Our specialist military injury lawyers have a great deal of experience providing guidance on the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).
We’ve created this guide to help you understand the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and see if you can claim. We’ll answer frequently asked questions about the AFCS, including how to claim, what you can claim for, how much compensation you could get and how to appeal.
What is the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS)?
The AFCS is a government scheme managed by Veterans UK. Its purpose is to compensate those who have suffered injury, illness or death during UK armed forces service on or after 6 April 2005.
Any injury or illness caused by service in the armed forces before 6 April 2005 is considered under a different scheme, called the War Pensions Scheme.
The AFCS is often referred to as the Army Compensation Scheme, but it covers injuries sustained while serving in any of the UK’s armed forces.
The scheme is ‘no-fault’, meaning that if there is payment the Ministry of Defence (MOD) do not accept any fault for the injuries or illnesses claimed for by service personnel.
How do I make a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
In order to make a claim, you need to submit a claim form to Veterans UK.
On the claim form, you will need to provide information about your injury or illness, including why you think it was caused by your service and any medical treatment you have received.
Relevant information obtained from both inside and outside of the MOD will be used to decide the outcome of your case.
Is there a time limit for making an AFCS claim?
Claims must be made within a strict seven-year time limit of sustaining an injury.
If you do not realise you have sustained an injury or illness until after the seven-year limit, say a disease that develops in later life, you can still make a claim under the AFCS. You will have three years to claim from the date you first become aware of your injury or illness.
You do not have to wait until you’ve left the Forces to make a claim.
What types of injuries does the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme cover?
You can claim for any injury or illness which has been caused by service in the armed forces, ranging from hearing loss or arthritis to amputations or mental health issues.
There are only a limited number of contexts where injuries are excluded, and they include injuries that have happened during:
- Social events
- Travel to and from work
- Sporting activity without prior approval
- The majority of slips, trips and falls.
However, each case is considered on its own merit, so it’s worth obtaining advice from a legal expert about whether you could still claim under the scheme.
How much compensation could I get from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme?
The AFCS is governed by The Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2011, which outlines compensation amounts based on the type and severity of injury.
The compensation amounts are tariff based with 15 levels reflecting the seriousness of the injury or illness. Tariff level one is associated with the most serious injuries and tariff level 15 is the least serious. The compensation lump sums available range from £1,236 to £650,000.
Here is the table outlining the tariff levels and the corresponding lump sum amount: