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Armed Forces Independence Payment
A new benefit called the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) is to be introduced to provide financial support to Service personnel and veterans who have been seriously injured as a result of service.
An injured serviceman recieves physiotherapy treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre - Headley Court (stock image)
[Picture: Petty Officer Airman (Photographer) Flo Foord, Crown Copyright/MOD 2008]
On Monday 8 April 2013, the MOD, in conjunction with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will introduce the benefit worth £134.40 a week to those eligible.
AFIP is designed to provide financial support to service personnel and veterans who have been seriously injured as a result of service to cover the extra costs they may have as a result of their injury. Special consideration for those who have given the most for their country is a principle set out in the Armed Forces Covenant.
As part of the Welfare Reform agenda currently being undertaken by the DWP, the current Disability Living Allowance (DLA) will be replaced for working age claimants (16 to 64) by the Personal Independence Payment (PIP). AFIP is an alternative to PIP for service personnel and veterans and is in addition to the financial support they receive through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
The key difference between AFIP and PIP is that individuals eligible for AFIP will not be required to undergo an initial assessment, nor is there any future reassessment process.
Minister of State for Defence, Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Mark Francois said:
"The men and women of our Armed Forces have served their country with honour and bravery so it is only right that those seriously injured by their service receive financial support to help with the additional costs associated with their injuries. So I am delighted that seriously injured serving personnel and veterans will be able to avoid the unnecessary duplication of reassessments and continue to receive disability benefits via these new arrangements. This is part of honouring the Armed Forces Covenant and I look forward to the introduction of the Armed Forces Independence Payment in April."
Service personnel and veterans eligible for AFIP (eligibility is defined as those who have been awarded a Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) of 50 per cent or higher from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme) will shortly receive a letter from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency that will provide further details and a claim form