At the same time as the UK Government announced a series of changes to infected blood support schemes across the UK, the Scottish Government has today issued a statement about what those changes will mean for those who rely on the Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme.
The expected new payments levels for SIBSS effective from April 2021 are…
|SIBSS (previously planned)|
|Chronic HCV Stage 1 (moderately affected)||£6,439||£19,456|
|Chronic HCV Stage 1 (severely affected)||£19,317||£29,224|
|Advanced HCV (Stage 2)||£27,596||£29,224|
|Widows/ers/partners – chronic HCV – moderately affected||£4,829||£14,184|
|Widows/ers/partners – chronic HCV – severely affected||£14,488||£21,510|
|Widows/ers/partners – advanced HCV or HIV||£20,697||£21,510|
|Widows/ers/partners – coinfected||£28,363||£33,804|
All changes to annual payments will be backdated to April 2019 so regular payments you received since then for any time period you were eligible will be topped up to reflect the levels paid by the English Infected Blood Support Scheme in 2019-20 and 2020-21. While backdated payments will take a little longer to process, we hope that these payments will be made by the summer. If you already receive an annual payment, you do not need to do anything to apply for the backdated money as SIBSS will arrange payment for you.Source: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-infected-blood-support-scheme—payment-changes-statement/
The announcement also includes the intention to make the following changes,
- Those in the Stage 1 group who have self-assessed that hepatitis c (HCV) has no noticeable impact on their day to day life will also now be able to get an annual payment and payments backdated to April 2019.
- Those widows, widowers, civil partners or long-term cohabiting partners who have since remarried, entered into a new civil partnership or are living with a new partner will now be able to receive these regular annual payments as well and will also receive backdated top-up payments for period from April 2019.
- A new £10,000 lump sum payment will now be made on the death of a beneficiary to support their family with expenses, such as funeral costs.
- HIV lump sum payments to be increased for existing beneficiaries who have received less than £80,500.
Joyce Donnelly, Convenor of the Scottish Infected Blood Forum welcomed the Scottish Government announcement,
“This uplift today will help a lot of people in Scotland who have lost loved ones or lived with the consequences of being infected with potentially deadly viruses for literally decade. More work remains to be done but this is another step in the right direction.”
Bill Wright Chair of Haemophilia Scotland added,
“We look forward to the findings of the Infected Blood Inquiry’s ongoing investigation of the effectiveness of the different support schemes across the UK and the separate Review announced by the Paymaster General this morning. We are already fully engaged with the judicial Inquiry led by Sir Brian Langstaff and will seek to engage actively with the review looking at options for a framework for compensation”.