The Victims’ Payment Scheme regulations were laid at Westminster in January 2020. They came into full effect on 29 May 2020.
The Department of Justice is responsible for running the Scheme. It is due to open to receive applications on 30 June 2021. If you would like to be added to their mailing list to be informed of the Scheme opening, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Scheme is intended for those with severe and permanent injury (whether physical or psychological). This means that not every victim or survivors will be eligible.
The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) are there to support anyone affected by victims’ issues and can be contacted on (028) 9027 9100 or by emailing email@example.com
Former Victims Commissioner, Kathryn Stone, with guidance from the WAVE Injured Group and the Victims and Survivors Forum, submitted advice to the First and deputy First Ministers on a ‘Pension for the Severely Injured’.
This advice stated that more needed to be done to help those who lost the ability to work and accrue pensions and who lost their health as a consequence of the Troubles and recommended a Victims and Survivors Pension Arrangement to address this.
In the Stormont House Agreement, the five main political parties in Northern Ireland made a commitment to seek an acceptable way forward on the proposal for a pension for severely physically injured victims in Northern Ireland.
In the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, the former Secretary of State, Karen Bradley, asked former Commissioner, Judith Thompson to update the 2014 pension advice. It was to include psychological injury.
Former Commissioner Judith Thompson submitted updated advice on a Victims and Survivors Pension Arrangement to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. This advice was also informed by the WAVE Injured Group, the Commission’s Pension Working Group and the Victims and Survivors Forum.
Following rounds of political engagements on the final updated advice, the Commissioner publicised and launched the VASPA advice to the wider public at an event at Stormont with extensive media coverage.
The Government at Westminster committed to establishing cross-departmental teams to deliver a Victims’ Payment if Northern Ireland remained without an Executive by 22 October.
As no Executive was in place by 22 October 2019, The Northern Ireland Office launched a public consultation on a ‘Victims’ Payment Scheme’ that same day. It was open for 5 weeks, closing on the 26 November 2019.
The Regulations for the Victims Payment Scheme are laid at Westminster. Some of these regulations came into effect by the end of February, the rest came into effect at the end of May 2020.
Following the missed deadline of 29 May, the Commissioner and the Victims and Survivors Forum wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister of the UK to deliver on this legal obligation.
The Commissioner, Forum, the WAVE Injured Group and other victims' groups continue to lobby Governments at Westminster and the Northern Ireland Executive to implement this Scheme.
Mr Justice McAlinden, President of the Victims’ Payments Board, has today announced his intention to open the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme for applications from 30 June 2021.
The Victims’ Payments Board will be responsible for determining who is entitled to payment in respect of an injury caused by a Troubles-related incident.
Mr Justice McAlinden was appointed by the Lord Chief Justice as President of the Victims’ Payments Board on 1 March 2021. Twenty-six legal, medical and ordinary members of the Board have also been sworn into office.
Further information will be made available in due course on the Victims’ Payments Board website.