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?
This is a payment in advance of what we anticipate will be a recommendation for full compensation at the end of the Infected Blood Inquiry. It likely that more money will be paid to some or all of the people who are eligible for interim compensation, but this is not confirmed.
Who doesn’t qualify?
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. It is targeted at those already registered with schemes because many are in very poor health and experiencing great hardship. As they are already registered, the payment can be made quickly. Many people who have suffered terrible loss have missed out on this payment, such as bereaved parents and children, which has caused understandable upset and anger. The Haemophilia Society (THS) will continue to campaign for full compensation for all those whose lives have been devastated as a result of the contaminated blood scandal. We expect compensation to be recommended for a much wider group of affected people at the end of the Infected Blood Inquiry in mid-2023.
I’ve applied for a support scheme, but haven’t heard back yet – does this mean I miss out on interim compensation?
No. We expect successful new applications to qualify for interim compensation, although we are waiting for more details about this.
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 below are the case:
- 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?
We hope Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, will recommend compensation for all those bereaved and significantly impacted by the contaminated blood scandal when he makes his final report in mid-2023. We must wait for that report, or until the government announces its view on full compensation, before we can advise you further. 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].