Disabled Soldier Pay-Out Plan Reviewed

Just read this on MoD Oracle.
Maybe some good news at last...

The government bowed last night to the outcry over its 'insulting' compensation plans for a young paratrooper horrifically injured in Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence has signalled for the first time that it will review the case of 23-year-old Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson, whose injuries have left him disabled for life.

The case of Parkinson - who was offered £152,150 compensation, half the maximum that could be paid - was first revealed in The Observer last month. A 'general review' of the rules governing multiple-injury victims such as Parkinson's was launched several weeks ago. But MoD sources repeatedly said it was 'highly unlikely' to be retrospective.

Diane Dernie, Parkinson's mother, has said she might have to sell the family home to pay for treatment for her son, who lost both legs after a landmine exploded under his vehicle.
But last night a senior MoD source said changes that could lead to higher compensation for Parkinson and other similarly injured soldiers were now being considered. The source said: 'Mrs Dernie's views and experiences will be considered as part of the review.'

Despite the apparent change of heart, the government faced growing pressure yesterday for an across-the-board increase in compensation for seriously injured soldiers.

As the move over the compensation controversies becomes clear, it can also be revealed that the law firm representing Parkinson's family has sent a letter of intent to Defence Minister, Derek Twigg, outlining plans to press for a judicial review of the compensation scheme. It seeks changes not only in compensation for multiple-injury victims such as Parkinson, but for others seriously disabled from battlefield wounds.

Lawyers insist the current £285,000 maximum compensation must be raised to the £500,000 limit for the most serious civilian criminal-injury cases.

The shadow Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, last night joined calls for a complete overhaul of the scheme. He said the government was failing in its 'moral duty to look after those who have made so great a sacrifice for our country's security,' adding: 'It is urgent and essential that people in the armed forces are looked after in the same way as civilians compensated for serious injuries.' Adding to pressure on the government, the former head of the army, General Sir Mike Jackson, said that the government had to do more to support soldiers. 'Everything starts and finishes with the soldier,' he said. 'I would love to have been able to persuade the MoD to understand that.'

Jackson, who also criticised the US over its strategy in post-war Iraq, added: 'Not much over £1,000 a month for the private soldier on operations is hardly an impressive figure. And some of the accommodation we provide is still, frankly, shaming.'

There were signs last night that other compensation controversies too were escalating. The father of Private Jamie Cooper, at 18 the youngest British soldier injured in Iraq, said that unless there was a change in the rules - under which a maximum of three separate injuries is considered, with a scale of seriousness calculated for each - his son was likely to receive a total of just £70,000.

Injured in a mortar blast near Basra, he suffered a serious stomach injury that has left him relying on a colostomy bag. 'Jamie is having a further operation on his stomach, which we hope will improve things,' his father, Philip Cooper, said.

Disabled veterans also receive a tax-free annual income payment. But the amount is linked to pay level and, in cases like Parkinson's, it is around £20,000 a year. For Cooper, his father said, it will be even less. 'He was a young private making barely minimum wage, about £12,000 a year,' he said.

Another young British soldier, Martin Edwards, was also reportedly facing the prospect of compensation well below the maximum for a serious head injury he suffered when shrapnel from a roadside bomb tore through his visor in Iraq. Because he was not a 'multiple injury' victim, it is believed he was told to expect about £100,000 in compensation.

Parkinson, of the 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was injured when his Land Rover hit a mine in Afghanistan's Helmand province nearly a year ago.

'To get the maximum you need what are called three "level-one" injuries,' his mother told The Observer. 'Essentially, this means losing all your limbs, being blinded and being in a persistent vegetative state.

The system doesn't take account of the need of soldiers with very serious multiple injuries like Ben who have made courageous sacrifices



War Hero
Please remind me, how much did a woman get for burning her mouth with a certain fast food retailers Apple Tart
I was looking for that McDonalds art(farce)acle & came across this solicitors site.Some of the awards like this one;

"Pedestrian hit by car on pedestrian crossing

Mr S was hit by a car as he was walking to work early one morning. He sustained a severe head injury and was unable to return to work. Liability was disputed until the day of trial when a compromise on liability was agreed and a settlement of £165,000.00 was reached at the court doors."

make a mockery of the pittance Ben was offered.I mean Mr S was hit by a car.I bet he still has full use of his arms & legs & does'nt require 24hr care like Ben does.



War Hero
and I bet Mr S made a remarkable recovery after the cheque cleared in the bank. Most of these injury claimants do.
Good news and also showing that the MOD are taking soldiers views more seriously at the moment. Wait out.
More good news, in the face of unremitting publicity, the faceless beaurocrats at the MoD have decided that retrospective payments will be included in the review. Pity the morally bankrupt accountants couldn't have made the correct moral decision earlier.

MoD reconsiders payouts to injured servicemen

By Stephen Adams
Last Updated: 1:22am BST 03/09/2007

The severely injured soldier who received just £152,150 in compensation after losing both legs and suffering brain damage could be in line for a higher payout, the Ministry of Defence indicated yesterday.

Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson - whose award was less than a third of the £484,000 given to an RAF secretary for injuring her thumb - did not receive a penny for the horrendous injuries he suffered to his spine, skull, pelvis, hands, spleen and ribcage.

Lump sum payouts are capped at £285,000 under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and servicemen receive only 30 per cent of the maximum for their "second" injury. That meant Mr Parkinson, 23, received only £34,500 for suffering brain damage in a mine explosion in Afghanistan.

Last month Derek Twigg, the defence minister, announced a "general review" of the scheme but the MoD suggested that increasing retrospective payments was "highly unlikely."

However, after a week of mounting pressure spearheaded by Mr Parkinson's mother, Diane Dernie, the MoD appeared yesterday to have changed its stance. A spokesman said that retrospective payments would "be considered as part of the review".

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: "It would be extraordinary if individuals who have been injured in the later stages of the Afghan and Iraq campaigns were compensated -differently to those who were injured during earlier tours of duty."

It emerged yesterday that the youngest British soldier to be injured in Iraq has still not received any compensation after having his leg blown off by a mortar last November.

Pte Jamie Cooper, 19, contracted the superbug MRSA twice in an NHS hospital and his mother, Caroline Cooper, had to give up her job for two months to look after him.

His father, Phil Cooper, 49, said: "It's as if they are stalling any payment so the longer time he has to recover the less they have to pay out. They think if they don't say anything it will all go away.

"We're not money-grabbing, we just want help so we can afford to look after our son properly."

The Coopers said they believed a decision on the claim would be made within 35 days of them filling out the paperwork with an Army welfare officer in March.

Recently they found out the forms were submitted only on July 24. An MoD spokesman confirmed the claim was received on that date, and said: "A decision on the claim should still be made by the end of the 35-day period."

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