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Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

Key information

You might be able to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme if you have an illness or injury caused by service in the Armed Forces on or after 6 April 2005.

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age Rules: Of the legal age to join the Armed Forces

Type: Non means tested

Taxable: No - for those who have served

Administered by: The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) (link opens in a new window)

Illness/injury: If you have an illness or injury caused by service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005 or your husband, wife or civil partner died before 6 April 2005 as a result of serving in the armed forces, see War Pensions Scheme.

 

Index

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Armed Forces serving personnel and veterans

Who does it help?

You might be able to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme if you have an illness or injury caused by service in the Armed Forces on or after 6 April 2005. 

You do not have to have fought in a war or seen active service to get financial help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, as long as you are injured or disabled because of serving in the Armed Forces.

If the period of service which caused your illness or disability was before 6 April 2005, you can get help from the War Pension scheme.

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What help does it provide?

You may get weekly payments and/or a lump sum payment.

The weekly payment, known as a guaranteed income payment (GIP), is payable for life to those who could be expected to experience a significant loss of earnings in the future as a result of injury or illness caused by service. This may be payable to someone who was injured but returned to service or to someone who leaves the UK armed forces after injury or illness caused by service.

Payments might affect other means-tested benefits.

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How much does it pay?

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme is based on a tariff system. The GIP you get will depend on how severely you have been hurt or disabled and your age. 

A lump sum is payable, also based on the tariff system. It can take an expected level of deterioration of health into account. 

If you get a GIP of 50% or more you may also be entitled to an Armed Forces Independence Payment.

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How do I make a claim?

If you want to claim help from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, you should get in touch with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) (link opens in a new window) to get a claim form. They will help you fill it in. You should claim within five years of the event causing the injury or ill health.

You can call their helpline on:

  • 0800 169 2277 (UK) or
  • +44 1253 866043 (Overseas)

You can download a claim form from the Veterans UK website (link opens in a new window).

Benefit cap and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

If you or your partner receive an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payment, you will be exempt from the benefit cap which was introduced in April 2013.

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Bereaved partners of serving Armed Forces personnel

Who does it help?

A survivor's guaranteed income payment (SGIP), part of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, can be paid to surviving spouses and civil partners where the service person's death was caused by service. In the case of unmarried partners, a substantial relationship must be demonstrated.

If the death happened prior to 6th April 2005, you may qualify for a War Widow's/Widower's Pension instead.

What help does it provide?

A SGIP is a weekly payment.

Payments might affect other means-tested benefits like Income Support or Housing Benefit (England, Wales, Scotland) and Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland)

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How much does it pay?

The weekly payments are based on your spouse or civil partner's earnings.

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How do I make a claim?

You can get in touch with the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) (link opens in a new window)by calling their helpline on:

  • 0800 169 2277 (UK) or
  • +44 1253 866043 (Overseas)

A war pensions welfare officer will visit you to help you claim SGIP and anything else you may be entitled to.

You can also get a form from your nearest War Pensioners' Welfare Service Office. You'll find them in the local phone book under 'Veterans Agency'.

You can also download a form on Veterans UK website (link opens in a new window).

Further information

You may find the following resources helpful:

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Benefit cap and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

If you receive an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payment, you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap.

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Last updated: 8 April 2013

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