1 Million British Army Veterans facing Mental Health Battles

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Army Veteran Experiencing Mental Health Battle
LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott
Legally reviewed by: LLB (Hons) & LPC Stacy Pimlott In: Industrial Disease

The British Medical Journal has found that almost 40% of army veterans have suffered mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, alcoholism, or post-traumatic stress.

The research shows that veterans are twice as likely to develop mental health problems compared to civilians. 44% of female army veterans and 38% of male army veterans have been affected by mental health issues due to military service. Depression is the most common mental health issue, with 18% (half a million) veterans reporting experiences of it. With the rise in mental health issues related to military service, the number of troops who have committed suicide in the past 10 years has doubled.

These recent figures have highlighted a growing issue in the military, as soldiers have reported feeling pressure to act or feel a certain way. The stigma against mental health leaves soldiers feeling they cannot open up about their mental health troubles. As a result, there is limited internal support provided to help veterans with mental health issues.

For veterans that are facing mental health battles, you may be eligible to make a claim. It should be noted that the Government’s Overseas Operations Act now means that the Military of Defence now avoids liability for any PTSD as a result of overseas service.

What Are Some Examples of Mental Health Issues Caused by Military Service?

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Mood disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance misuse

If you feel that you need to talk to someone to talk to, the army signpost service personnel to their confidential support services which can be found here.

What are Military Claims for Army Veterans?

Whether you were deliberately or accidentally injured or sustained an illness due to your time serving in the army, you may be able to claim compensation. The Ministry of Defence is immune from any claim made by an army veteran that occurred during combat, but the MoD has been known to make ex-gratia payments in specific situations, so you should always seek legal advice if you feel that you have unfairly suffered because of mistreatment in your time serving.

Is There a Time Limit Regarding a Military Claim?

From the date of knowledge of your incident, you have a three-year limitation period to make your claim.

If the claim is made before six years have passed from the date of when your incident happened or symptoms started, there is a chance the Judge can exercise their discretion under the Limitation Act 1980 and allow your claim even though it’s deemed out of time. Once six years have passed from when your incident or symptoms started you won’t be able to bring a claim to court due to The Oversea Bill 2021.

Even though there’s a chance you can make a claim after three years, to avoid any disappointment, we advise you make your claim in the three-year limitation period.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for Army Veterans (AFCS)

The AFCS exists to provide compensation for any injury, illness, or death caused by service on or after the 6th April 2005. It’s available to all current and former members of the UK Armed Forces, including reservists.

A claim can be made during or after service and should be submitted to the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, explaining the extent of the injury or illness and the circumstances of the incident that are believed to have caused it. In the event of a service-related death, then the scheme will pay compensation to the family of the victim.

A legal professional will be able to provide a full explanation of the AFCS and provide advice regarding making AFCS applications.

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