Death and disability compensation
Death and disability compensation is paid by the United Nations for military and police personnel killed or injured in service. The current maximum rate of compensation is $77,000.
Principles of compensation
The principles for death and disability compensation were established in resolution 49/233A of 23 December 1994, section III, as follows:
1. Decides that underlying any system of compensation for death and disability should be the need for:
(a) Equal treatment of Member States;
(b) Compensation to the beneficiary that is not lower than reimbursement by the United Nations;
(c) Simplification of administrative arrangements to the extent possible;
(d) Speedy settlement of claims for death and disability;
Prior to the adoption of the current system of uniform compensation in resolution 51/218E of 17 June 1997, compensation for military and police contingent personnel was paid by their respective national authorities based on the relevant national legislation, who in turn were reimbursed by the United Nations upon receipt of a claim duly certified by the national auditor-general (or official of similar rank). This meant that troops or their beneficiaries were reimbursed different amounts based on national origin.
From 1991, individually-deployed uniformed experts (e.g. military observers and police officers) or their beneficiaries were reimbursed up to twice the annual salary excluding allowances or $50,000, whichever is higher; before 1991, the threshold was $20,000.
The compensation levels for contingent personnel and individually-deployed were unified in July 2010 with the adoption of resolution 64/269, which set a maximum level of $70,000 for all uniformed personnel.
Settlement of claims
As per requests of the General Assembly, claims are supposed to be settled as soon as possible, but no later than three months after the date of submission.
Delays in settlement generally result from:
- Delayed receipt of medical information on claimants from their respective permanent missions;
- Time required to complete an assessment of permanent impairment by the Division for Healthcare Management and Occupational Safety and Health of the Department of Operational Support;
- Confirmation from the mission that the death or disability was mission-related and not caused by gross negligence or wilful misconduct.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
As of 2018, the United Nations recognizes PTSD is a recognized disability eligible for compensation and represents a significant proportion of outstanding claims. Moreover, the submission of such claims is often delayed because symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can take years/ decades to be felt or be recognized..
- A/73/776 Overview of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations: Report of the Secretary-General (Annex IV)
- A/74/736 Overview of the financing of the United Nations peacekeeping operations: Report of the Secretary-General (Annex IV)
- A/74/743 Budget for the support account for peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021: Report of the Secretary-General (paragraphs 39-41)
- A/74/809 Budget for the support account for peacekeeping operations for the period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021: Report of the ACABQ (paragraphs 16-21)
Relevant General Assembly resolutions
- General Assembly resolution 72/285 of 5 July 2018 (paragraph 4) increased the rate by 10%
- General Assembly resolution 64/269 of 24 June 2010 (section II, paragraph 3) increased the rate from $50,000 to $70,000
- General Assembly resolution 52/177 of 18 December 1997 approved administrative and payment procedures proposed by the Secretary-General in A/52/369.
- General Assembly resolution 51/218E of 17 June 1997 (section II) set rate at $50,000.
- General Assembly resolution 49/233A of 23 December 1994 (section III) established the principles for the payment of death and disability
Relevant Secretary-General reports
Information on death and disability claims has, since the adoption of resolution 57/316 of 18 June 2003, been included in the annual report on the overview of the financing of peacekeeping operations. Prior to that, a separate report titled "Death and disability benefits" was issued on an annual basis.
- A/63/550 Comprehensive review of the compensation of death and disability benefits
- A/52/369 Death and disability benefits—presented proposals for administrative and payment procedures
- A/59/906 and Corr.1 Death and disability benefits—presented options for providing compensation to troops
- A/49/664 Annex VII: Compensation for Death, Injury and Disability
- A/48/945 Effective planning, budgeting and administration of peace-keeping operations—requested guidance from the General Assembly for providing compensation to troops
- General Assembly resolution 72/285 of 5 July 2018
- A/48/945, paragraph 68
- Note that A/48/945, paragraph 71, says "whichever is lower". This must have been an error, as all other reports, including the associated ACABQ report A/49/664, say "whichever is higher".
- A/63/746, table 2
- General Assembly resolution 61/276 on cross-cutting issues
- A/73/776, Annex IV