To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of changing the provisions of the Vaccine Damage Payment compensation scheme so that people who suffer a psychiatric injury as a result of an adverse event involving a vaccine can also be fairly compensated for the effects of (a) loss of earnings, (b) the stigma of mental illness and (c) incarceration.
The VDPS is not a compensation scheme. There is no assessment of what losses were actually suffered. It provides a one off tax-free lump sum payment, currently £120,000, to successful claimants and is one part of the wide range of support and help available to severely disabled people in the United Kingdom.
This Scheme is not designed as an alternative to litigation and does not prejudice the right of the injured person to pursue a claim against the manufacturer of the vaccine for compensation.
To qualify for a VDPS payment, the applicant has to meet two legal tests:
- establishing, on a balance of probabilities, that the disablement was caused by a vaccination covered by the VDPS; and
- the resulting disablement is severe disablement (60% or more), assessed on the same basis as for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Scheme.
Disablement is the overall effect of the disability arising from a loss of faculty caused by the vaccine. It is an assessment of the effects of the medical condition, not an assessment of the condition itself. The effects may be physical or mental or both. The level of disablement is made by comparison of the disabled person to a person of the same age and sex whose physical and mental condition is normal.