FAQs

1. What is the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment (TPDP) Scheme?

Under Section 10 of the Northern Ireland Act 2019, the UK Government was required to bring forward legislation providing for a scheme of payments to those living with injuries sustained in Troubles/ Conflict-related incidents.

The Victims' Payments Regulations 2020 were laid before Parliament on 31 January by the Northern Ireland Office. The Scheme established by these Regulations is the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme.

2. What is the purpose of the TPDP scheme?

The purpose of the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment (TPDP) scheme is to acknowledge the harm suffered by those injured in the Troubles in Northern Ireland and to promote reconciliation between people in connection with Northern Ireland’s troubled past. 

The scheme has been designed to provide those who suffered permanent disablement (either physical or psychological) as a result of an injury caused through no fault of their own, in a Troubles-related incident with payments primarily in acknowledgement of the acute harm which they have suffered. It will also provide a measure of recognition of the implications of living with a permanent disablement caused by a Troubles-related injury and the associated impact of such disablement, and recognition that in many cases coping with disablement caused by the serious injury had an adverse financial impact on individuals and their families.

3. Who is responsible for administering the Scheme?

On 24th August 2020, The Executive Office (TEO) within the Northern Ireland Executive designated the Department of Justice (DoJ) to exercise the administrative functions of the Victims’ Payments  Board on the Board’s behalf. 

4. How can I make an application to the TPDP Scheme?

An on-line application form for the scheme will be available on this web-site when the scheme opens for applications. Detailed guidance will also be available to assist with completing the application form. There will be a facility to upload documents to support your application. That could include evidence of your identity or any relevant medical evidence that you might have.

A hard-copy of the application form will be available if you are unable to access the on-line version. Details will be provided of where the application form should be forwarded as well as any supporting information.

Please note that if you were injured in more than one Troubles-related incident, details of all the incidents, and injuries, should be included in your application.

A number of organisations who currently provide support to victims and survivors have been provided with funding to recruit staff to provide advice and support for completing an application. Contact details for the organisations are as follows:

Support Services

It is not considered that you will need assistance from any paid representatives to assist with making an application. The Board may reimburse reasonable expenses of travel, subsistence and accommodation associated with making an application (see below). Any other costs you might incur will not be met by the Victims’ Payments Board.

5. How will my application be processed?

The Victims’ Payments Board will consider the material you provide with your application and any material sourced from other organisations. Decisions by the Victims’ Payments Board will be made on the balance of probabilities i.e. more likely than not to have happened as the result of a Troubles-related incident. However, the burden of proof rests with you as the applicant.

6. How will a Troubles-related incident inform entitlement to a payment under the TPDP Scheme?

To be entitled to a payment under the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment (TPDP) scheme an application must meet all of the following criteria:

  • the injury (either physical or psychological) was as a result of a Troubles-related incident[1] and has resulted in permanent disablement.
  • the assessed degree of disablement as a result of the Troubles-related injury is not less than 14%;
  • the Troubles-related incident in which the injury was sustained took place:
    • in the UK, or
    • anywhere in Europe at a time when you were:
      ( a ) a British Citizen
      ( b ) born in Northern Ireland and having at least one parent who is a British Citizen, an Irish citizen or otherwise entitled to reside in NI
      ( c ) outside the UK in service of the Crown or
      ( d ) an accompanying close relative of a person serving outside the UK in service of the Crown; and,
  • the Troubles-related incident in which the injury was sustained took place on or after 1 January 1966, but before 12 April 2010[2]

For the purposes of this scheme, an injury may only be considered to be caused by a Troubles-related incident if is suffered by that person when:

  1. present at a Troubles-related incident.
  2. present in the immediate aftermath of a Troubles-related incident in which a loved one died or suffered an injury. This includes any time when a loved one[3] was in the same condition as they would have been at the scene of a Troubles-related incident. 
  3. responding, in the course of employment, to a Troubles-related incident, in which the person reasonably believed a loved one had died or suffered significant injury. This includes preventing, mitigating or otherwise addressing the incident. Employment also includes service of the Crown.

[1]Guidance will be available on this website on what constitutes a Troubles-related incident

 [2] The Victims’ Payments Board, which makes decisions on entitlement to any payment under the scheme, will have a limited discretion to consider incidents either side of this date range where to exclude an application solely on the basis of dates would undermine the purpose of the scheme.

  [3] A loved one means another person in a close relationship of love and affection. Such a relationship will be presumed to exist between two people who are married, in a civil partnership, or live together as if they were husband and wife or as civil partners and also between a parent and a child. While those relationships will be presumed to exist, a loved one may also include other close relationships of love and affection such as that between siblings, grandparent / grandchild, etc.   

7. Will I be able to make an application to the scheme if I sustained a Troubles-related injury outside the dates detailed above?

To be entitled to a payment under the TPDP scheme, you must have sustained a Troubles-related injury on or after 1 January 1966 but before 12 April 2010.

However, the Victims’ Payments Board has a limited discretion to consider incidents either side of the date range where to exclude an application solely on the basis of dates would undermine the purpose of the scheme. The Board will develop further guidance on how this discretion will be applied and will publish on this website in due course.

8. What evidence should I provide to support an application?

Whatever supporting evidence that is already available and to support the relevant parts of the application form should be submitted with your application form.

The Victims’ Payments Board has developed working relationships with a number of agencies and will seek information from those organisations if it is considered that they hold information that will assist with verifying your application. This could include, for example, verifying presence at a Troubles-related incident. In particular, arrangements have been put in place from the following organisations: 

  • Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • Public Records Office for Northern Ireland 
  • Victims and Survivors Service
  • Health & Social Care Organisations

Please note that any information that you already hold from these organisations should be submitted to support your application. It is not necessary to contact these organisations to obtain any additional information as the Victims’ Payments Board will be doing this when considered necessary to do so.

9. What Medical evidence should I provide with my application?

Capita has been appointed to carry out the medical assessment process to determine the level of permanent disablement as a result of a Troubles-related injury.  You should include any relevant medical evidence you currently hold with your application – this will help inform that assessment process.  The evidence submitted should be relevant to any injury caused by a Troubles-related incident.  It is not necessary for you to seek any additional medical evidence to support your application.  Where necessary, arrangements have been made for Capita to request information directly from your GP or the health service.  The Victims’ Payments Board may also contact you to clarify any information submitted with your application.

10. Can I claim expenses associated with making a claim to the scheme?

The Victims’ Payments Board may reimburse reasonable expenses of travel, subsistence and accommodation reasonably incurred in making an application or bringing an appeal. Any such costs associated should be agreed before they are incurred or they will not be reimbursed.

The Board will not reimburse any other costs associated with making an application to the scheme.

11. Are there exclusions to who can apply for this scheme?

A criminal records check will be undertaken for each applicant to the scheme as part of the assessment process for each application. You will not be entitled to payments from the scheme where the Board considers that your relevant conviction (defined as a conviction excluded from rehabilitation) makes entitlement to payments inappropriate. Convictions excluded from rehabilitation are generally convictions carrying sentences of longer than 30 months and so cover the most serious crimes that have been committed.

A conviction is considered relevant if you received a sentence which is:

  • excluded from rehabilitation under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974(a) as it applies in England and Wales;
  • an excluded sentence under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 as it applies in Scotland; or
  • excluded from rehabilitation under the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978(b).

In addition, you will not be entitled to victims’ payments where the President of the Board considers that the exceptional circumstances of the case, having regard to material evidence, make entitlement to victims’ payments inappropriate.

When taking decisions as to whether a relevant conviction or exceptional circumstances make entitlement to victims’ payments inappropriate, the Board and the President must have regard to guidance produced by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The guidance does not apply to decisions where the applicant has a conviction in respect of conduct which caused, wholly or in part, the incident in which they sustained an injury. If you were injured by your own hand you will not be entitled to payments from this scheme.

12. How will my information and personal data be used?

Your personal information is protected by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Your information may be used by the Victims’ Payments Board, or given to other parties where you have agreed or where the law allows or requires it.

You can find out more about how the Victims’ Payments Board will manage your personal information including our privacy notice.

13. How will applications to the scheme be assessed?

The Victims’ Payments Board is supported by an administrative team to process applications made to the Scheme. The Board will decide the order in which applications will be prioritised but must give priority to applications made by applicants who are terminally ill (and the Board has been made aware of that). For the purposes of the scheme, that will include applications from the individuals who have been given a prognosis of less than 12 months to live at the date of making an application.

The Board may also prioritise applications for consideration. When making such a decision, the Board must take into account ( a ) when evidence is available to the Board to allow the application to be determined quickly ( b ) the age of each applicant and ( c ) the health of each applicant (as far as it is disclosed to the Board).

The President of the Victims’ Payments Board will appoint panels to consider the application on behalf of the Board. The panel will determine whether the applicant is entitled to payments under the scheme, subject to an assessment by a health care professional of the degree of relevant disablement of the applicant. 

The panel also must determine that where an application relates to more than one Troubles-related incident, which of the incidents provide entitlement to payments under the scheme. 

A panel can consist of one legal member of the Board or three members, including one legal member and one ordinary member. If the panel consists of three members, the legal member will be the chair; if the panel includes the President of the Board, he will chair the panel. A determination of a panel is on the basis of the majority of members of the panel.

If there is a need to consider any relevant conviction(s) and whether the relevant conviction(s) makes the entitlement to payments inappropriate, the panel must consist of three members and established in the same way as outlined above.

14. Can a decision by the Victims’ Payments Board be appealed?

A determination made by the Victims’ Payments Board can be appealed at any stage of the process within 12 months of the date you were notified of the decision or assessment. However, the President of the Board may extend this time period if he considers it equitable having regard to the circumstances

This can include an appeal against any of the following decisions:

  • a decision regarding your eligibility to the scheme;
  • a decision regarding your degree of disablement; or,
  • a decision regarding adjustments / deductions made to your award.

Your appeal must be submitted to the Victims’ Payments Board using the form provided for that purpose, and you must set out your grounds of appeal in writing.

Appeals will be considered by a three-member panel of the Victims’ Payments Board which will include one legal member and one ordinary member. The legal member will be the chair; if the panel includes the President of the Board, he will chair the panel. A determination of a panel is on the basis of the majority of members of the panel. Members of the appeal panel will not include those who considered your original application.

When required, the panel may request that a further assessment of your degree of disablement is carried out by the health- care professional.

Following a decision on your appeal, the Victims’ Payments Board will advise of the details of any decisions along with a summary of the reasons for the decision.

15. How will the level of permanent disablement be assessed?

Capita has been appointed to carry out medical assessments to determine the level of permanent disablement as a result of a Troubles-related incident. You may be required to attend an appointment with a health care professional for this purpose. 

Your degree of permanent disablement must be assessed at 14% or above to be entitled to payments under the scheme. Your degree of disablement must also have reached a settled or steady state after appropriate clinical management of appropriate duration. However, in limited circumstances payment may be made on the basis of an interim assessment until a permanent assessment can be made.

16. Can I make a further application if my injuries get worse after an award has been made?

If you have been successful in receiving a payment from the scheme and your condition worsens, you can make a further application within 12 months of the date on which your worsening began. 

The application to have your degree of disablement assessed again can be made if:

  • your permanent disablement has become worse, and
  • you reasonably believe that the assessed degree of permanent disablement (the original assessment) did not provide a reasonable assessment of the degree of permanent disablement resulting from the relevant Troubles-related incident.

An application for your conditioning worsening can only be made once. Any further medical assessment will be carried out by a qualified health care professional on behalf of the Victims’ Payments Board.

17. How will decisions be made about entitlement to a payment under the Scheme?

Any decisions on entitlement to a payment under the TPDP Scheme will be made by an independent Victims’ Payments Board.

Mr Justice McAlinden has been appointed by the Lord Chief Justice as President of the Victims’ Payments Board. The Board consists of legal, medical and ordinary members

18. What are the levels of payment under the scheme?

If the Victims’ Payments Board considers that you are entitled to a payment from the scheme, the amount you receive will depend on the degree of permanent disablement you have experienced as a result of a Troubles-related incident.

Payments will be made on a sliding scale and the rate of payment is set out in Part 2 of Schedule 1 to The Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 2006. 

The current rates of payments are as follows but please note that payments may be adjusted for any previous compensation you have received for your injury or any other payments received for the same disablement (see below).

Degree of Disablement (%)

Annual Rate

£

100

10,123

90

9,111

80

8,098

70

7,086

60

6,074

50

5,062

40

4,049

30

3,037

20

2,025

19. What other compensation payments are taken into account when considering what payments I might receive under the TPDP Scheme?

The Victims’ Payments Board may use discretion in adjusting the amount of payments payable where compensation has been previously received for the same disablement and that compensation exceeds the amount of “exempted compensation”. 

The Board has published a separate guidance note setting out how the Board will make adjustments for compensation that was previously awarded for the same injury.

20. What other payments are taken into account when adjusting any entitlement to payments under the TPDP scheme?

If an entitlement to a payment is determined under the TPDP scheme, payments will be reduced by the aggregate amount of any of the following payments which relate to the same disablement:

  • a disablement pension under:
    • section 103 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (disablement pension); or,
    • section 103 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act (disablement pension);
  • any retired pay, pension, allowance or other continuing benefit awarded under the Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 2006 in respect of a disablement;
  • any payments under article 15(1) or article 29(1) of the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2011(benefits payable for injury and death);
  • any pension, award, allowance or other continuing benefit awarded under the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Police Service of Northern Ireland Reserve (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 in respect of injury received in the execution of duty;
  • an ill-health pension under article 15 of the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2007(e) or a pension payable under that Order in respect of disablement;
  • an award on ill-health retirement under article 12 of the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2007or a pension payable under that Order in respect of disablement;
  • any pension, allowance, gratuity or other payment awarded under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme 1994;
  • any pension, allowance, gratuity or other payment awarded under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland) made under Article 3 of the Superannuation (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 on the 28th August 1996, as amended from time to time;
  • any pension, allowance, gratuity or other payment awarded under the Civil Service Injury Benefit Scheme (Northern Ireland) made under article 3 of the Superannuation (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 and published on 1 January 2003, as amended from time to time;
  • any pension, allowance, gratuity or other payment awarded under the Civil Service Injury Benefits Scheme made on 22 July 2002 under section 1 of the Superannuation Act 1972, as amended from time to time;
  • any payment made under the National Health Service (Scotland) (Injury Benefits) Regulations 1998(a), the Health and Personal Social Services (Injury Benefits) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001(b) or the National Health Service (Injury Benefits) Regulations 1995;
  • any benefit that is equivalent or substantially similar to those listed above (including benefits awarded under the legislation of another country or dependent territory)

21. How will payments be paid?

If the Victims’ Payments Board determine that you are entitled to a payment under the TPDP scheme, payments will be made monthly or as a lump sum in certain circumstances (see below). A request can be made to the Board for alternative arrangements to be put in place. 

If payments are being made monthly, the first payment will be made as soon as reasonably practicable after the determination of the amount of payments payable by the Victims’ Payments Board. Payments will be made via BACS transfer, normally on the third last banking day of each month.

22. In what circumstances can a lump sum payment be made instead of monthly payments?

If the Victims’ Payments Board considers that an individual is entitled to payments under the TPDP scheme, a request can be made for a payment to be made as a lump sum instead of monthly payments if:

  • you are over 60 years of age; or,
  • are terminally ill.

If you wish to avail of this option you should indicate that in the response template that will be provided along with the Letter of Determination from the Victims’ Payments Board.

If you are entitled to a lump sum payment, you will also be entitled to backdated payments from the scheme.  Payments will be backdated to whichever is the later of the following:-

  1. 23 December 2014; or,
     
  2. the date of the Troubles-related incident for which a payment is being made, if the Troubles-related incident occurred after 23 December 2014 (This is dependent on the application meeting all of the other eligibility criteria and the President of the Board agreeing to accept the application as if would fall outside the normal timeframe for applications); or,
     
  3. [if a posthumous application] the date of death of the injured party if that occurred after 23 December 2014.

Any backdated payments will be paid as a one-off payment. 

If you have opted to receive a lump sum, the lump sum amount will paid at the same time as the backdated payment.  Please note that the lump sum payment will be in addition to any backdated payments.

The amount of the lump sum payment is the amount of payments under the scheme for a period of 10 years beginning with the date you applied to receive a lump sum payment. 

If you are over 60 years of age, or terminally ill, and have previously indicated that you do not want a lump sum, you will not have the option of applying for a lump sum at a later date. 

If you are paid a lump sum payment, you will have no further entitlement to payments under the scheme and will not be able to appeal the decision of entitlement by the Victims’ Payments Board.  It will also not be possible to transfer any payments to a nominated person on your death.

 

23. If I am entitled to payments under the scheme, what will happen on my death?

If the Victim’s Payments Board determines that someone is entitled to payments under the TPDP scheme (“a beneficiary”), an individual may be nominated to receive monthly payments for the period of 10 years beginning with the date of death (except when a lump sum payment has been made).

An individual may be nominated a beneficiary if they:

  • are the spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner, or
  • are, or used to be, regularly and substantially engaged in caring for the beneficiary.

“Regularly and substantially engaged” in caring is deemed to apply if:

  1. the person satisfies the conditions for entitlement to a carer's allowance or would do so but for the fact that their earnings have exceeded the limit prescribed for the purposes of that allowance (this is irrespective of whether a claim has been made for a carer’s allowance), or
  2. a panel appointed for this purpose by the President of the Board considers it is equitable, in all the circumstances, to treat the person as having regularly and substantially engaged in caring for the beneficiary.

If the individual derives income from those caring responsibilities, that is not to be treated as being regularly and engaged in caring responsibilities for the purpose of this scheme.

For the purposes of this scheme “carer's allowance” means a carer's allowance under section 70 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 or section 70 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992.

24. Can an application be made on behalf of a deceased person?

An application can made to the TPDP scheme on behalf of someone who is now deceased (“a beneficiary”), if the deceased could have nominated someone to receive monthly payments for the period of 10 years beginning with the date of their death (except when a lump sum payment has been made).

That individual who may have been nominated by the beneficiary, can make an application if they:

  • were the spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner, or
  • were regularly and substantially engaged in caring for the beneficiary.

“Regularly and substantially engaged” in caring is deemed to apply if:

  1. the person satisfied the conditions for entitlement to a carer's allowance or would have done so but for the fact that their earnings have exceeded the limit prescribed for the purposes of that allowance (this is irrespective of whether a claim was made for a carer’s allowance), or
  2. a panel appointed for this purpose by the President of the Board considers it is equitable, in all the circumstances, to treat the person as having regularly and substantially engaged in caring for the beneficiary.

If the individual derived income from those caring responsibilities, that is not to be treated as being regularly and engaged in caring responsibilities for the purpose of this scheme.

For the purposes of this scheme “carer's allowance” means a carer's allowance under section 70 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 or section 70 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992.

If the individual died on or before 23 December 2014, and there is an entitlement to payments under the scheme, payments will be made for the period beginning with 23 December 2014 and ending 10 years after the date of death of the deceased. In all other cases where the Board considers there is an entitlement to payments, they will be made for 10 years beginning with the date of death of the deceased.

25. How will a Posthumous application be processed?

The Victims’ Payments Board must, so far as reasonably practicable, consider whether any other person may make a similar application and notify in writing any such person of their right to make an application.

Where more than one person has made such an application, or has notified the Board of their intention to make an application, the President of the Board must appoint a panel to determine which application may proceed. The panel must so far as possible make a determination by deciding who the panel reasonably considers the deceased would have nominated had the deceased made an application for payments under the scheme. The panel must have regard to any will made by the deceased.

If the panel is unable to decide who the deceased would have nominated and the person who was the deceased's spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner seeks to make an application, the panel must determine that application may proceed unless the Board considers it would be inequitable to do so. This does not apply if the spouse or civil partner was estranged from the deceased.

In any other case, or where the Board considers it inequitable for an application to proceed, the panel must determine which application is, in the interests of fairness, to proceed.

There will be an option to appeal the decision.