Advance payment scheme opens.
Survivors of childhood abuse, which occurred in care in Scotland, can now apply for advanced redress payments. The scheme will be open to people who have a terminal illness or are aged 70 or over.
The Advance Payment Scheme comes ahead of the planned legislation for a statutory redress scheme, which the Scottish Government intends will pass its final Parliamentary stages before March 2021.
The payments have been set at a flat rate of £10,000 and will be ex gratia and discretionary.
A free telephone support line operated by specially trained staff will be available to help survivors with their applications from 10am Monday April 29. The advance payments team can be reached on 0808 169 9740.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney told Parliament:
“We wholeheartedly accept the need to provide acknowledgement and tangible recognition of the harm done to children who were abused in care in Scotland, while acknowledging that such recognition cannot in any way take away the pain that individuals have suffered.
“We are all too aware that, because of their age or health, some survivors may not live long enough to apply to the statutory scheme.
“Survivors asked us to develop an application process which is as straightforward as possible, whilst making the scheme robust and credible. This is what we have designed.
“The Advance Payment level has been set at £10,000, which is broadly in line with interim payments made by redress schemes in other parts of the world.
“It will be an equal flat rate payment to all those who meet the eligibility criteria and submit a complete application.
“The costs of the Advance Payment Scheme are being met in whole by the Scottish Government, and we intend it will remain open for applications until the statutory redress scheme is established.”
The full text of the Deputy First Minister’s statement to Parliament is now available.
To be eligible for the Advance Payment Scheme applicants must either have a terminal illness or be age 70 or over, and experienced abuse while in care in Scotland before December 2004.
Applicants will not be required to submit evidence of having been abused, but will require documentary evidence which shows they were in care. Terminal illness will need to be certified by a registered healthcare professional, through a process which we believe is as sensitive as possible to the circumstances of the applicant.
For the purpose of Advance Payments, the following settings will be eligible: children’s homes; foster care, secure care units including List D schools; Young Offenders’ Institutions and Borstals; places provided for Boarded Out children in the Highlands and Islands; state, private and independent boarding schools (in some circumstances, see below); state-funded school hostels; healthcare establishments providing long-term care; any similar establishments intended to provide children with long-term residential care (see clarification below)
There are two key clarifications to note. In relation to boarding schools, residential pupils at boarding schools will not be eligible if their parents chose that place for their children’s education. In relation to long-term healthcare establishments, children who spent time in establishments whose primary purpose was medical or surgical treatment – primarily general or local hospitals – will not be eligible. Children who stayed in all other healthcare establishments, where the function was primarily long-term care and not treatment, are eligible.