Requesting medical records on your behalf
After we receive your completed claim form, we check to make sure that you are eligible to apply for a Vaccine Damage Payment. If you meet the eligibility criteria, we contact the healthcare providers you have told us about and we ask them to send us copies of your medical records.
This could include, where appropriate:
- GP notes and medical history
- hospital notes
- information from other healthcare providers that have provided treatment relevant to your claim
We work with your healthcare providers to get copies of all your medical records as quickly as possible. You do not need to request medical records yourself.
After we receive your full medical records, we prepare your claim and send it to an independent, third-party medical assessor.
How your claim is assessed
All claims are assessed on a case-by-case basis by an independent medical assessor. Medical assessors are General Medical Council (GMC) registered doctors with a license to practice and at least 5 years' experience.
The independent medical assessor will look at your claim form, medical records, clinical research, epidemiological evidence, and the current consensus of expert medical opinion. The assessor will advise if you are entitled to a Vaccine Damage Payment, based on whether:
- the vaccine, on the balance of probabilities, caused your disability
- the resulting disablement is severe
Severely disabled means at least 60% disabled, assessed for the purposes of section 103 of The Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. Further principles for assessing the extent of disablement are set out in the Social Security (General Benefit) Regulations 1982 (legislation.gov.uk).
The independent assessor will also consider whether a claimant has any pre-existing conditions that are not caused by the vaccine.
Claims to the VDPS will only be considered where, on the balance of probabilities, severe disablement occurs as a result of a vaccine itself. A claim to the VDPS in relation to the administration of the vaccine – the act of vaccinating a patient – will not be covered by the scheme. A VDPS claim is not an allegation of negligent clinical care.
Guidance the medical assessor uses
Independent medical assessors use resources to support their assessment, including, but not limited to:
- Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme – Principles of Medical Assessment Guidance (PDF: 418KB)
- Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) data, including Yellow Card information on suspected safety concerns involving a healthcare product
- Vaccine product information and updates
- The Green Book – a reference material produced by the UK Health Security Agency and used by healthcare professionals in the UK. The Green Book brings together all documents relating to immunisation against infectious diseases. Visit Immunisation against infectious disease: the green book front cover and contents page - GOV.UK for more details
- Detailed guidance on disablement assessments relating to Schedule 2 of The Social Security (General Benefit) Regulations 1982 (legislation.gov.uk), which have been developed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
- Causality assessment of an adverse event following immunization from the World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Established and accepted medical epidemiological research papers
- Past tribunal decisions and case law
How long it takes to assess a claim
The average claim takes around 6 months to investigate and process from the date we receive your application. Some claims may take longer.
This timeframe can vary from case to case, and we aim to progress claims as quickly as possible.
As part of the process of the scheme, a medical assessment can only commence once we receive full medical records for the claimant from their healthcare provider and this can take time. We’re working with healthcare providers to obtain copies of medical records as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Keeping you updated
Throughout the process, we will do all we can to progress your claim as quickly as possible. We will contact you regularly to keep you updated.
As soon as your claim assessment is complete, we will send you a letter telling you whether your claim has been successful, and a copy of the comprehensive medical report from the independent assessor.
If you need help with the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme, contact us by:
Phone: 0300 330 0013
We're usually open Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm.
You can also write to us at:
NHS Business Services Authority
Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme
Unit 5 Greenfinch Way
Newburn Industrial Estate
The VDPS privacy notice explains how the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS Business Services Authority securely store data of those claiming a vaccine damage payment.
The data is used to process a claim and support the administration of the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme.