Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Video: Armed Forces Compensation Scheme May 2012

Click here to watch a short animated film about the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS).  The Scheme provides compensation for injuries, illness or death caused by Service on, or after, the introduction of the scheme on 6 April 2005. It is a comprehensive package that families need to be aware of. Further information on the scheme is available on the MOD website.

Changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme January 2012

To ensure that the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) continues to provide comprehensive and fair financial compensation, routine legislative amendments were laid in Parliament and came into force on 17 November 2011.

The AFCS was reviewed by Admiral the Lord Boyce, former Chief of Defence Staff, in 2010. One year on from the Review, in February 2011, all of Lord Boyce’s recommendations were fully implemented in new legislation, significantly improving the AFCS. However, day-to-day management of the Scheme identified a small number of anomalies. These have now been fully rectified.

Amendments include:

  • A provision to enable a bereavement grant to be paid to eligible children where there is no surviving eligible partner. Quite exceptionally, and to ensure fairness, the MOD shall be paying ex-gratia compensation to all eligible children who would have previously benefitted from this provision;
  • Clarification that injuries sustained when a Service person is travelling both to and from an emergency are covered by the Scheme; and
  • The insertion of new descriptors into the AFCS medical tariff where injuries have arisen since the last round of legislative amendment and are therefore not currently adequately catered for in the Scheme (including musculoskeletal disorders and shoulder injuries).

Representatives of the ex-Service community, Service charities and the Families Federations were consulted were consulted on the amendments through the Ministerial chaired Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation (CAC).

The AFCS provides financial compensation to Service personnel or their dependants for injury, illness or death attributable to service, the cause of which occurs on or after 6 April 2005. For injuries sustained prior to this date, compensation is awarded under the War Pensions Scheme. All Regular and Reserve personnel are eligible to claim under the scheme. An individual can claim for any injury that has been caused by Service, including training and approved military sports injuries.

For further information visit: or Personnel should visit the AFCS Intranet page (Defence Instructions and Notices: 2012DIN01-008). Specific queries and advice relating to claims should be directed to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA): 0800 169 2277.

The SPVA shall be applying all of these changes to those that may benefit from them. Those affected shall be contacted in due course. Personnel do not need to take any action.

Changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme May 2011

Changes have been made to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), producing an even more comprehensive compensation package for Service personnel who have suffered injury or illness, or been killed as a result of Service on or after 6 April 2005. The War Pension Scheme (WPS) compensates for any injury, illness or death which occurs up to this date.

  • All current and former members of the UK Armed Forces, including Reservists, may submit a claim.
  • You can claim for any injury or illness which has been sustained as a result of service including training and approved military sports injuries.
  • The AFCS is separate from other personal accident cover and therefore any accident cover you already hold is not taken into account when determining an AFCS award.
  • In the event of Service-related death the scheme pays benefits to eligible partners and children.

There are two main types of AFCS benefits:

  • Lump Sum Payments (A tax-free lump sum, the size of which reflects the severity of the injury/illness. Payments range from £1,200 – £570,000.)
  • Guaranteed Income Payments (GIPs) (For the most serious injuries/illnesses. A monthly tax-free, inflation proof income, payable from discharge for life. Takes into account the effects of an injury on future promotion prospects.)

From 9 May 2011 all new claims will be assessed under a new set of rules. Changes to the rules include:

  • An increase, which averages in excess of 25%, to all lump sum payments, except the top award which was recently doubled to £570,000.
  • An increase to the maximum award payable for mental illness from £48,875 to £140,000.
  • An increase to all Guaranteed Income Payments (GIPs).
  • An increase in the maximum bereavement grant; dependants may now receive up to £37,500.
  • An extension of the time limits for making a claim, from 5-7 years for injury (some exceptions for late onset illnesses) and 1-3 years for bereavement claims.
  • How claims are calculated has been changed to now address multiple injuries in a single incident.
  • A new interim payment is available to seriously injured personnel whilst the full claim process continues (in cases where the Service cause is clear).

The NFF were consulted and contributed to the review of the AFCS. Every recommendation made by the review has now been implemented.

Previously Received an AFCS Award?
Those who have previously received an award from the scheme will have their awards uplifted in line with the new increases. Those affected do not need to take any action and will be contacted by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) by June 2012.

For further information visit:

To make a claim: Contact the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) on their free helpline: 0800 169 2277 (overseas: +44 1253 866 043) or visit: to download the claim form.

Changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme August 2010

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) was recently reviewed by the former Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral the Lord Boyce. The Review found that whilst the scheme is fundamentally sound, there were several areas where recommendations were made for improvement.

The majority of improvements require detailed legislative amendment to the Scheme and will be implemented by February 2011. Some legislative changes arising from the Review can be made more quickly and will be effective from 3 August 2010.

These include:

  • Extending the time-limits for injury claims from 5 to 7 years.
  • Extending the time limits for bereavement claims from 1 to 3 years. A surviving spouse, civil partner or surviving adult will now have 3 years to make a claim. Claims in respect of bereavements that occurred more than 3 years ago will also be considered for a period of one year from the date of the new legislation (3 Aug 10).
  • An increase in the maximum level of Bereavement Grant payable in the future from £20,000 to £25,000 for Regular Service Personnel – to reflect the increase in Armed Forces pay since 2005.
  • An increase in the maximum level of Bereavement Grant for Reservists who are not members of a reserve forces pension scheme, to £37,500 to help bring their benefits in line with those applicable to Regular Service Personnel.
  • An uplift of the majority of awards for hearing loss by one Tariff level.

Click here for more details.