§ Lord Morris of Manchester
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether any future payment from United States plasma companies to people with haemophilia damaged by their products, or to their families, in consequence of litigation, will affect statutory payment of statutory benefits or ex gratia payments currently available to them in the United Kingdom. [HL4890]
§ Baroness Hollis of Heigham
For the income-related benefits such as income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit, substantial amounts of capital are not ignored when deciding entitlement. This would include payments made by United States plasma companies to people with haemophilia damaged by their products. Depending on the circumstances, certain capital may be disregarded indefinitely or for a fixed period of time. Compensation payments received as a result of personal injury and placed in trust for the injured person are disregarded when determining benefit entitlement.
For pension credit, these payments are ignored completely in deciding entitlement.
Contribution-based benefits such as incapacity benefit and contribution-based jobseeker's allowance and other benefits including disability living allowance and industrial injuries disablement benefit are not affected by such payments.
The Government have set up an ex gratia payment scheme for those who have been infected with hepatitis C from infected NHS blood. The scheme is administered by the Skipton Fund on behalf of the four health administrations. If people receive compensation from other sources, such as United States plasma companies in connection with their infection, the Skipton Fund will not make any deduction from any awards to take account of this.