The MOD has introduced the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP). This is intended to provide financial assistance for seriously injured service personnel and veterans.
From April 2013 any seriously injured service personnel aged 16 to 64 who are assessed as seriously injured (Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) level 1-8 or Guaranteed Income Payment (GIP) of 50% based on multiple tariff 9) will be automatically assessed as eligible for AFIP.
This is an alternative to Personal Independence Payments and the two benefits cannot both be claimed. AFIP will not be available to those veterans injured before the introduction of the AFCS in 2005. Someone not entitled to AFCS but who suffers a disability, for example through a medical condition or injury acquired off duty, should actively consider an application for PIP.
Unlike PIP, an award of AFIP is a life-time award. Once awarded AFIP is not subject to review or further medical assessment.
Although the MOD will assess eligibility, the benefit will be managed by the Department for
Work and Pensions (DWP).
AFIP is not taxable; non-means tested and is not subject to a residency test.
AFIP will not be stopped if the claimant is hospitalised (with the exception of the Royal Chelsea Hospital), or if they have to go into a care home or prison.
Entitlement to AFIP will exempt claimants from the benefits cap.
The amount a claimant would receive is equivalent to the enhanced rate for PIP. (At the time of releasing this fact sheet in February 2013 this was £134.40 per week).
Claimants in receipt of AFIP will be eligible for the disability premiums in Universal Credit, Housing benefit and council tax reduction scheme.
All War Pension Scheme (WPS) payments and the AFCS Guaranteed Income Payment will be fully disregarded in the calculation of Universal Credit. AFIP and PIP payments will also be fully disregarded. All WPS payments and the AFCS GIP will also be exempt from the benefit cap.