Injured soldiers get cash boost

By staff

A review of compensation payments for injured service personnel has recommended increased payments for more serious injuries.

The review, led by former chief of the defence staff Admiral the Lord Boyce, has been accepted by the Ministry of Defence which will legislate to bring about the changes it proposes.

The top level of award, already doubled in 2008, will remain at £570,000. But all other award levels will be increased.

Other changes will include increases to the maximum award for mental illness and the time limits by which claims must be made.

A new fast interim payment helping those injured receive some compensation before the claims process is completed is also being arranged.

“It is vital that our Armed Forces know that if they are injured due to service they will be properly supported by the nation, and this includes getting the right compensation,” defence secretary Bob Ainsworth said.

“This review concludes that the armed forces compensation scheme already goes a long way to meeting this goal, but makes a number of recommendations about how it should be improved. We have accepted all those recommendations and we are committed to implementing these changes as soon as possible.”

The tax-free, index-linked guaranteed income payment will be raised in accordance with the lasting effect of more serious injuries, as well as probably promotions and extended retirement ages.

Mr Ainsworth had brought forward the review of the compensation scheme in July last year.

A separate report by the National Audit Office, published earlier today, found the number of patients being dealt with by Defence Medical Services had nearly doubled in the last three years.