Interim Compensation

In October 2022 the government paid £100,000 interim compensation to everyone currently registered on a UK Infected Blood Support Scheme. That’s people infected with HIV and/or hepatitis C as well as the bereaved partners of people who were infected. The payment will continue to be available to new registrants.  

How can people apply for the payment?

If you are already registered with the England Infected Blood Support Scheme, the Wales Infected Blood Support Scheme, the Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme or the Infected Blood Payment Scheme for Northern Ireland you should already have received your payment.

If you are not registered with a scheme but think you are eligible, please see below. 

Does the payment affect benefits or existing support payments?

No. This is a tax-free sum, which should not be taken into account when being assessed for benefits. It does not affect existing benefits or your regular infected blood support payments. It is also exempt from Inheritance Tax.

Will there be further payments?

In April 2023 the Infected Blood Inquiry published its Second Interim Report on Compensation which sets out recommendations for full compensation and interim payments to groups including bereaved children and parents. The government has not given an official response to these recommendations yet, but may be forced into setting up a compensation through an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill which is currently being considered by Parliament. When the bill receives Royal Assent, the government will have three months to establish a compensation scheme, led by a High Court Judge.

Who hasn’t received interim compensation?

Anyone who is not currently registered with a support scheme (see criteria below), such as anyone who was infected but has now died, bereaved parents, bereaved children, bereaved siblings and unpaid carers.

Does this mean those excluded won’t ever get compensation?

No. This is an interim payment, not a final payment. As mentioned above, the Infected Blood Inquiry has already recommended that interim compensation payments are made to bereaved parents and children and has outlined its recommendations on who should be eligible for full compensation and how it should be administered. We are now waiting for government action to implement this.

I’ve applied for a support scheme, but haven’t heard back yet – does this mean I miss out on interim compensation?

No. Successful new applications will qualify for interim compensation.

How will my payment be made?

Payments will be made through the support scheme you are already registered with. The money will be transferred to your nominated bank account. 

I’m not on a support scheme but think I should be

You are eligible for ongoing support payments if any of the points below apply:

  • You were infected with HIV through treatment with contaminated blood products or through a partner who was infected through this route
  • You were infected with hepatitis C through treatment with contaminated blood products for longer than six months (termed a ‘chronic’ infection by the support schemes) even if you later cleared the virus through treatment. You will need documentation to prove a chronic infection, particularly if you self-cleared the virus
  • You received a payment from the Skipton Fund for your infection
  • You are the bereaved partner, widow or widower of someone infected with hepatitis C, as detailed above, or HIV 
  • You were chronically infected with hepatitis C and were infected by someone who was infected through treatment with contaminated blood products. This may have been through sexual transmission, accidental needlestick injury or from mother to baby.

Some new or increased lump sum payments may also be payable to the estates of infected people who have died. 

How to contact the support schemes

There are four UK schemes which administer all payments. These replace previous schemes, such as the Skipton Fund, the Macfarlane Trust and the Caxton Foundation.  Please note that regardless of where you live now, you should apply to the scheme in the country where you were infected. 

England Infected Blood Support Scheme: 0300 330 1294

Wales Infected Blood Support Scheme: 0292 0902280

Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme: 0131 2756754

Infected Blood Payment Scheme for Northern Ireland: 028 9536 3817

I might be eligible for compensation in the future – how do I register?

Unfortunately, there is no way of registering for compensation at present as we don’t know who will be eligible.

When will full compensation be paid?

The government has repeatedly said it will not respond to the Infected Blood Inquiry’s recommendations on compensation until its final report is published, which is expected to be in March 2024. In December, MPs from all parties forced through an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill which, if passed, means the government must set up a compensation scheme within three months of the legislation receiving Royal Assent, which could be in February 2024. As soon as there is a development we will let you know. 

What is the Haemophilia Society doing?

We will continue to call on the government to do the following: 

  • Publish its response to Sir Robert Francis’ Infected Blood Compensation Study. Understanding the government’s position on how compensation should be calculated and paid will help move this issue forward
  • Set up a basic framework in advance so that a scheme is up and running when the Infected Blood Inquiry publishes its final recommendations. This includes establishing medical and legal panels to agree definitions of medical conditions and tariff amounts
  • Look at how compensation paid to estates can be made exempt from Inheritance Tax. 

We are also available to offer help and advice on any issues arising from interim compensation or infected blood support schemes. Contact our Public Inquiry Team on 0207 939 0780 or [email protected].