How to Claim
If you require urgent payment, usually where the victim is alive, please click here.
If you require a part-payment, please see below.
MAIN APPLICATION FOR COMPENSATION
To make a claim for full compensation, or for further compensation if you already have had an interim payment, please either click on the links below or contact Jonathan Zimmern or Jamie Green at Fieldfisher who will send you the following:
Alternatively, if you wish to instruct your own solicitors, they should be able to provide you with a copy.
The Main Application provides an explanatory note at the beginning of each section that you should read carefully. It also enables you to provide the Trustees, through Fieldfisher with the information the Trustees require for your claim to be processed, and explains the enclosures that you should attach to your forms. Additional statements and schedules are usually not required.
You should complete the forms as fully as possible to avoid your application being delayed whilst further information or enclosures are obtained. In so doing, you should ensure that you have provided names and contact details for all of the family members who may qualify under the Scheme. The Trust Deed defines the potential qualifiers for compensation very widely and, in addition to the victim’s immediate relatives, includes all relatives by marriage and people treated as parents by the victim. The potential qualifiers will need to be contacted by Fieldfisher, or the family’s solicitor, to ascertain whether they are appropriate recipients of compensation and, if so, whether they wish to make a claim. In relation to grandparents and other family members who have died, you should provide their names and when they died. The Trustees will need to decide whether payment should be made into the deceased’s relative’s estate.
The Trustees have a duty to ensure that compensation is paid fairly and in accordance with the terms of the Trust Deed. Some compensation payments are for a fixed amount that might be shared amongst a number of family members. Examples of this are the payment of £5,000 or £10,000 for the experience of having lost a loved one to vCJD and £5,000 where significant care has been provided. To discharge their duties, the Trustees obviously have to ensure that the appropriate people have been taken into account. It may transpire that the Trustees decide to make payment to only a small number of family members, but in order to reach this decision the Trustees have to consider all of the potential recipients.
The Trustees apologise that providing the information may cause you distress and seem cumbersome, but it is necessary. Standard forms have been prepared to ensure that all claims are dealt with fairly and to relieve you of the burden of having to consider what information and enclosures the Trustees require. Failure to provide the appropriate information could lead to delay.
You will note from the Main Application form that confirmation both of the diagnosis of vCJD, and that the victim was resident in the UK for a total of 5 years between 1982 and 1996, is required from the National CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh. If you do not already have this information, you can either contact Prof. Richard Knight yourself (or his representative), or complete the Authority that is attached to the Main Application for Compensation and return it to Jonathan Zimmern or Jamie Green at Fieldfisher who will obtain the information on your behalf.
Fieldfisher can assist you to complete the forms and advise you on the enclosures.
It is not normally necessary for you to instruct your own solicitor. However if you choose to do so, the Trustees in appropriate cases will meet reasonable fees incurred by your solicitor, but it is advisable to contact Jonathan Zimmern before incurring any fees or, if you have already incurred fees, before incurring further fees. A Note for Solicitors regarding fees has been prepared.
When the application has been completed, please send it to Jonathan Zimmern. Your claim will then be processed by Fieldfisher and considered by the Trustees at one of the subsequent meetings. Click here for a fuller explanation of the roles of the Trustees and Fieldfisher in dealing with claims.
When the Trustees have considered your claim, Fieldfisher will write to you with details of the decisions.
You will also be sent Forms of Acknowledgement to be signed by those to whom compensation will be paid. This should then be returned to Fieldfisher.
Compensation will then be paid.
INTERIM PAYMENTS FOR LIVING VICTIMS
The Trustees will, if appropriate, make an interim payment of compensation, i.e. for living victims, before the full assessment of the claim. The interim payments will be taken into account when subsequent payments are made. Funds can, therefore, be released if there is an urgent need. Funds are released usually within 48 hours of Fieldfisher receiving the information that is required. Payment will ordinarily be paid into an individual trust, with a professional trustee and one or two family members. The trustees of the individual trust will have responsibility for allocating the funds for the victim’s benefit.
The process involved in making interim payments can be complex to administer and incur considerable costs. It is therefore important that these claims are only made where there is a genuine urgent need for funds which cannot wait until the next Trustees’ meeting. This will usually be where the victim is alive, and funds are required for care or otherwise for the victim’s benefit. Applications for an urgent payment after the victim has died should usually be made by part-payment, click here.
To claim for an interim payment please click on the links below or contact Jonathan Zimmern or Jamie Green at Fieldfisher who will send you the following:
You should complete the form as fully as possible to avoid your application being delayed whilst further information or enclosures are obtained. Additional statements and schedules will not be required.
The Trustees apologise that completing the form may cause you distress, particularly if the diagnosis has been received recently. It will be necessary to provide detailed evidence of previous earnings and possibly future earning capacity if a claim is to be made under this heading. The reason that you are requested to complete the form is to enable claims to be dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible, and to relieve you of the burden at such a difficult time of trying to decide what information and documents are required by the Trustees.
It is also of particular importance to the Trustees that money is paid in such a way as to give maximum benefit and protection to the victim, which explains some of the questions in the form.
You will note from the form that confirmation both of the diagnosis of vCJD, and that the victim was resident in the UK for a total of 5 years between 1982 and 1996, is required from the National CJD Unit at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. Unless you already have this, the Trustees recommend that you complete the Authority attached to the form and return it to Jonathan Zimmern or Jamie Green at Fieldfisher immediately and they will obtain the information for you.
Jonathan Zimmern or Jamie Green can also assist you to complete the form and advise you on the enclosures.
It is not normally necessary for you to obtain advice from your own solicitor in relation to your claim. If you do so, the Trustees in appropriate cases may meet reasonable fees incurred by your own solicitor, but it is advisable to contact Jonathan Zimmern before incurring any fees or if you have already incurred fees, before incurring further fees. A Note for Solicitors regarding fees has been prepared.
With the exception of making interim payments to living victims, the Trustees do not usually deal with claims piecemeal. This is because they can be complex to administer and it may be more costly to consider claims on a number of occasions rather than on one occasion; and making decisions on incomplete information introduces the risk of making mistakes.
The Trustees recognise, however, that there may be rare occasions where funds are required as soon as possible, even though the victim has died. In these cases, an application should be made for a part-payment (rather than an interim payment) of compensation which will be dealt with as a priority at the next Trustees’ meeting. The Trustees will need to be satisfied that payment is being made to the appropriate recipient. Payment will be dealt with as a priority after the meeting, once the administrative matters have been dealt with.
If a claimant has a problem with creditors, Fieldfisher will be willing to speak to them direct to advise of the position, including when payment is likely to be made.
Part-payments should only be sought in exceptional circumstances, particularly as they require documentation to be prepared, circulated, considered, and the requisite administrative work to be done on two occasions rather than one. This increases the legal and Trustees’ fees in administering the Scheme.