Infected Blood - Interim Compensation Payments – FAQs

The Government has announced interim payments of £100,000 for infected beneficiaries and bereaved partners currently registered with the Infected Blood Support Schemes.

FAQs
 

Will beneficiaries in NI receive the payments in the absence of an Executive?

The interim payments will be paid to Northern Ireland beneficiaries of the Infected Blood Payment Scheme.  This a UK-wide issue and the UK Government is providing funding for payments across the UK.  

Health Minister Robin Swann has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that those infected and / or affected by contaminated blood will receive interim payments and the Department will continue to work with its counterparts in Westminster to ensure that the payments are made as quickly as possible.

When will payments be made?

My Department is working at pace with officials in DfC to ensure there is no adverse impact on benefits.  I have asked the Communities Minister for her support and assistance in making this possible to ensure payments can be made on behalf of UK Government through BSO as quickly as possible.  We are also dependent on the transfer of funding from HMT but are hopeful that payments can start being made in October.

Will beneficiaries receive the payment directly from Westminster?

It has been agreed that, whilst these payments are separate from the current ex-gratia payments provided by the infected blood support schemes, the existing schemes will act as administrative agents to make the payments. Therefore, payments will be administered by the NI Scheme, but this is being done on behalf of the UK Government.

Will the payments be tax exempt and disregarded for social security benefits?

The intention is that, in the same way as the ex-gratia support payments on the NI Infected Blood Payment Scheme, these interim payments will be tax-free and will not affect any social security benefits and DoH NI officials are working with colleagues in DHSC and the Department for Communities on the technical details of those issues.

Do the relatives of people who have died get this compensation e.g. bereaved children and parents?

These interim payments will be made to those infected beneficiaries and bereaved partners registered on the NI Infected Blood Payment Scheme. The payments are a first step to recognise the urgent need of infected people and bereaved partners, but more work is being done to consider the other recommendations made by Sir Robert Francis QC and DoH NI will consider any further recommendations from the Inquiry when it reports.

Is this all they are going to get? Is this the end of it?

These interim payments recognise the urgent need of infected people and bereaved partners registered on the existing support schemes, but more work is being done to consider the other recommendations made by Sir Robert Francis QC and along with UK counterparts, DoH NI will consider any further recommendations from the Infected Blood Inquiry when it reports.

Will Scheme beneficiaries still get their existing ex-gratia payments?

Those who receive this money will continue to receive any other payments they are already eligible for through the NI Infected Blood Payment Scheme.

How much will this cost? 

Interim compensation payments are being funded by the UK Government across the UK. Funding is being provided to the Devolved Administrations to enable them pay the £100,000 will be paid to existing scheme beneficiaries. The funding required for Northern Ireland is £10.3million.  The estimated cost across the UK is around £400 million.

Are DAs responsible for funding the cost of these compensation payments? 

This a UK-wide issue and the UK Government is providing funding for payments across the UK.  The DAs will be responsible for administering payments in each nation, but the costs of these payments will be fully funded by the UK Government.

Is the UK government admitting liability?

The use of contaminated blood and blood products in the 1970s and 1980s was a tragedy for everyone involved and the Minister is aware of the financial hardships and suffering endured since then.

These interim payments are intended to help to ease the urgent need faced by those infected people and bereaved partners in the short-term, but we acknowledge there is still more to do.

 

Back to top