What this site is about

I launched this website in February 2022. It has been kept going by a wonderful group of supporters who want fair treatment by Veterans UK, when I couldn't afford renewed subscription fees for the site because Veterans UK kept under-assessing and delaying my AFCS decision. Oh, the delicious irony.
If you have any feedback, spot anything that is missing or incorrect, please let me know on Twitter or Instagram @AFCSHelp

This is a personal site, aimed at helping you with decisions when you make an application to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. It is also cathartic for me as the AFCS process has been horrible, and I'm only part way through. [I wrote that in late 2021; and am now updating the site in Summer 2023. It's still true.]

I will deal predominantly with applications to do with mental health, as that's what my application is about, but a lot of the information is generic across all types of claims.

Please note this site is not legal advice and I cannot give specific advice for your claim.

I hope this site will be a down to earth, supportive source of basic information. By way of an example, if you wanted to make a will, you could search the internet and find loads of sites giving you background information about making a will. There aren't many such sites for applying to the AFCS.

I hope that this site will give you a little bit of background to what's involved in an AFCS claim. With making a will, even after reading about wills online, you'd still get a professional, probably a lawyer, to draft your actual will and make sure it was witnessed properly. There are various organisations that can help with an AFCS claim, and hopefully I explain here how they can help, and the differences between them.

Photo by Korney Violin on Unsplash

Got your attention for the important bit

This site is not legal advice

Nothing on this site constitutes legal advice. I'm not being funny or dodging helping. I have to be clear about it. Otherwise if someone takes it as legal advice I can be sued without insurance and struck off as a lawyer.

I am a non-practicing solicitor. That means what it sounds like - I don't practice law any more, and I'm not insured to offer legal advice.

I am not an expert on the AFCS. I have read a lot about it and I am part way through the process of my own application and appeal. I also feel passionately that the administration of the scheme is at best incorrect, and at worst downright harmful. I want to change the way it is administered. 

If you want or need professional advice about the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or about your own application, please speak to a military charity and / or a practicing solicitor with experience of the AFCS. If they are all closed and won't reopen for weeks, you could try Veterans UK or their Veterans Welfare Service, but from my experience I wouldn't recommend them. I'd rather ask next door's cat.

Please see details around this site about the differences between these services. I hopefully don't need to explain the difference with a cat.

I am not affiliated with any charities, with Veterans UK or any lawyers or law firms. I have not been able to get permission from the charities and law firms I have spoken to during my claim to refer to them by name and provide links, probably because I use naughty words and have pictures of contrail cocks on the site. They therefore probably don't wish to be publicly associated with me.

My posts on this site and associated social media are merely my opinion. I will try and be as objective as I can, but I do occasionally have a rant. This may be tongue in cheek, and may contain military humour. AFCS can make you angry. 

'LAWYER' Photo to the left by Melinda Gimpel on Unsplash

About me

Hi, I'm James, Fairy, or Fairy Cakes.

I used to be a Puma helicopter pilot in the RAF. I had what the doctor called an adjustment reaction (stress) in 2008, and I left the RAF in 2011.

In 2018 I was diagnosed as having PTSD, and that I had probably had it for a number of years.

I applied to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) in 2019. I am currently (as at February 2022 June 2023) appealing the decision of the body that administers AFCS, called Veterans UK. I have already learnt a lot about the scheme, particularly relating to mental health claims, and I hope sharing my experience can help you too.

After leaving the RAF I retrained as a solicitor and qualified into healthcare law. This mainly involved helping defend clinical negligence claims against the NHS, and representing NHS Trusts at inquests. This experience gives me a useful perspective on the AFCS process, as many parts of the scheme are similar to negligence and inquest cases.

I quit the law in 2017, thinking I was unable to cope with a demanding civvy job and family life. This was before my diagnosis of PTSD.

I don't deny that this site and blog are self therapeutic. I’m taking back a little control of my own life and story. I really hope reading the information here makes those initial hurdles dealing with AFCS a little easier for you to jump.

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