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People infected with hepatitis C - stage 1 payment

The scheme recognises that individuals living with hepatitis C face extra costs. Financial support is available for:

  • new applicants to the scheme
  • members of previous schemes

New applicants to the scheme

How much you could get

 If you were chronically infected with hepatitis C, you can claim:

  • a one-off lump sum of £20,000
  • regular payments - currently £3,030 a year or £15,150 subject to meeting the qualifying criteria for the Special Category Mechanism
  • annual winter fuel payment of £505

The payment amounts and assessment criteria may be reviewed in the future. This helps us respond to the changing needs of beneficiaries and latest clinical evidence.

Check if you're eligible

If you were infected with hepatitis C as a result of treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue

You'll need to confirm:

  • you were chronically infected with hepatitis C (you may qualify if successfully treated)
  • you have not already received payments for hepatitis C infection from the Skipton Fund or any other UK ex gratia payment scheme
  • it was probable that you were chronically infected with hepatitis C through treatment in England or a British Military Hospital
  • you received treatment in more than one country within the UK, then you lived in England, or lived in England immediately before you moved out of the UK

If you were infected with hepatitis C by someone who was infected through treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue

You'll need to confirm:

  • you were chronically infected with hepatitis C (you may qualify if successfully treated)
  • it is probable that you were infected by someone who was infected through treatment in England (the person must be receiving payments from us or have received payment(s) from the Skipton Fund. If they have not then they will first need to qualify for a hepatitis C stage 1 payment before your application can be considered)
  • how you contracted the infection

You could have contracted the infection by:

  • sexual transmission
  • from mother to baby
  • accidental needlestick injury

If you contracted the infection from sexual transmission you must also confirm:

  • you were with the person who infected you at the time (either in marriage, civil partnership or long-term relationship, and living together)
  • your spouse or partner were unaware they had the infection, or you both took reasonable precautions to prevent transmission at the time you contracted the infection

How to apply

To join the scheme, you need to download and complete a hepatitis C stage 1 application form (PDF: 192KB).

Alternatively, we can post an application form to you. To request this, contact us.

Medical practitioner’s evidence

As part of the application process you will need to arrange for your medical practitioner to complete sections 5A – 9 of the application form and provide supporting evidence from your medical records.

This should be a hepatitis C clinical specialist. If you are not under the care of a specialist you should ask your GP or another doctor involved in your clinical care who has access to medical records to confirm your hepatitis C status and the probable source of infection.

The medical practitioner completes the form to confirm you have hepatitis C stage 1.

When completing the application form the medical practitioner should provide evidence from your medical records to confirm that you have, or had, chronic hepatitis C, and evidence from your medical records to confirm that you received a blood transfusion, treatment with blood products or a tissue transplant prior to September 1991.

We cannot approve your application if it is sent to us with:

  • no evidence
  • insufficient evidence

Supporting evidence

If you believe you were infected with hepatitis C as a result of treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue, we assess your application using a balance of probabilities approach.

To do this we base the assessment on the strength of all the supporting evidence available.

If you're unsure if the type of information you have is relevant to your case, contact us to discuss this. We can also offer advice on how to try and obtain copies of any medical records that may be available to support your claim.

Applications where medical records are available to confirm that treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue occurred prior to September 1991 will be more straightforward to assess.

An application might still be successful if you can provide other forms of evidence, such as:

  • medical records of the procedure that led to the need for treatment with blood, blood products or tissue but where this is not specifically mentioned
  • witness statements from people who were witness to the treatment or were aware of it happening at the time
  • personal statement giving as much information as possible regarding the procedure that you underwent and the circumstances that led to the need for treatment with blood, blood products or tissue
  • physical evidence of the procedure that led to treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue

We'll be unable to trace medical records to support your application on your behalf.

Evidence about blood products

We'll look at all available evidence regarding the risks associated with certain types of blood products at the time you received the treatment.

The following are examples of blood products that were associated with a risk of hepatitis C transmission.

If you suffer from haemophilia or another bleeding disorder:

  • Factor VIII or Factor IX blood clotting factor
  • cryoprecipitate or FEIBA
  • plasma
  • whole blood

If you do not have a bleeding disorder, any blood you received through:

  • whole blood
  • albumin
  • bone marrow
  • intravenous immunoglobulin (not including Anti-D)
  • plasma or DEFIX

What happens next

We'll provide a decision on all applications as soon as possible. It may take longer if we need to ask you or your doctor for further information.

If the evidence provided by you and your doctor clearly shows that treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue prior to September 1991 was the probable source of your infection with hepatitis C, and that the infection was chronic, then it is likely your application will be approved.

If approved, you will receive a lump sum of £20,000 and your regular payments will be backdated to the start of the month we received the information necessary to approve your claim.

If your application is unsuccessful

We'll write to you with details of why your application was unsuccessful.

If you wish to appeal the decision, you should contact us within 3 months from the date on the letter. We may consider appeals received after 3 months, but only if you can provide a good reason for not contacting us earlier.

Find out how to appeal.

Members of previous schemes

How much you could get

You'll have already received lump sum payments from the Skipton Fund.

If you were chronically infected with hepatitis C, but have not progressed to one of the stage 2 qualifying conditions, you’ll have received the stage 1 one-off lump sum of £20,000 from the Skipton Fund.

You should also be receiving the regular payments from us, which are currently £3,030 a year, plus a winter fuel payment of £505.

If you have HIV and chronic hepatitis C (co-infection), but have not progressed to one of the stage 2 qualifying conditions, you’ll have received payments from the Macfarlane Trust or the Eileen Trust as well as from the Skipton Fund.

You should also be receiving the regular payments from us, which are currently £18,180 a year, plus a winter fuel payment of £505.

The payment amounts and assessment criteria may be reviewed in the future. This helps us respond to the changing needs of beneficiaries and the latest clinical evidence.

How to transfer to the new scheme

If you were a beneficiary of the Skipton Fund before November 2017, you'll transfer to the new scheme after providing your written consent to the Skipton Fund.

If you have not received a letter form the Skipton Fund informing you of the change in scheme and requesting your consent to transfer your details, you should contact them as a matter of urgency.

Once they have received your written consent they will transfer your details to us.

If we haven't contacted you

If you have not received a letter from us, you should contact the previous scheme(s) as a matter of urgency to check that they have your correct address.

Other financial help

You may also be eligible for support and assistance grants.