Preparing for interim compensation
Written by Jessica Bomford, October 22, 2022
Interim compensation should be paid across the UK later this week, and while this is great news, many people will be thinking about the impact this will have on their lives and wondering how to manage such a significant sum.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau has a range of useful advice on its website, including how to find a financial adviser, how to check that person is properly accredited and what questions to have in mind before consulting them.
You can also find information from the Metropolitan Police about beefing up your security on bank accounts and emails as well as tips on avoiding scams.
Both organisations warn against rushing into any financial decisions, no matter how appealing they may seem.
Receiving interim compensation will affect people in different ways. I’d encourage people to get as much support as they can, because your mind will go into lots of states once you get it.Alex, who received compensation in Ireland 20 years ago
After such a long wait, the payments may also trigger great psychological turmoil as people experience a mixture of emotions including relief, guilt, grief and anger. We remember all those in our community who have died without having their suffering acknowledged, many of whom spent decades campaigning for compensation. We are also thinking of all those who are not included in this payment. Our work goes on to ensure that all those infected and affected, including bereaved parents and children, receive full and fair compensation as soon as possible.
In the Republic of Ireland, compensation was paid through a tribunal system about 20 years ago. Alex (not his real name) was infected with HIV and hepatitis C through treatment for his haemophilia in Ireland. His brother died from his infections. Alex received a substantial settlement in recognition of his family’s suffering.
Alex said: ‘I’m glad the government in the UK has finally come to accept that this was a travesty. Receiving interim compensation will affect people in different ways. I’d encourage people to get as much support as they can because your mind will go into lots of states once you get it. For me, it was less about the money because what I really wanted was an apology from the state, which I never got.
‘Compensation brings back lots of issues as it’s a reminder that you were let down by the state. Receiving the money also made me think of my brother who was very motivated and had a wonderful relationship but died before he had the chance to start a family or progress his career. The only way I could deal with that was to compartmentalise it.
‘Everyone is different, but I tried to use the money to find as much enjoyment in life as I could. I hope interim compensation will help people move on with their lives, give them peace of mind and help them try to find some form of happiness.’
Don’t forget that the psychological support service provided by the British Red Cross for the Infected Blood Inquiry is still available. You can contact them on 0800 458 9473 or 0203 417 0280. All four UK infected blood support schemes also offer psychological support. Find out how to contact their services here.
If you need help or information, please contact our Public Inquiry Team on 0207 939 0780 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or by email at [email protected]. Please note, we are unable to offer any financial advice.