Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)

Personnel head back to the UK from an overseas deployment on a RAF C17 transporter aircraft (taken in 2014)

This is relatively niche, but important – understand a compensation scheme for UK serving and former service personnel injured as a result of their service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

RAF Families Federation Director, Maria Lyle sits on the Central Advisory Committee for compensation so we work to represent personnel and families there. AFCS compensates for any injury, illness or death which was caused by service on or after 6 April 2005.

Why should I know about this?

The Scheme is designed to provide compensation, irrespective of fault, across the full range of circumstances in which illness, injury or death may arise as a result of service. It does not seek to affect the right to make a civil claim if you think that the injury, illness or death was caused by the Department’s negligence.

It is entirely separate from any other personal accident cover, such as Personal Accident (PAX) or Life Insurance (LI). Any accident cover that you may already hold is not considered when determining an AFCS award.

There are 2 main types of AFCS awards:

  • a tax free lump sum payment for pain and suffering
  • a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) which is a tax free, index linked monthly payment.

The rules of the scheme and the value of the payments awarded are set by Parliament and are calculated by reference to a tariff of injuries.

If you are no longer serving and your disablement was caused or made worse as a result of service in the armed forces before 6 April 2005, you can claim under the War Pension Scheme (WPS).

Who is eligible?

The Scheme covers all regular service personnel, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment and members of the reserves for all 3 services. You can claim whether you are still serving or have left HM Armed Forces.

Source/further information: GOV.UK

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Story image: ©Crown Copyright.

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