Compensation doubled for injured troops

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The Independent Online

Defence ministers doubled the maximum compensation today for armed forces personnel injured in service from £285,000 to £570,000.

The boost to payouts is retrospective, resulting in around £10 million being paid out to 2,700 troops who have been awarded lump-sum payments under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme since 2005.

All injured personnel who have received an award under the scheme since its establishment will receive an increase of between 10 per cent and 100 per cent of their payment.

For the most seriously injured, this sum comes in addition to a tax-free, index-linked monthly payment for the rest of their life after leaving the armed forces.

A 19-year-old seriously injured soldier could receive more than £1 million over the course of his life under the new system.

Letters are being sent to the 140 most seriously injured today with details of their increased compensation payments and they will get their additional money within the next few days. Those less seriously injured will receive their extra compensation over the next few months.

The plan to increase lump-sum payments was announced in July as part of a Service Personnel Command Paper outlining 40 measures to improve the life of servicemen and women, their families and veterans.

Defence minister Kevan Jones said: "Our armed forces are inspirational and they deserve the very best support - that is why I am determined to see through the package of measures we announced in the Service Personnel Command paper. This increase in our compensation package will be a great boost to our injured personnel and their families."

Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, said: "We are very happy that the Ministry of Defence listened to the concerns outlined in the Legion's 'Honour the Covenant' campaign and that today, in respect to improvements to compensation arrangements for those with conditions relating to Service, the Government's promises are being implemented.

"It is particularly good news coming just before Christmas and will be a welcome boost for all those who have been injured."

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme provides compensation on a 15-tier scale according to the seriousness of injuries. Payments are made up of a tax-free lump sum payment, coupled with a monthly Guaranteed Income Payment for life for the more seriously injured.

From today, the lump-sum payments will be doubled for the top six tiers, with less serious injuries qualifying for increases of between 10 and 100 per cent in compensation.

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