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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Thousands of traumatised soldiers have been denied payouts because Government-approved insurance scheme doesn't cover long-term psychological illness

Mentally ill troops denied pay-out by the Army's approved insurers - Sunday Telegraph


"Thousands of traumatised soldiers have been denied payouts because a Government-approved insurance scheme does not cover long-term psychological illnesses.

Troops medically discharged from the military after developing combat-related mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) do not receive compensation from the Pax insurance scheme, which is described to soldiers as "your best defence against the unexpected". Pax is owned by Aon Ltd, one of the five biggest insurance companies in the world.

The chance of developing a psychological illness after serving in combat operations is now greater than at any time since the Korean War half a century ago. Government figures show that more than 2,100 soldiers have returned from Iraq since 2003 suffering from some form of mental illness. Afghanistan will have produced further such casualties.

All forces personnel are encouraged to take out insurance before they deploy on military operations. Most choose the Pax policy because it is approved by the Ministry of Defence.
Although the policy states in the small print of its terms and conditions that it does not include cover for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or psychiatric illness, serving officers claim that such stipulations are rarely, if ever, spelled out to -soldiers."

"Up to 328 servicemen and women returned from Iraq with PTSD, which can lead to manic depression. Another 227 were diagnosed with other neurotic disorders. A further 188 had taken part in "psychoactive substance misuse", including alcohol and drug abuse, and the abuse of antidepressants."