Do you need compensation for a vaccine injury? More and more people are realizing that they can get financial help if they suffer physical damage after having a vaccine.
At MoneyMagpie we want to be here for you when things go wrong. Life-altering situations can happen at any time, so we wanted to share some information with you about vaccine injuries and the compensation you may be entitled to.
What is a Vaccine Injury?
A vaccine injury also known as a vaccine adverse event is a severe reaction caused by having a vaccination against the disease. These injuries can be related to the vaccine itself (product or quality defect-related reactions). To the process of receiving the vaccine – error or stress-related reactions. Injuries can also occur independently from the vaccination (coincidental) and are classified as:
- Vaccine product-related reaction
- Vaccine quality defect-related reaction
- Immunization error-related reaction
- Immunization anxiety-related reaction
- Coincidental event
Most vaccine injuries are mild such as arm aches, sniffles and coughs. But on some rare occasions, they can be serious causing life-altering injuries.
what is the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme
The Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1970 governs vaccines injuries in the UK and set up the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme (VDPS).
- The VDPS allows you to claim up to £ 120,000 if you become severely disabled as a result of vaccination against certain diseases.
- You can still take further legal action even if you get a Vaccine Damage Payment.
What you’ll get from the vaccine damage payment scheme
The Vaccine Damage Payment is a one-off, tax-free payment of £ 120,000.
- If you are above the age of 18 and can manage your own affairs it’ll be paid directly to you.
- If you’re under 18 or you can’t manage your own affairs, the payment will be made to your trustees.
- If you live with family, your parents may be appointed to be your trustees.
are you eligible for the vaccine damage payment scheme?
You could be eligible for a payment if you are severely disabled and the disability was caused by vaccination against one of these diseases:
- coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- human papillomavirus
- influenza, except for influenza caused by a pandemic influenza virus
- meningococcal group B (meningitis B)
- meningococcal group C (meningitis C)
- meningococcal group W (meningitis W)
- pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu) – up to 31 August 2010
- pertussis (whooping cough)
- pneumococcal infection
- rubella (German measles)
- smallpox – up to 1 August 1971
- tuberculosis (TB)
You may also be eligible for a payment if you’re severely disabled because either:
- your mother was vaccinated against one of the diseases on the list while she was pregnant
- you’ve been in close physical contact with someone who’s had an oral vaccine against poliomyelitis
It is also possible to apply for this payment on behalf of someone who has passed away after becoming disabled as a result of vaccination. But you must be managing their estate to do so.
What counts as’ severely disabled?
The UK Government classifies ‘severe disablement’ as at least 60% disabled.
This could be physical or mental and will be based on medical records provided by your doctor.
When and where must the vaccination have occurred
In most circumstances, the vaccination must have happened before your 18thth Birthday, unless it was during the outbreak of a disease. There are also exceptions if it was against:
- coronavirus (COVID-19)
- meningococcal group C
- human papillomavirus
- pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 (swine flu)
- meningococcal group W before your 26th birthday
It is also worth noting that the vaccination must have taken place in the UK or the Isle of Man unless away with the armed forces.
How to claim for a vaccine injury
You can apply by filling in this form on the UK Government website.
You can apply on somebody else’s name if:
- they’re under 16 and you are their parent or guardian
- they have died and you manage their estate
- they are not able to manage their own affairs and you act as their representative.
Time limits on making a claim
There are some time limits on making claims.
- You can only claim for a child after they are 2 years old.
To claim for an adult, apply by the latest of the following dates:
- On or before their 21st birthday or if they passed away, the date they would have turned 21
- Within 6 years of vaccination
It can take at least 6 months to process a Vaccine Damage Payment claim.
If the claim is related to the coronavirus vaccination it can take longer.
What to do if you’re unsuccessful in your claim
If your claim is unsuccessful in your claim you can ask for a ‘mandatory reversal.’
If the decision on your case was made after 27 October 2013, you can write to the VDPS. In your letter you must:
- Explain why you think the decision is wrong
- Include any new evidence to support your claim.
- The date of the original discission
- Your name, address and date of birth
- Your national insurance number.
For claims made on or before 27th October 2013, contact the Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme for advice on how to challenge the decision.
What happens after the appeal?
The original decision will be reviewed again, and you will sent the outcome either way. You will find out the reasoning if the appeal is unsuccessful. If you still disagree you can apply for another mandatory reversal, the is no limit on how many times you can apply for it.
You can also appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal which is independent of the government. You can choose whether you want to attend to explain your case or whether they can just use the evidence submitted. The appeal will be decided by a judge after a hearing with one or two experts. It will take around 6 months for your hearing to take place.