Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and War Pensions

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 19th May 2022.

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Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Veterans UK accepting diagnoses letters from clinical psychologists, rather than psychiatrists of consultant grade, when applying for compensation for mental ill health from AFCS or War Pensions.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

For mental health awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) requires evidence of the diagnosis by either a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist, at the consultant grade. This was a recommendation of the 2013 report by the Independent Medical Expert Group (IMEG), the Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by MOD that provides assurance that AFCS policy and decision-making reflect contemporary medical understanding on causation and progress of disorders and injuries. The Department accepted this recommendation. This approach was reviewed by the IMEG again in their report of 2020, which maintained its recommendation that diagnosis is made at the consultant level by either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The next IMEG report, expected to be published in June of this year, will make any new recommendations to the Department on the approach to mental health awards under the AFCS.

No such requirement exists under the War Pension Scheme, which predates the AFCS and operates under a different burden of proof and award system.

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