More cash for injured troops in compensation shake-up

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The Independent Online

The most seriously injured troops are to receive more cash under reforms to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme announced today.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said personnel who were hurt in the line of duty would be eligible for payouts for all injuries suffered in a single incident - rather than just the three most serious.



Those who have been injured since the start of the scheme in April 2005 will receive additional payments so they receive the same benefits.



The maximum lump sum payout would stay at £285,000 under the proposals - which will now go for consultation.











The move follows a series of high-profile cases where payments for those hurt in the line of duty have been seen as inadequate.

Paratrooper Ben Parkinson was left paralysed after being blown up by a land mine in Afghanistan last year, losing both legs, suffering severe fractures, and receiving brain damage that left him unable to speak and with severe memory loss.



However, the 23-year-old - who was serving with the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery - was awarded only an "insulting" £152,000 lump sum because rules of the scheme meant that most of his wounds counted for nothing.



By comparison, an RAF typist who damaged her thumb at the Ministry of Defence in London was given a £484,000 payout.



Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "Our Armed Forces are unique in making a vital contribution to the security of our nation and we have a responsibility to continue to look after them properly when they get injured.



"This review will benefit those with the most serious multiple injuries - and they will be compensated for all their injuries up to the full £285,000 lump sum payment."

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