Changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

June 15, 2016

By Chris Barnes

Those bringing military claims against the Ministry of Defence will need to be aware of recent changes to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

With little consultation and even less publicity, the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) (Amendment) Order 2016 (SI 2016/557) came into force on 31st May 2016, having only been made on 3rd May and laid before Parliament on 6th May. The Order makes a number of changes to the Scheme. Of particular significance to lawyers representing those with Non Freezing Cold Injuries is the new requirement that such an injury must be diagnosed by a non-treating consultant neurologist. Since such injuries are rarely treated by neurologists and the vast majority of non-treating (civilian) doctors are unaware of them and of the diagnostic signs, the only possible reason for the change can be to limit the availability of compensation under the Scheme. In reality, that step may backfire on the Government, pushing more of those affected to bring a civil claim rather than simply relying on an award under the Scheme. Time will tell!

Chris Barnes is a member of the personal injury department at Exchange Chambers, and has extensive experience in military claims.