In 2006 the armed forces introduced a scheme which was designed to enable injured troops to make claims for compensation.
This scheme was set up in the hope that it would improve the level of care that these injured servicemen and women received. Though the scheme has greatly improved the prospects of those who are injured during service, it is putting significant strain on government finances.
Increase in number of military compensation claims
Since the scheme was introduced 6 years ago, the number of claims made by military personnel has increased from 365 in 2005/06 to 7,350 in 2010/11. This represents a 20 fold increase. This significant increase in claims is also expected to continue in 2011/12 as over 4,500 claims have been made in the first six months of this year alone.
When asked about these figures, the MoD pointed out that although these figures might seem alarming, they don’t accurately represent the true cost of our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their spokesman pointed out that they expect many servicemen and women to make claims long after our forces pull out. In many cases it’s the physical impact of the injuries which receive the most attention.
This often means that the psychological impacts of a soldier’s injuries aren’t fully understood for months or years after the injuries occur.
Clearly, it’s very important that the lives of those injured whilst serving their country are given all the help they need. To make sure this is the case it’s imperative that adequate resources are allocated both now and in the future. NHS officials have warned the government that they will face a large number of servicemen and women with very complex medical and psychological needs over the next decade. Just because our forces have pulled out of Afghanistan and Iraq doesn’t mean the claims will stop.
Let’s hope the government listens.