Compensation figures unveiled

Written by Nicola Sugg, May 21, 2024

The government has set out how much compensation people infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal might expect to receive, but has said it will consult with the community before final decisions are made.

John Glen, the Paymaster General, told MPs that ‘comprehensive’ payments would be made to people infected with HIV, acute or chronic hepatitis C and chronic hepatitis B, as well as partners, parents, children, siblings and carers of those who’ve died.

He published a series of ‘illustrative’ payments based on injury, social impact, autonomy, care and financial loss. There would be a right to appeal against the amounts awarded.  You can read full details here.

Payments for people infected with hepatitis C who have gone on to develop liver cancer or other life-threatening conditions, or their estates, could be in the range of £1.4m to £1.5m, with the amount for people with cirrhosis between £985,000 and £1,130,000.

Those infected with chronic hepatitis C might receive a payment between £665,000 and £810,000.

People infected with HIV and hepatitis, or their estates, could be receiving payments of between £2.2m to £2.7m. Payments for the affected would be a lump sum compensation for the estate of their loved one which are the same as the living infected, plus extra payments depending on other categories. Where people have been impacted in multiple ways, such as being infected and suffering the loss of a loved one, they would be able to make more than one claim.

The guidance suggests that the UK’s four infected blood support schemes would continue until 31 March 2025. Payments would then continue to be made from the scheme until the recipient got their final compensation payment, but these amounts would be taken from their future compensation payment.

The other main points are:

  • A further interim compensation payment of £210,000 will be made to the living infected who are registered on a UK support scheme
  • Sir Robert Francis, who was commissioned by the government to write the Compensation Framework Study, will be the interim chair of the Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA) which will administer compensation
  • Compensation payments will not be subject to tax or impact on eligibility for means tested benefits. A new law will need to be passed to ensure this applies to those who receive money from estates of people who’ve died
  • The recipient can choose whether to receive the compensation amount as a lump sum or as regular payments
  • Accepting compensation does not remove the right to pursue a claim in court
  • The compensation scheme is time limited, depending on the date of diagnosis, but this limit will be reviewed after three years.

When Mr Glen made the interim compensation payment announcement, he also mentioned that some estates would be included, but we are waiting for more details on this.

Sir Robert will oversee a consultation with those infected and affected during June, we believe. As soon as we have details of how to get involved in this, we will let you know.

Kate Burt, Chief Executive of the Haemophilia Society, said: ‘Our community has received a huge amount of information from the government about potential compensation payments which we must now take time to consider. Although this has been far too slow to get underway, it is now encouraging that the process of recognising peoples’ loss through compensation appears to be gathering momentum. We are pleased that there will be a consultation process which we hope will allow those impacted to shape this scheme.

‘We welcome the news that the poor health of the surviving infected has been acknowledged by a further interim compensation payment which we hope will be delivered quickly.’

We are holding a webinar on Wednesday 29 May to discuss the Infected Blood Inquiry’s final report and today’s compensation guidance. Details of how to join are here.