Page last updated at 01:44 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Compensation doubled for troops

British troops
The move has been welcomed by the Royal British Legion

The maximum compensation for armed forces personnel injured in service has been doubled by defence ministers from 285,000 to 570,000.

The increase is retrospective, which means around 10m will be paid out to 2,700 troops who have been awarded lump-sum payments.

For the most seriously injured this is in addition to a lifetime tax-free index-linked monthly payment.

The government said it would be a "boost" to personnel and families.

All injured personnel who have received an award under the scheme will receive an increase of between 10% and 100% of their payment.

A 19-year-old seriously injured soldier could receive more than 1m over the course of his life under the new system.

Pressure for the increase was partly driven by the fact civilian compensation cases can receive much higher sums.

'Very best support'

Letters with details of the increased compensation payments are being sent to the 140 most seriously injured.

They will get their additional money within the next few days, while those less seriously injured will receive their extra compensation over the next few months.

The plan was announced in July as part of a government paper outlining 40 measures to improve the lives of servicemen and woman.

It is particularly good news coming just before Christmas and will be a welcome boost for all those who have been injured

Chris Simpkins
Royal British Legion

Defence minister Kevan Jones said: "Our armed forces are inspirational and they deserve the very best support - that is why I am determined to see through the package of measures we announced in the Service Personnel Command paper.

"This increase in our compensation package will be a great boost to our injured personnel and their families."

Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, said it was "very happy" the government's promises were being implemented.

"It is particularly good news coming just before Christmas and will be a welcome boost for all those who have been injured."

The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, launched in 2005, provides compensation on a 15-tier scale according to the seriousness of injuries.

Payments are made up of a tax-free lump sum payment, coupled with a monthly Guaranteed Income Payment for life for the more seriously injured.

From Monday, the lump-sum payments will be doubled for the top six tiers, with less serious injuries qualifying for increases of between 10 and 100% in compensation.

One member of the armed forces who will benefit is L/Bdr Ben Parkinson who is reportedly one of the most seriously injured soldiers to survive in Afghanistan.

Mr Parkinson, who had been serving with the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was awarded 152,000 lump sum under the rules of the scheme.

In comparison, an RAF servicewoman who was left disabled after damaging her thumb received a payout of 484,000.

Her injury payment was made in a civil case and included loss of earnings and legal fees, as well as a sum for pain and suffering.

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Washington Post Britain to Double Compensation for War Wounded - 48 mins ago
Glasgow Evening Times - Payouts doubled for injured troops - 3 hrs ago
Biggleswade Chronicle Injured troops get bigger payouts - 13 hrs ago
4NI MoD Introduces Increased Compensation For Injured Personnel - 18 hrs ago
Harrow Times Injured troops get bigger payouts - 18 hrs ago

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