The long-awaited publication of the Quinquennial Review of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (QQR) and an independent review of the UK Government’s welfare services for Veterans is being announced by the government.
The recommendations of both reviews, which include strengthening the way we make decisions and communicate outcomes around compensation claims, and strengthening the delivery of veterans services, will be considered in full – with the Government’s response to each published later in the year.
The reviews were commissioned by the Ministry of Defence and The Office for Veteran’s Affairs to improve the way we support our serving personnel and veterans in a range of services and compensation claims.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Johnny Mercer MP said:
These reviews offer a real opportunity to make a difference to veterans’ lives, many of whom have made real sacrifices for their country. I will be considering the recommendations carefully and will work with the MOD to provide a response in due course.
Minister for Defence, People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison MP said:
I welcome the completion of these important reviews to help the Government understand where we can do better. It is essential that we appropriately support our Serving Personnel and Veterans who have served our country with courage and honour. The government will consider the recommendations and respond in due course.
The recommendations of the reviews will build on the support the Government has already committed, including the newly announced pay award and financial support for serving personnel and a £40m digitisation project of pension and compensation services.
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme provides compensation for injury or illness caused or made worse by service, with the Quinquennial Review assessing the effectiveness of administration and processing claims and to ensure, as time passes, the scheme remains fit for purpose.
Alongside this, the Veteran’s Welfare Review examines the effectiveness and efficiency of welfare services provided by the Ministry of Defence to support veterans.
The recommendation from both reports includes the following:
- The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Quinquennial Review recommendations focus on six broad areas including; communications with applicants, case-working, and policy changes.
- The recommendations of Veterans Welfare Review focus on the roles, Governance and delivery of services by Government.
Government’s support for veterans is wide-reaching which includes free support for veterans and their families, the Veterans Welfare Service, Defence Transition Services and injury/bereavement compensation scheme payments.
In a response to the news, The Royal British Legion issued a response.
Responding to the review, Angela Kitching, Director of Research, Policy and Campaigns says:
“For many years, the Royal British Legion has been calling for the Government to scrap the time limit for people in the Armed Forces community to apply for compensation for injury or death of a family member.
“We are really pleased that the Review has shone a light on this issue. At the moment, people in the Armed Forces community must claim their compensation within seven years of being injured or falling ill due to service. But for many, their illness or injury may take years to be diagnosed or they may not know they are able to claim until it is too late, meaning they miss out on crucial support.
“This vital compensation can help people to live a better quality of life, addressing basic needs so they can travel, have access to the right support and heat their homes. We now want to see Government act on this recommendation so people can apply for compensation when they need it, even if they were injured more than seven years ago.
“We’re also heartened to see new recommendations to improve the welfare of veterans. We welcome plans to better engage with veterans, ensuring all the different services providing support such as with housing, employment and finance are joined-up so everyone in the Armed Forces community can get the best help possible.”
Read more on the review in the August issue of Pathfinder International magazine.