Review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Decisions

AuthorAndrew Bano

Chapter 17

Review of Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Decisions


17.1 The AFCS 2005 allowed for a review of an injury benefit decision if the injury giving rise to the decision worsened or if the injury caused a further injury and the worsening was unexpected and exceptional and occurred within 10 years of the decision which was the subject of the review.1The Boyce Review recommended the introduction of a further review power outside the 10-year period in cases where to maintain an award would be manifestly unjust,2and this recommendation has been implemented in the AFCS 2011.3

Finality of decisions
17.2 Except in cases where a power of review has been expressly provided for (see below), article 54 of the AFCS 2011 stipulates that there is to be no review of a final decision awarding benefit. This provision reflects the policy intention that awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme should be full and final and take due account of the expected progress and prognosis of the injury, including expected deterioration in the future.4

17.3 A ‘final decision’ is defined by article 54(2) of the AFCS 2011 as a decision determining a claim under article 51, a final award made following the making of an interim award under article 52,5a decision revising or maintaining

1AFCS 2005, art 48.

2Boyce Review, para 2.136.

3AFCS 2011, art 57.

4Boyce Review, para 2.130.

5See para 19.27.

150 War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation – Law and Practice

a decision following a review, and a new or maintained decision following a reconsideration. By article 54(4), decisions are final where there has been no application for reconsideration, or the time for applying for reconsideration has expired.6

17.4 Under article 54(2) of the AFCS 2011, a review of a decision which makes no award of benefit can only be reviewed under article 59 (ignorance or mistake).

17.5 Article 55 of the AFCS 2011 provides for a ‘once only’7power of review in cases where a decision to award injury benefit has been made within 7 years of the day on which service ends and an application for a review of the award is made within 1 year of the termination of service. The provision may therefore apply where a person has been awarded injury benefit and is subsequently medically discharged as a result of the injury for which the benefit was awarded, but it is not limited to such cases.8For a decision to be reviewed under article 55, any worsening of an injury or further injury does not have to be unexpected or exceptional, as in the case of other powers of review in respect of deterioration in a claimant’s condition.

17.6 Following a review under article 55 of the AFCS 2011, an award can...

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