A Royal Navy sailor who had his hand crushed by a metal cover on top of a weapon’s lift is facing lengthy delays over his fight for compensation.
The 26 year old sailor from Arbroath in Scotland had planned on leaving the Navy shortly after the accident occurred. He had aspirations to begin a career as a professional musician, but the injuries he sustained during the accident have prevented this. The victim’s hand suffered nerve damage and torn tendons after the metal cover slipped and trapped his hand for an hour. As a result, he is no longer able to play musical instruments.
As an alternative, he had planned to enrol at university this autumn to study music management. However, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) have failed to deal with his case in time for enrolment. It could take as long as 9 months for the institution to look at his case and make a decision on the amount of compensation and disability allowance he is eligible for.
The case comes as concern is growing surrounding the increase in the number of compensation claims from military personnel. It has emerged that more than 28,000 service personnel have made claims to help them cope with injuries and mental trauma sustained during their acts of service over the last 6 years. The concern is over how the government is planning to support veterans in years to come, especially as health issues sustained during conflict have a tendency to worsen over time. In so many cases the impact of an injury will have two stages. Firstly there are the physical injuries, and then, often much later on, the psychological scars become apparent.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence pledged that it was vitally important that all injured service personnel get the care and support they need to overcome and deal with the injuries they sustain during their periods of service. He maintained that they encourage all claims to be pursued in order for servicemen to receive the compensation they are entitled to. The question is, ‘has the government budgeted correctly?’