Compensation – what do we know so far?

Written by Nicola Sugg, May 28, 2024

It’s been a busy, emotional and exhausting period for our community since the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry’s conclusions on 20 May.

We’ve been inundated by phone calls and emails as we all try to make sense of the government’s proposed compensation scheme, while also digesting the far-reaching contents of the inquiry’s final report. This is an incredibly difficult time, and we are here to support you in getting the best possible outcome for your and your family. There are still many more questions than answers but we hope to get more clarity in the next few weeks.

We are holding a webinar for our members to discuss the inquiry’s findings and the latest on compensation on Wednesday, 29 May at 7pm. Details of how to join are here.

In the last seven days, there’s been the publication of the government’s ‘illustrative’ compensation scheme, followed by the announcement of a general election, which in turn led to legislation relating to compensation being rushed through Parliament.

So, what do we know so far?

Infected Blood Compensation Authority

The Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA) has now been created, after the Victims and Prisoners Bill become law on 24 May. IBCA is a body at ‘arms length’ from government, which will administer compensation payments. Its interim chair is Sir Robert Francis, who was previously commissioned by the government to write recommendations for a compensation framework, published in June 2022. Before the IBCA can make final payments, the government will need to make the regulations to enact the compensation scheme for people infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal. The legislation also means that the final regulations must be made by the government within three months, so by 24 August 2024. 

Compensation payments

The government has published its plans for a compensation scheme, which outlines who is eligible for compensation and gives ‘illustrative’ figures for the amount of compensation that might be available. This could change following consultation with the infected blood community. You can find the illustrative figures and eligibility criterion here.

We have already received considerable feedback about the scheme. Your concerns include:

  • Plans to stop regular payments made by the UK’s infected blood support schemes from 1 April 2025
  • How money to estates will be divided between family members
  • How co-infected payments are calculated
  • Amounts suggested for hepatitis C payments
  • Uncertainty about what happens if hepatitis C condition worsens after compensation payment made.

There will be a consultation period about the proposed plans. You can register your interest in being involved here. We do not have any further details about how this consultation will work.

General Election

On 23 May the government announced that a General Election will take place on 4 July. Parliament has now dissolved. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood has also disbanded and will reform when the new Parliament opens in July.

The election should not have a large impact on the progress of compensation payments which will now be administered by IBCA, not the government.

Interim compensation

The government will pay further interim compensation of £210,000 to infected people registered on a UK infected blood support scheme or to the estates of infected people who are registered on the scheme but die before payment is made.

We are waiting for details of an interim payment of £100,000 to the estates of the bereaved who have so far not received any compensation. Provision for this was made in the Victims and Prisoners Bill, but we do not have clarity on how or when the payment will be made.

Additional questions

There is still a lot we don’t know about the detail of the compensation scheme. If you have questions please email [email protected]. We are receiving a lot of calls and emails at present, please bear with us while we work through all enquiries.