Ministry of Defence introduces new benefit – the Armed Forces Independence Payment

The Ministry of Defence (‘MOD’) has announced the latest measure in the government’s welfare reform agenda; the introduction of the Armed Forces Independence Payment (‘AFIP’). The new benefits to be introduced on Monday 8th April 2013, and will provideeligible service personnel and veterans with an additional £134.40 per week.

Individuals who have already been awarded a Guaranteed Income Payment (‘GIP’) of 50% or higher from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (‘AFCS’) will be notified of the additional benefit due to them from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (‘SPVA’) in due course prior to the date of implementation.

The AFIP is an alternative to the new Personal Independence Payment (‘PIP’) which will replace the current Disability Living Allowance (‘DLA’) for claimants of working age (16-64).Individuals who are not entitled to GIP at 50% or higher, or are entitled to receive compensation under the War Pensions Scheme, may apply for PIP.

In contrast to PIP, individuals eligible for AFIP are not required to undergo an initial assessment or any future assessments; payments continue throughout their life. The AFIP is non-taxable, not means-tested and entitlement is administered by the SPVA in conjunction with AFCS. Furthermore, individuals who are entitled to AFIP can also make a claim for other benefits.