Your Rights When Facing UK Military Medical Discharge

Your Rights When Facing UK Military Medical Discharge
 Your Rights When Facing UK Military Medical Discharge
Updated: In: Military

After serving as a veteran, leaving the military can be an apprehensive period. However, for those leaving the military due to medical discharge, questions may arise such as what will my future income look like after the military, how will I move on with my future and am I entitled to compensation? In this article, we will look at circumstances leading to military medical discharge, and whether you’re entitled to compensation to help you move on with your future.

What is Military Medical Discharge?

Military medical discharge is when a decision is made to discharge you from your service in the military due to an injury or illness that was obtained in the period of your service that affects your ability to carry out your duties. Although the medical board will assess your physical and mental health, the final decision is made by the medical board.

Before you are medically discharged, the military should make all reasonable adjustments so that you can return to service. The military should exhaust all pathways before the decision is made to discharge you. Furthermore, the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force all have their own policy on medical discharge to deal with the issue depending on their specific environments. Therefore, discrepancies in policy are to be expected depending on how each branch of the military manages their medical concerns.

Common Examples of Military Medical Discharge

Across all military branches, the two most common causes of military medical discharge are musculoskeletal disorders and injuries and mental and behavioural disorders.

Examples of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries:

These injuries are most often caused in training.

Examples of mental and behavioural disorders:

  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Adjustment disorder

Additional common injuries that result in medical discharge are hearing and sight loss. It’s worth noting that 2 out of 5 military discharges involve two or more medical conditions.

What Benefits Can You Receive If You’re Medically Discharged?

If you are medically discharged from the armed forces you are eligible to receive compensation from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) for any injury, illness or death caused by military service.

AFCS offer two primary compensation awards:

  • A tax-free lump sum payment
  • A tax-free monthly Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP)

The GIP is a monthly payment that you will receive for life based on your salary, age and how severe your injury is.

Additionally, it’s important to keep documentation of any evidence relating to your injuries. This can help to determine your eligibility for the AFCS.

The rules of the scheme and the amount of compensation awarded can be subject to changes by Parliament.

Read further about the AFCS here.

Are You Entitled to Further Compensation?

In some cases, you may be entitled to terminal benefits.

Terminal benefits includes AFPS 05 ill-health benefits. In order the qualify, you must have a minimum of two years qualifying service. The sum you will receive is based on the following three-tier system:

  • For less serious conditions: Tier 1 offers a tax-free lump sum only.
  • Additionally, for serious conditions: Tiers 2 and 3 provide an ill-health pension based on your actual service.
  • Finally, for Tiers 2 and 3, you will receive a tax-free lump sum equivalent to three times your annual ill-health pension.

Reserve Forces RFPS 05 Ill-Health Benefits

Furthermore, the Reserve Forces have their own RFPS 05 ill-health benefits. To qualify, you must have a minimum of two years of service. The benefits are structured on a two-tier system with both addressing serious conditions. Under the RFPS 05 ill-health benefits you will receive:

  • an ill-health pension based on your actual service.
  • a tax-free lump sum equal to three times your annual ill-health pension.

The Reserve Forces have their own RFPS 05 ill-health benefits. To qualify, you must have a minimum of two years of service. The benefits are structured on a two-tier system with both tiers addressing serious conditions.

Under the RFPS 05 you will receive:

  • an ill-health pension based on your service.
  • a tax-free lump sum equal to three times your annual ill-health pension.

If you are medically discharged and qualify for an ill-health pension from AFPS, Veterans UK will automatically review your case without requiring a claim. Your termination benefits and pension will be paid within 30 days of your termination date if all necessary forms are completed.

If you disagree with a decision regarding your pension or compensation, our solicitors can help you appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber).

Additionally, the AFCS does not affect your right to file a civil claim for any injury, illness, or death caused by the forces’ negligence.

How Our Military Solicitors Can Help?

At AWH, we can assist you if you’ve been injured or become ill due to military negligence. Our military claims experts will assess your situation and provide a clear indication of the compensation you may be entitled to. All claims are handled on a no-win, no-fee basis, and consultations are completely free.

When you get in touch, we will guide you through the military claims process with straightforward, jargon-free advice, ensuring you receive the best care. We handle various common military injuries, including:

We are committed to providing expert legal care throughout your military accident claim. Book your free consultation to determine if we can help you claim compensation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to make a claim?

There is a seven-year time limit for claims to be made starting from when your military injury was obtained. However, if you are not aware of an injury or illness until after the seven years have passed, you still have three years to start your claim from the date you were first made aware of it.

How much can I receive for a military medical discharge claim?

AFCS claims range from £1,236 to £650,000. The claims are categorised by tariffs. These start at 15 as the least serious injuries and range to tariff one which encompasses the most serious injuries.

Ill-health pensions are calculated based on several factors. This includes your salary and the length of your service.