Picture: Getmilitaryphotos/ Alamy Stock Photo).
Forces News has been unable to independently verify a report by The Telegraph, claiming some troops and veterans had been mocked during the compensation process (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo).
Veterans

Johnny Mercer promises compensation scheme reform after claims soldiers were 'laughed at'

Picture: Getmilitaryphotos/ Alamy Stock Photo).
Forces News has been unable to independently verify a report by The Telegraph, claiming some troops and veterans had been mocked during the compensation process (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo).

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer has promised to "totally reform" the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), following claims that injured soldiers were "laughed at" by military officials making payouts.

Forces News has been unable to independently verify a report by The Telegraph, claiming some troops and veterans had been mocked during the process, which grants lump sums and monthly payments for any illness, injury or death as a result of service.

The newspaper reported that some seeking help through the 2005 scheme were left feeling "helpless" due to factors including long delays and that certain cases for compensation had been downplayed "to minimise financial payouts".

Accounts published in The Telegraph describe a drawn-out and "adversarial" process that works against individuals.

Johnny Mercer says reported claims regarding the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are "appalling" (Picture: PA/ Alamy).
Johnny Mercer says reported claims regarding the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are "appalling" (Picture: PA/ Alamy).

In response to the report, Mr Mercer wrote on Twitter: "This is appalling, with all the worst tropes about service people and veterans that made me get into politics to change it.

"If I am fortunate enough to remain in post under a new PM, I plan to totally reform this system... an incident too far. I apologise."

In response to the report, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said Minister for Defence People Leo Docherty will hold meetings with those going through the AFCS process, and a review is to be brought forward to this year.

An MOD spokesperson said: "Our Armed Forces make remarkable sacrifices in defence of this country and we must be committed to providing them with the best possible services.

"We are extremely sorry that some people's experience of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme has fallen so far short of the standards we expect and will be taking action to ensure it doesn't happen again."

The spokesperson went on: "The Defence Secretary and Minister for Defence People and Veterans have today held discussions with officials on what can be done to accelerate improvements to the scheme.

"This will include bringing a review into AFCS forward from next spring to this October and Minister Docherty holding meetings with recent AFCS users on their experience.

"MOD ministers will work closely with the Office for Veterans Affairs and Ministry of Justice to take all necessary steps to improve people's experience and deal with anyone unable to maintain the high standards we expect," the spokesperson added.