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Expert Military Injury Lawyer Speaks to BBC 5Live Investigates On AFCS

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme ‘Needs To Be Reviewed’


Irwin Mitchell’s head of military injuries, Geraldine McCool, spoke to BBC 5Live Investigates about the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and the problems some soldiers encounter after suffering injuries or illness during their time in the Armed Forces.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the BBC found that four out of ten cases brought before the AFCS are rejected and soldiers are not given payouts for their injuries. It was also discovered that two-thirds of awards that are appealed or disputed are subsequently overturned.

Irwin Mitchell successfully challenged the compensation awarded to Bombardier Ben Parkinson, who lost both legs as well as suffering a brain injury, fractures to his skull, cheekbone, nose, jaw and pelvis in Afghanistan in 2006. The case resulted in significant improvements to the awards and benefits paid to service personnel under AFCS.

Geraldine, who has successfully represented a number of Armed Forces personnel and secured them funds for the help and support they need, told BBC 5Live Investigates that it is important the AFCS is reviewed and the concerns raised are thoroughly examined and improvements made.

She said the current compensation scheme put in place by the Ministry of Defence only accounts for physical or psychological injuries, rather than taking into account the wider impact the injuries can have on the earning potential of an individual.

Geraldine said: “The scheme is a welcome one, as before its introduction some injured Armed Forces personnel were unable to access compensation. However, it is no longer good enough in my view, due to the number of former service personnel coming through, and we need to look at where it falls down.”

To listen again to the debate on the AFCS click here

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