A leading military lawyer has accused Veterans UK of “peddling misleading information and cynically exploiting veterans and their families”.
Referring to the Ministry of Defence’s new Veterans UK website, Hilary Meredith, founder and Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester said:
“I am absolutely disgusted by the misinformation on the new Veterans UK website. Veterans and their families are not being given the full picture in terms of time limits and their right to make a civil claim.”
Continued Hilary: “The new website tells service personnel and veterans that they do not require legal advice or the courts. It is a cynical, transparent attempt to under-settle claims by leaving them without independent legal representation.”
Added Hilary: “Increasingly, Veterans UK is acting like an insurance company and finding reasons to refuse to pay out in claims for death in service.”
Hilary Meredith Solicitors has issued the following advice to dispel the myths around military claims and to ensure service personnel, veterans and their families are aware of their rights:
Service personnel and veterans do, on occasions, require independent legal advice – particularly if they have to lodge an appeal.
They have 7 years to claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) from the date the injury happened or the date they realised their injury is service related – particularly PTSD.
They have 3 years to make a claim in the courts if they feel someone else caused death or injury in service and the MoD failed in their duty of care.
Their AFCS award will be deducted from court awarded damages but the AFCS award is capped at £650,000 while court awards are not capped.
“Veterans and their families deserve to know their rights. The new Veterans UK website fails to provide this basic service.”