The grim reality of life on Civvy Street for former members of the UK armed forces is laid bare today in a startling new survey.
Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd contacted 809 members of the armed forces who have been injured in service since.
The findings paint a bleak picture of service personnel being medically discharged because of their injuries – yet unable to find paid employment or buy their own home and struggling financially.
In perhaps the most shocking finding of all, the majority were not actually injured during combat situations.
“Brave servicemen and women who have suffered serious injuries are being let down,” said Hilary Meredith, founder and CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors. “No one is ‘policing’ the Ministry of Defence to review safe systems of work and procedures. Whilst training for war has to be realistic, change is needed in risk assessing and reducing accident and injury away from the battlefield.”
“For our servicemen and women to be safer on the battlefield than anywhere else in service is a shameful reflection on life in the armed forces. Following the Brecon Beacons Inquest the sub-committee of the House of Commons Select Defence Committee has launched a new Inquiry – Beyond Endurance – researching accident ratios. Our research suggests that injuries – and fatalities – are more likely to be suffered in non-combat situations,” she added.
“The research suggests that the vast majority of AFCS awards are under £50,000 – yet the majority of those claiming an award have suffered injuries so severe they can no longer continue their career in the armed forces.
“The majority of former service personnel do not own their own home and are struggling financially. Less than half have been able to find paid employment on Civvy Street.”
The findings of the research were as follows:
- The majority (73%) were not injured in combat.
- The majority (69%) claimed an Armed Forces Compensation Scheme award.
- Nearly half (48%) of awards were appealed.
- Just 5% received advice on investing their award.
- The majority (65%) of awards were under £50,000 – yet the majority (63%) who claimed an award suffered injuries so severe that they could no longer continue their career in the Armed Forces.
- The majority (54%) do not own their own home.
- The majority (60%) are struggling financially.
- Less than half (45) have found paid employment on Civvy Street.