Round the clock support for HM ARMED FORCES
Being a member of the Armed Forces isn’t a ‘nine to five’ job.
It’s unique in the potential risks faced in particular current operations overseas.
Injury in conflict is traumatic for everyone involved but it sets in motion a finely tuned operation…
Step One – an Operational incident occurs
A member of the Services is injured or suddenly taken ill. Their colleagues will provide or arrange immediate medical assistance. The casualty will be moved to a field hospital for further treatment or assessment. Details of the incident are then sent to the relevant admin post at their Unit or HQ.
Step Two – Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre is notified
JCCC (as it’s known within the MOD community) will receive a report with details of the incident electronically either, via the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system or signal. With the introduction of JPA, incidents can be notified quickly (within minutes) to start the process of notifying relatives or evacuation of the casualty, if required.
Step Three – Informing Family
Before posting overseas, Service personnel provide details of their emergency contact and Next of Kin (NOK), on the JPA system, who need to be informed if an incident occurs. The JCCC will liase with the relevant Service (for example an Army Division) to arrange notification to those listed. For serious injuries, this is done via a personal visit. (For Service personnel under 18 years old, their guardian/NOK must be informed irrespective of their wishes).
Step Four – Further Treatment, if required
Injured personnel who cannot be fully treated in theatre will normally be medically evacuated to a specialist hospital in the UK. More seriously injured soldiers may, however, be evacuated to specialist treatment in hospitals closer to the theatre of operations, before being moved to Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham. JCCC also work closely with the NHS whose expertise in specialist care, such as burns treatment, ensures the best care is identified to aid Service personnels’ recovery.
Step Five - Visits from Relatives
In certain circumstances such as severe injuries, the JCCC will arrange travel and accommodation to allow two family members to visit the injured personnel in hospital, even if this is outside the UK.
Step Six - Continuous Support
The Unit or Visiting Officer, if one has been appointed, will provide advice and support to the family, keeping them updated on any change in the condition whilst the casualty remains in hospital. Rail warrants and refunds for motor mileage may be available to enable the family to make hospital visits.
Step Seven - Claiming compensation
Once medical treatment is in hand, a claim should be made to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS). This 15 tariff MOD scheme provides tax-free lump sums of up to £285,000 and a regular monthly income post discharge for those more severely injured. Claiming will not affect future promotion prospects.
Step Eight - A return to Service?
Medical treatment hopefully leads to a return to Service but where this is not possible, a medical discharge may follow. If Service personnel are medically discharged, their case is automatically referred to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency for an AFCS claim to be considered and full welfare support is offered post-discharge.
Death in Service
A similar process occurs if Service personnel are killed in conflict (or due to an accident, natural causes, etc), but clearly the process focuses on support for the family and will provide detailed support in repatriation, funeral arrangements and dealing with the estate.
For more information on AFCS
call 0800 169 2277 or visit www.veterans-uk.info
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STOP PRESS... ...STOP PRESS...
New rules to improve the level of compensation awarded to the most severely injured military personnel will come into effect on 8 February, the Ministry of Defence has announced.
This marks the completion of the MOD's consultation period into proposed changes to the multiple injury rules of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
The Under Secretary of State for Defence, Derek Twigg, said:
"I am pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the consultation period into the changes to the multiple injury rules of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme proposed in October. This review ensures that our most seriously injured personnel will be compensated in full for all their injuries up to the full £285,000 lump sum payment. This is in addition to, a guaranteed tax-free payment paid to them, on discharge, monthly for life. This can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds over a lifetime."
Under the new rules, the lump sum compensation payment for the most seriously injured will be based on the full rate for all their injuries in a single incident, up to the highest lump sum of £285,000. In addition, they will continue to receive the 100% tax-free index-linked Guaranteed Income Payment for life once they have left Service.
Additional benefits will be paid to the most seriously injured whose multiple injury claims have been paid since the start of the scheme in April 2005. This will bring their lump sum awards to the same level as those who will benefit from the new rule changes.
Currently the most seriously injured receive lump sum compensation payments for only the three worst injuries. Lump sum compensation is paid at 100% for the first injury with the second and third injuries being discounted to 30% and 15% respectively. In addition, the most seriously injured receive a tax-free index-linked 100% Guaranteed Income Payment to compensate for loss of earnings once they have left Service. This can amount to hundreds of thousand pounds over a lifetime. Those with less serious injuries, who do not qualify for 100% GIP payments, will continue to have the current discounting rule applied to their multiple injuries.
The rule changes follow a review into the multiple injury rules of the scheme commissioned by the Under Secretary of State for Defence, Derek Twigg. The changes have the full support of the Service Chiefs of Staff.