Designed to compensate members and ex-members of the UK Armed Forces, the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) provides compensation to those who have suffered illness, injury or death as a result of service.
Service needs to be the "predominant" cause, of which the AFCS define this to be at least 50% of the cause.
What types of activity are excluded from the scheme?
Several types of activity are specifically excluded from the scheme, but all have exceptions which will bring an activity back within the scheme. Generally, excluded activities are:
- Travel to and from work
- Slips trips and falls
- Sporting Activities
- Social Events
- Personal habits
Travel to and from work
Travel to and from work, covers commuting between home and normal place of work which is not generally covered by the scheme. Home includes service accommodation as well as any family home. There are certain circumstances that the scheme will cover, and these include:
- Travel to a required or approved sporting activity
- Travel when changing place of work from the UK to outside the UK
- Travel where called out to an emergency
- Acts of terrorism during travel which is directed at the member because of their membership of the Armed Forces
Slips Trips and Falls
Generally, slips, trips and falls are excluded from the scheme, even those that happened where the member is undertaking an activity linked to service or that takes place on Armed Forces property. Compensation may be paid however if any of the following apply:
- The member is undertaking a hazardous activity
- The member is in a hazardous environment
- The member is engaging in training to improve or maintain their effectiveness in the forces
Generally sporting activities undertaken by members in their free time and not connected with service are excluded. The Defence Council does recognise certain free time activities which help to maintain an individual’s overall fitness and will consider compensation for these, which currently include: running, cycling, circuit training and weight training.
Injuries occurring at social events that the member has not been expressly ordered to attend are excluded from the scheme, unless the member is targeted at the event by an act of terrorism specifically due to his membership of the Armed Forces.
The scheme will not compensate for injuries, illness or death caused by habits or personal choices such as tobacco, alcohol use, non-medicinal drug use and sexual activity. Neither does it compensate for illnesses or infections where the risk in service is no different to that in military life, such as mumps and influenza.
How do the decision-makers assess the circumstances in which the incident or injury occurred?
The circumstances will be looked at and assessed on “the balance of probabilities”. The circumstances will be assessed by looking at the facts of the case. It is important that you are able to put forward the best evidence and all the information to ensure that your claim is assessed correctly and not excluded in cases where compensation should in fact be payable. Contact us on 0113 320 5000 if you need help making a AFCS claim.