Infected blood scandal: How much compensation will victims get - and how will it be calculated?

More than 30,000 people were given contaminated blood products or transfusions by the NHS between the early 70s and 90s. Credit: PA

By Elisa Menendez, Westminster Producer


After decades of campaigning, the victims and families of the contaminated blood scandal will finally receive compensation for the immense devastation it has brought to their lives.

The government has published "illustrative figures" outlining how much those affected could expect to receive before the end of the year, after Paymaster General John Glen earlier told the Commons "time is of the essence" with people dying every week.

The documents say that those living with HIV or at least two severe illnesses could be entitled to at least £2 million per person.

There is no limit to how much a person could receive. The government states the figures shared below are not final numbers and should be treated with caution.

Individual payments will be based on different criteria, such as the virus or multiple viruses contracted as a result of the scandal, the severity of them and the impact this has had on theirs and loved ones' lives.

The scheme will be UK-wide and run by a new independent arm’s length body called the Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA).

More than 30,000 people were infected with deadly viruses between the 1970s and early 1990s after being given blood transfusions or blood products while receiving NHS care.

As a result of the "biggest treatment disaster in NHS history", around 3,000 people have died - among them 380 children. More are dying weekly.

The 2,527-page report from the Infected Blood Inquiry, published on Monday, found the scandal “could largely have been avoided”, people were knowingly exposed to contaminated blood products and there was a “pervasive” cover-up to hide the truth from successive governments, medics and NHS officials.

The key points of the compensation scheme

  • All those "infected and affected" as a result of the scandal will receive compensation, including family members and friends of infected blood victims.

  • Compensation payments will be exempt from tax and will be paid in either a lump sum or a series of instalments over a fixed number of years.

  • Compensation payments are simplified into five main categories: injury, social impact, autonomy, care and financial loss.

  • Payments will be further calculated based on a person's infection and the severity of it. Compensation for their affected loved ones will be calculated in a similar way.

  • Compensation payments for victims who have died will go to their estate.

  • Interim £210,000 payments will be issued for the most urgent cases - those who may have been told they do not have long left to live - will be delivered within 90 days starting in the summer.

  • Anyone already registered with support schemes will automatically be considered eligible for compensation.

  • The government expects the final payments will start before the end of the year.

Campaigners have been calling for justice for decades. Credit: PA

The five compensation categories

As per the inquiry's recommendations, payments will be simplified into five different categories and will reflect, past, present and future losses suffered as a result of the scandal.

The 'injury award' recognises the physical and mental injury and emotional distress caused or will be caused, while another award calculates the 'financial loss' suffered by victims and their families.

A 'social impact' award will look at the societal prejudice or social isolation a person may have suffered due to the viruses they contracted, with many victims saying they've been forced to conceal their illnesses as a result of the stigma associated with HIV and Hepatitis.

The 'care award' will assess the past and future care needs and associated costs for victims, while the 'autonomy award' recognises additional redress for the distress caused by the impact of the disease, including interference with family and private life - for example, the loss of opportunity to have children.

Compensation payments for those living with infections or diseases

The government's detailed banding sets out how much each person who contracted a disease could receive, categorised by infection and the severity of it.

It says the range of payments awards listed below are the government's estimate "of what the majority of people who are infected will receive - it is not the minimum to maximum award".

Applicants who can demonstrate their costs are greater than those listed below have the option of applying for a higher payment.

1. Illustrative awards for a living person with a single infection:

  • Hepatitis C (acute): £35,500

  • Hepatitis C or Hepatitis B (chronic): £665,000 - £810,000

  • Hepatitis C or Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis): £985,000 - £1,130,000

  • Hepatitis C or Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis, and/or liver cancer and/or liver transplantation): £1,412,000 - £1,557,000

  • HIV: £2,225,000 - £2,615,000

2. Illustrative awards for a living person with a co-infection:

  • HIV and Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Acute): £2,257,500 - £2,647,500

  • HIV and Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Chronic): £2,270,000 - £2,660,000

  • HIV and Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis): £2,315,000 - £2,705,000

  • HIV and Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis): £2,345,000 - £2,735,000

  • HIV and Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (liver cancer and/or liver transplantation): £2,345,000 - £2,735,000

  • Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B (Chronic): £730,000 - £1,642,000 (Depending on severity band)

The government states an acute infection is categorised as one that lasts for less than six months, while a chronic one is more than six months.

Cressida Haughton (left) whose father Derek died and Deborah Dennis whose husband Barrie, passed away. Credit: PA

3. Compensation payments for those affected who are not living with infection

Partner:

  • Hepatitis B Acute (where the infection resulted in a fatality in the acute period), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis), or HIV, or co-infection: £110,000

  • Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Chronic): £58,000

  • Bereaved affected where dependent on infected person at time of death: Available dependent on circumstances. If a 'financial loss award' is applicable, they could receive £16,682 per annum.

  • All affected persons: If they meet the 'care award' eligibility.

Parent (where onset of child’s infection began before age 18):

  • Hepatitis B Acute (where the infection resulted in a fatality in the acute period), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis), or HIV, or co-infection: £80,000

  • Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Chronic): £34,600

  • Bereaved affected where dependent on infected person at time of death: Available dependent on circumstances.

  • All affected persons: If they meet the 'care award' eligibility.

Child (where onset of parent’s infection began before child turned 18):

  • Hepatitis B Acute (where the infection resulted in a fatality in the acute period), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis), or HIV, or co-infection: £55,000

  • Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Chronic): £34,600

  • Bereaved affected where dependent on infected person at time of death: Available dependent on circumstances. If a 'financial loss award' is applicable, they could receive £5,561- £22,243 per annum.

  • All affected persons: If they meet the 'care award' eligibility.

Siblings:

  • Hepatitis B Acute (where the infection resulted in a fatality in the acute period), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis), or HIV, or co-infection: £30,000

  • Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Chronic): £28,000

  • Bereaved affected where dependent on infected person at time of death: Available dependent on circumstances.

  • All affected persons: If they meet the 'care award' eligibility.

Carers; Parent (where onset of child’s infection began after age 18); Child (where onset of parent’s infection began after child turned 18):

  • Hepatitis B Acute (where the infection resulted in a fatality in the acute period), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Cirrhosis), or Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Decompensated cirrhosis), or HIV, or co-infection: £30,000

  • Hepatitis C / Hepatitis B (Chronic): £28,000

  • Bereaved affected where dependent on infected person at time of death: Available dependent on circumstances.

  • All affected persons: If they meet the 'care award' eligibility.

Deadlines to apply for compensation

For people diagnosed before April 1, 2025, the compensation scheme will remain open to applications for six years until March 31, 2031, says the government.

The government says this proposed deadline will be reviewed within three years to ensure it remains "appropriate based on the numbers of applications and expected processing times".

Those diagnosed after April 1 2025 will be able to apply for up to six years from their date of diagnosis.


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