Compensation Scheme

The Compensation Scheme

The Secretary of State in October 2000 announced that the Government would pay compensation to the victims of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD) and their families.

The Trustees recognise that money cannot adequately compensate for the loss of a loved one to vCJD, but it is hoped that it will go some way towards reflecting the trauma and tragedy suffered by victims and their families. Payments made whilst the victim is still alive may also go some way towards alleviating their suffering.

Consultations with representatives of families affected by vCJD were held, and details of the Scheme were announced on 1 October 2001. The Government has committed the sum of £67.5 million for up to the first 250 cases. The fund is divided into the Main Fund, for which £62.5 million was initially allocated, and the Discretionary Fund, for which £5 million was initially allocated. The Trustees made representations to the Secretary of State that further funds should be made available to the Discretionary Fund, to enable the Trustees to compensate claims for particular hardship more adequately. Further funds were not made available, although the Trustees were successful in negotiating a transfer of £3 million from the Main Fund to the Discretionary Fund, which took place in August 2005. The total allocated to the Discretionary Fund is now £8 million.

The total number of cases of vCJD is uncertain and the Government will review the Scheme if the total exceeds 250.

Two interim trusts were set up, which enabled payments to be made to victims and their families before the vCJD Main Trust had been finalised. Both of the interim trusts have been closed, and compensation is now paid only from the vCJD Main Trust. The original vCJD Main Trust Deed was signed by the Trustees on 15 March 2002.

In early 2010 the Department of Health agreed to a revision of the Scheme in order to simplify the procedure for making payments to Victims and their families and a revised Trust Deed was signed on 12 February 2010. The revised Trust Deed contains two versions of the Scheme, the first applies to victims diagnosed on or before 30 March 2010 and the second applies to victims diagnosed on or after 31 March 2010. When considering this website, you may find it helpful to cross refer to the Glossary of Terms.

All enquiries to the Trustees should be made to Fieldfisher, Solicitors, and directed for the attention of Jonathan Zimmern or Rose-Anna Lidiard on 0207 861 4000. The Trustees encourage families who want to make a claim for compensation to contact them direct, via Fieldfisher.