Kirsten Oswald – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Kirsten Oswald on 2015-11-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what account he has made of the adequacy of tariffs in the armed forces compensation scheme for former service personnel with an employment-related mental illness.

Mark Lancaster

In 2009 Lord Boyce was asked to review the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), including its associated tariffs, to ensure that the Scheme was fit for purpose. Lord Boyce made his recommendations in February 2010, and as a result the Ministry of Defence tripled the maximum lump sum award for mental illness from £48,875 to £140,000 in order to accurately reflect the impact of the most serious mental health conditions. While Lord Boyce was clear in his report that a further fundamental review of the AFCS should not be required, we recognise that it is appropriate to review our policies and associated tariffs on a regular basis.

In addition to the AFCS lump sum, the most seriously injured receive a tax-free Guaranteed Income Payment for life. This is uplifted annually by the Consumer Price Index.

An Independent Medical Expert Group (IMEG) was also established in 2010 to advise on appropriate levels of compensation for several specific injuries and illnesses, including mental health. The IMEG has looked at how best to compensate for mental health problems and they keep this under review.