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Military Injury Compensation Claims

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Claims

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is a government scheme that provides compensation for injury, illness and death caused by military service on or after 6 April 2005.

Unlike a legal claim, the AFCS does not require you to establish that anybody else was at fault. This means that you could be able to claim under the AFCS in circumstances where there is no legal claim.

If you've been injured, fallen ill, or had an injury become worse because of service on or after 6 April 2005, then our solicitors could help you claim compensation through the scheme, in addition to any civil compensation claim you make. If you receive compensation through the AFCS, this would be taken into account in any compensation paid under the civil claim (due to there being a legal principle that compensation can’t be paid twice for the same injury).

Our solicitors could help you to:

  • Make a claim through the AFCS
  • Challenge a settlement decision from the AFCS that is too low
  • Challenge the AFCS, if they have previously told you that you’re not eligible to claim

We have a proven track record in making claims through the scheme, and on many occasions have successfully challenged a settlement that we felt was too low for our client's injuries.

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme doesn’t distinguish between injuries suffered on operations, training, service-approved sports or while exercising to maintain military fitness. This is because, as a member of the armed forces, you have no choice over where you are deployed or the activities you’re asked to do.

As well as compensating serving members of the armed forces, the AFCS provides help and support for veterans. You could also claim compensation through the scheme if you've lost a loved one who was serving in the armed forces.

For more information, or to begin making a claim, call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation on your case. You can also contact us online, and we'll get back to you.

Proven track record in ACFS claims
Expert lawyers with a service background
Links with support agencies to assist with rehabilitation support
In depth understanding of the AFCS

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Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Claims - More Information
    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • When making a civil claim, you usually have three years from the date of injury to claim compensation through the courts. However, the timeframe for claims through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is considerably longer.

      Claims to the AFCS must be made within seven years from the date you suffered your injury or it was made worse by service. In the case of PTSD and mental health issues, this seven year time limit begins on the day you first sought medical help.

    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect From The AFCS?
    • The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) pays settlements as a lump sum, on a tariff based system determined by the severity of your injury.

      The minimum amount awarded is £1,200, with a maximum lump sum award of £570,000 available.

      Settlements can be paid for multiple injuries suffered in the same incident, provided that the total settlement doesn't exceed the maximum of £570,000.

      If you receive £15,500 or more, you’ll be eligible for a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP). This is a percentage of your final salary paid tax free and for life. The GIP percentage ranges from 30% to 100% depending on the injury.

      You may also qualify for a supplementary award, which can be payable when an injury doesn't necessarily affect employment prospects, but has affected your self-esteem or confidence.

    • Will Claiming Impact My Career?
    • No. The MoD understands that they ask service personnel to do a difficult job in dangerous situations – and unfortunately accidents do happen. They recognise and respect the individual's right to bring a legal claim for injuries. Claiming won't affect your entitlement to a pension, either.

      The Ministry of Defence should not discriminate against personnel who bring compensation claims after an injury. If you're planning on continuing your service career after your claim, then there are very strict rules about discriminating against someone on this basis.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee Claim?
    • We may be able to handle your claim to the Armed Force Compensation Scheme on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that if we are unsuccessful in your claim, there is nothing for you to pay.

      If your claim is successful, then you would pay us a fixed percentage of your compensation award, which we’ll agree with you at the start of your case.

    • Meet The Experts
    • Our military injury team have been helping service men and women claim against the MoD since 1987. The team includes several former military personnel, and includes:

      • Geraldine McCool, who was described as the “Military Master” by The Lawyer. Geraldine is secretary of The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group and heads our specialist military injury team.
      • Paul Harrington, who completed an operational tour in Northern Ireland as a Bomb Disposal Operator. Paul brings his expertise as a former Ammunition Technical Officer and specialises in claims involving equipment, weapons, munitions and training accidents.
      • Simon Harrington, who has over 15 years of experience bringing claims against the MoD. Simon specialises in cold injury claims, having helped hundreds of service personnel to claim over £10 million in compensation for their injuries.
      • Andrew Buckham, who served in the Army for seven years before joining Irwin Mitchell. Andrew specialises in claims relating to serious and fatal injuries. He is also a trustee for the Defence Medical Welfare Service

      Meet our military injury team.

Getting the support from Irwin Mitchell with my adapted house has given me the encouragement and independence I needed to get out there and find other things I am interested in."

Ray Lowrie
Ray Lowrie

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Claim Through The AFCS?

If you've been injured, fallen ill, or had an injury become worse because of service on or after 6 April 2005, then you might be eligible for compensation through the scheme.

Members of the regular, specialist and reserve forces can all apply for compensation through the AFCS, whether you're still serving or a veteran. You could also claim on behalf of a loved one who has lost their life while serving in the forces.

Compensation could be paid from the scheme for injuries caused in a number of ways, including those that happen during:

  • Operations (including combat)
  • Training
  • Service-approved sports
  • Exercise to maintain military fitness

The scheme covers some injuries that are a result of accidents while off duty, including sporting and exercise-related injuries. This is because it's recognised that armed forces personnel are required to maintain a certain degree of fitness.

If you're unsure whether or not you'll be able to claim compensation through the AFCS, it's best to seek legal advice. Call us today on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation about your case.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell To Help With An AFCS Claim?

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is meant to be fair, transparent and accessible. Veterans UK, the organisation that manages the scheme, says that the process is easy to navigate without assistance, but we've found that in some cases the reality can be very different.

Veterans UK don't encourage people making a claim to get legal advice, and often don't seek out the necessary medical evidence when investigating cases. This means that payments can often be lower than deserved, and in many cases are below the threshold for Guaranteed Income Payments (GIP).

We could also help you if the AFCS has previously rejected your claim on the grounds that it does not believe you are eligible.

We have in-depth knowledge of the AFCS, with a proven track record of securing settlements above GIP thresholds when appropriate. Many of our clients cannot be named for confidentiality reasons, but recent claims we've been involved with include:

  • PTSD claim – Our client made his own claim for PTSD and was awarded £10,000 for symptoms lasting up to five years. We got independent psychiatric evidence and he was awarded £140,000, £75,000 back pay and 75% GIP of £19,500 per year for life.
  • Costochondritis claim – Our client was a submariner who developed costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage), which isn’t an injury that is contained within the scheme. We managed to persuade Veterans UK that it was an injury that should be included and he was awarded £6,000.
  • Ankle fracture claim – Our client’s ankle fracture was rejected because it happened while he was playing football, and therefore not caused by service. However, we found evidence to prove the soldier was under orders to play, successfully securing an award for him.
  • Head injury claim – Our client made his own claim after beginning to suffer blackouts following a head injury. Veterans UK rejected the claim, arguing that because he’d had an episode of fainting in childhood, the blackouts were pre-existing and not due to service. We obtained independent neurological and psychiatric evidence, proving that the blackouts were caused by service alone and Veterans UK completely reversed their decision.

Our personal injury team is one of the largest in the UK, with a dedicated team of military specialists – a number of whom are former service personnel themselves. You can be sure that we'll handle your case with sensitivity, supporting you every step of the way.

To find out more about our services, and how we can help, call today on 0800 022 3321 for a free consultation or contact us online.

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What's The Process For An Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Claim?

We could help you make a new claim through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), or help you challenge a settlement that you think is too low.

The first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free initial consultation. We'll discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury and advise you on whether we think you can claim under the AFCS. We’ll also advise whether you could make a separate civil compensation claim for your illness or injury.

We'll then begin collecting evidence on the cause, nature and severity of your injury. This could involve accessing your medical records, seeking independent medical advice, or interviewing witnesses.

Once a claim has been submitted to Veterans UK, the organisation that manages the scheme, they'll look at the medical evidence that we've provided and agree a settlement in one of the tariff bands.

If we feel that the settlement is too low, then we can make an application for it to be reconsidered. If the level of compensation is still too low after this, we can look at making an appeal through an independent tribunal.

We have strong links with independent medical advisers and are very experienced in navigating the AFCS claims process. Our lawyers have a proven track record of successful appeals, ensuring that the compensation you receive reflects the true impact of your injury on your life.

If you have any questions about the claims process, don't hesitate to call us on 0800 022 3321 for a free initial consultation on your case.

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Awards and Accreditation

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven occasions.
"The lawyers are heavyweight individuals in a big firm, but they never compromise on client care. They handle cases with striking compassion and insight."
"'One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Royal British Legion


We're proud to be part of The Royal British Legion Solicitor's Group

Our Armed Forces Expertise

Since 1987, our specialist military injury team has helped hundreds of injured personnel from the Army, RAF and Royal Navy to claim compensation. We are considered one of the top law firms in the country for military claims and several cases we were involved in were recently featured in the Chilcot Inquiry.

We work closely with a number of Armed Forces welfare branches and organisations, and are the PAX appointed legal representatives under the PAX Personal Accident Insurance Scheme. We're also proud supporters of:

  • The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group
  • Help For Heroes
  • SSAFA Forces Help

Several of our solicitors were part of team that recently won The Claims Innovation Award for Legal Service Team of the Year (2016) for their pro bono work within The Royal British Legion Solicitors Group (TRBLSG).

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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