SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has urged those bereaved as a result of the contaminated blood scandal to come forward and apply for financial support.
Those eligible must apply before March 31 2022 or they will lose out on payments being backdated to April 2019.
The payments to the bereaved range from £14,000 to £34,000 annually depending on their late spouse or partner’s diagnosis.
South Down MLA Mr McGrath said:
“I would urge those eligible to apply for financial support before the March 31 deadline or they could lose out on years of back payments. Anyone applying after that date will only be eligible for support from the start of the financial year and will lose out on a large sum of money.
“While no amount of money will ever make up for the pain of losing a loved one, anything that can make the life of those left behind easier as they deal with their loss it to be welcomed and those who qualify should not hesitate to come forward to avail of support. This compensation had to be fought for and was hard won to compensate the bereaved for their unimaginable loss.
“The contaminated blood scandal was most of the most shameful episodes in our recent history. People who went in good faith to receive medical treatment ended up with severe and deadly illnesses through no fault of their own. Families across these islands were devastated as a result and victims’ and relatives’ pain and anger is still felt today. We need to learn lessons to ensure what took place never happens again and I look forward to the findings of the Infected Blood Inquiry.”