Infected blood payment scheme reformed
All infected individuals will now receive annual payment including extra £500 winter fuel payment without the need to apply for it.
Reforms to the infected blood payment scheme have been announced today following a public consultation. The payment schemes are for individuals who were infected with HIV and/or hepatitis C following treatment with NHS-supplied blood or blood products before September 1991.
Since 1988, successive governments have set up 5 schemes to provide financial and other support to infected and affected people. However, criticisms about inconsistencies caused by the current system led to calls for reform.
The planned changes include:
those infected with hepatitis C at stage 1 will receive a new flat rate annual payment of £3,500, rising to £4,500 from 2018/2019. This will not be linked to an individual assessment, as was proposed in the consultation.
those with hepatitis C at stage 2 or those with HIV, their annual payments will increase to £15,500, rising to £18,500 from 2018/2019
those co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C at stage 1 will receive £18,500, rising to £22,500 from 2018/2019
those co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C at stage 2, will receive £30,500, rising to £36,500 from 2018/2019
discretionary support will continue and will be enhanced from 2018/2019
a new special appeals mechanism for those at hepatitis C stage 1 who consider that the impact of their infection on their health may mean they could qualify for stage 2 payments will be introduced from 2017/2018
continuation of a £50,000 lump sum payment for those infected with hepatitis C stage 1 who progress to stage 2
partners/spouses at the time of death of a primary beneficiary will be entitled to a £10,000 one-off lump sum where the HIV/hepatitis C infection contributed to the death of their partner/spouse - this will apply to those already bereaved and newly bereaved.
Increased annual payments and new annual payments will take effect this year and be backdated to April 2016.
All payments will continue to be ex-gratia, which means they are funded voluntarily by government. These payments will also continue to be additional to any other income a person may receive, and are disregarded when calculating income tax and eligibility for other state benefits. In addition, all annual payments will continue to be linked to the consumer price index from next year.
The consultation particularly sought views from people who are beneficiaries of the current schemes, their families and their clinicians on how best to reform them.
Published: 13 July 2016
From: Department of Health