After lobbying the Government on behalf of service personnel and veterans for the last six weeks, Hilary Meredith Solicitors has welcomed news that Veterans UK, the support organisation responsible for administering the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), is to look into urgent cases.
Hilary Meredith Solicitors has been in communication with Veterans UK over a number of matters, including an urgently needed payment for an army veteran who won his appeal at Tribunal on 18 March 2020, five days before the UK’s 23 March 2020 lockdown.
Having been informed by The Tribunal Service that it was no longer operating and to “refrain from sending emails with respect your client/appellants as this will incur unnecessary cost in these difficult times” the firm was told by Veterans UK that as its office was closed staff were “unable to process casework”.
Veterans UK has now reversed its decision, stating that “in line with recent Government advice, we are now gradually re-commencing some office-based processing”. Veterans UK goes on to say that “staff are working hard to identify and prioritise the most urgent cases but there will continue to be delays to claims processing because of the ongoing restrictions to office working”.
Commenting on developments, Hilary Meredith, founder and CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors said:
“This announcement is long overdue as there are a number of cases requiring urgent attention.
“The Government has now decided to follow its own guidelines, and reopen Veterans UK.
“One of the cases requiring immediate attention concerns a veteran with Non-Freezing Cold Injury in all four limbs. He was awarded a substantial sum plus a Guaranteed Income Payment a week before the Covid-19 lockdown even started.
“Our client is unable to work having been medically discharged from the army. He cannot leave the house. He has a wife who works on the front line for the NHS and three young children at home. With no money he is struggling to pay his bills while his mental health is deteriorating all the time.
“After lobbying the Government for the past six weeks there is now some light at the end of the tunnel.”