Hilary Meredith Responds to Armed Forces Compensation Article in the Daily Mail

I am hugely disappointed in the article written by Sean Rayment in the Daily Mail (on line) (20th April 2013) Mr Rayment has long been a supporter of the military and knows full well the difficult conditions in Afghanistan, there are sources quoted in his article but no one named.

I for one find it hard to believe that this brave cohort of military personnel would take a chance on claiming, its my experience that they are the most reluctant of claimants as many feel to claim would also affect their military careers and the work they enjoy so much. I would call upon the AFCS to provide a breakdown for reasons for rejection of AFCS claims and how many of those 11,000 have gone on to appeal this decision believing they have a valid claim.

I am aware of some of these rejections which we are helping to fight on behalf of our clients, the main reason being, the SPVA did not accept the injury was caused whilst on duty, this does not mean there was not a serious injury. The definition ” on duty” is ambiguous and has not been defined.

Since the commencement of the AFCS in 2005 there has in my view been a tightening of decisions to make an award and there is a growing back log of appeals .

I have long campaigned to take the word compensation out of the AFCS title it causes confusion and as the MOD are aware a reduction in the number of valid legal claims against them in the courts.

Further I would add to name and highlight Ric Clement an ex soldier who Mr Rayment has met is quite simply shocking, Ric Clement was the most severely of injured soldiers blown up by an IED he lost both legs and his genitalia making it impossible for him to father children, he has bravely spoken out about his condition and campaigned for the right of soldiers to donate sperm pre deployment. Ric is lucky to be alive, he received quite rightly so an award from the AFCS but this was capped under the terms of the scheme. Rather than complain Ric delivers talks to schools about his condition to educate those who do not understand the scarifies our soldiers make.”