Q: What is the AFCS?
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme replaces the old War Pension Scheme. It is a no fault compensation scheme whereby the MOD will compensate servicemen and women for injuries which were sustained as a consequence of their service.
Q: Is it the same as bringing a legal claim?
No. In order to bring a legal claim you must establish fault on behalf of the Defendant. The AFCS is a non-fault scheme run by the Veterans Agency.
Q: Will I get more money from a legal claim or an AFCS claim?
Although direct comparison is extremely difficult you will almost certainly recover considerably more in a successful legal claim than you would by claiming under the AFCS. Although both schemes will award similar sums for the actual injuries sustained a legal claim will entitle you to recover your financial losses as well as compensating you for the injuries. In some cases these financial losses can run to several hundred thousand pounds and these would not be recoverable under the AFCS. In a recent case where a Lance Corporal received £220,000.00 by way of a successful legal claim it was calculated that the AFCS would have paid him a lump sum of just £11,000.00 with an annual pension of £4,357.00.
Q: Can I bring both claims?
Yes. Although if both claims are successful you will have to give credit in your legal claim for any payments received through the AFCS. You will therefore not be better off by bringing both claims.
Q: Do I need a Solicitor to bring an AFCS claim?
No. The AFCS is a scheme run by the Veterans Agency and does not involve the Courts. However the CIAU are happy to assist you, free of charge in bringing an AFCS claim should you require any help or advice.
Q: How do I apply?
If you are medically discharged your claim under the AFCS will be processed automatically. If your injuries do not necessitate your medical discharge then you will have to apply by obtaining the necessary forms from the Veterans Agency. If you are not entered automatically then you must make the necessary application within five years of your injuries.