldiers should not have to worry about whether they will have enough money to live on.

Andrew, an Associate Solicitor who acts for those who have suffered serious injury while serving their country, said: “These reforms would hit seriously injured service personnel who have dedicated their life to the armed forces.”

Iain Duncan Smith told a national newspaper that the number of disability allowance claimants has risen by 30 percent in recent years “rising well ahead of any other gauge you might make about illness, sickness, disability”.

He said the government believes up to 80 per cent of incapacity-benefit claimants could go back to work.

Andrew added: “Whilst we work hard to ensure that our clients are able to try and get back into a working environment, this can sometimes take time and as well as the physical injury that needs to be overcome, there is also sometimes mental trauma as well”.

“It is fundamental that the injured soldiers, who have served their country, are able to gain access to the financial support they need.”