Personal Injury
Military Injury

A guide to The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) which makes awards of £1,236 up to £650,000

British Army Soldiers marching

Bond Ma


4 min read time
15 Sep 2022

According to the Ministry of Defence 5,300 injury and illness claims were registered by The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) in 2021.

The highest rates of injury are in the Army, followed by the Royal Navy and then the RAF.

A military claim can be made while you are still serving but must be made within seven years of the date of injury or, for an illness, seven years from first seeking medical advice.

If an application under the scheme is successful, you will be paid a lump sum for your injury.

Depending on your injury you may also qualify for a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) for life in a similar way to receiving a pension.

Most AFCS awards are for musculoskeletal disorders, that is: injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs.

Most common AFCS awards:

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders – 46%
  • Fractures & Dislocations – 24%
  • Injury, Wounds & Scarring – 13%
  • Mental Disorders – 7%
  • Senses – 5%

While musculoskeletal disorders are the most common service injuries, most do not result in a significant loss of future earning capacity.

However, mental disorders, which make-up a small proportion of AFCS awards, often fall into the serious conditions category, reflecting their impact on claimants’ earning capacity in the future.

Anyone who suffers an injury or illness, both physical and / or mental, caused by their military service is entitled to compensation.

As up to 40% of claims made to the scheme are rejected, we strongly advise taking expert advice to ensure any damages claimed for are fully reflective of the impact of suffering and loss experienced.

It is also possible to have your case reviewed, which could be important when payments range from £1,236 to £650,000.

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AFCS lump sum payment award examples:

AFCS table of awards

Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP)

Some injuries also qualify for a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) which could increase the total value of an award to £1.5m or more.

Expert advice can ensure any damages claimed for are fully reflective of the both the physical and medical impact of suffering and loss experienced.

The system for calculating GIPs can be complex depending not only on the severity of the injury but also the age and salary of those affected.

Guaranteed Income Payment Examples

  • A service person aged 23 on a salary of £20,000 loses a foot in an incident caused by service. The individual receives a tax-free lump sum payment of £61,800. On discharge they also receive an annual GIP and an ill-health pension of £11,820 a year, which rises with inflation each year.
  • A service person aged 36 and on a salary of £35,000 loses a leg as a result of service and is medically discharged from the Armed Forces. Tax-free lump sum payment of £180,250 plus an annual GIP and an ill-health pension totalling £35,490 a year.

How is a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) calculated?

Where an injury or injuries are so serious that it is unlikely the individual will be able to earn again in any form, all of their future income is replaced.

For less serious injuries, a proportion of the individual’s future earnings are replaced in recognition of the fact the individual is still able to earn income, though not to the same level had they not been injured.

The GIP is calculated using the claimant’s age at discharge or the date of the claim if they have left service, along with the severity of the injury/illness.

Our expert Military Claims solicitors fully appreciate how much compensation you are awarded could depend on the evidence you submit with your claim.

As a high proportion of all AFCS claims are rejected we strongly advise using our experienced team of solicitors, on a no-win no fee basis.

We will ensure your application to the AFCS clearly evidences your injuries, and the impact of them, to ensure your claim has the best chance of being accepted and the damages you seek truly reflect the impact of any injuries or illnesses suffered.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or illness caused by serving the Armed Forces, get in touch with our team today for free legal advice and a confidential discussion of your circumstances and compensation claim.

Read more: Military Injury Compensation Claims


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A guide to The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) which makes awards of £1,236 up to £650,000

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