The government’s Vaccine Compensation Scheme (VDPS) expects to increase the number of claims twenty times this year compared to the pre-pandemic level, and a new provider has been appointed on a five-year contract for £ 6 million to provide the necessary medical estimates. PublicTechnology can reveal.
The VDPS has been in place since 1979 and exists to provide a “one-time non-taxable payment to successful applicants when, in very rare cases, vaccination has resulted in a serious disability,” according to government instructions. The level of disability is calculated as a percentage, and the threshold for receiving the payment – a fixed amount of 120,000 pounds – is 60% of the disabled.
“This may be a mental or physical disorder and will be based on the medical indications of the doctors or hospitals involved in your treatment,” the government said in a statement.
Citizens can apply for the program if they have a negative reaction to immunization against one of the 20 diseases. Now it includes Covid-19, as well as long-term vaccinations against flu, measles, rubella, smallpox and tetanus. It is stated that VDPS “is not a compensation scheme [and] does not affect the right of a disabled person to file a claim for damages in court. “
Until November 1 last year, the VDPS was under the auspices of the Department of Labor and Pensions; its management is now transferred to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), which works on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Recently published commercial documents show that the NHSBSA has appointed Crawford’s claims regulator and company to conduct medical assessments of Covid-related claims in the VDPS. On March 20, the company concluded a five-year deal worth £ 6 million.
DWP – and its chosen provider, the Center for Health and Disability Assessment, managed by Maximus Employment, is expected to retain responsibility for managing non-Covid claims until October 2022.
After that, responsibility for the VDPS will be fully transferred to the NHSBSA and Crawford – as well as the health services firm RTW Plus, which is listed as a key subcontractor, providing “supervision [and] providing a framework for clinical management “, as well as to consider and approve a fully tested group of experts [and] medical appraisers ”.
Commercial documents show that – with the exception of the coronavirus vaccine program – the VDPS typically expects to process about 100 applications each year. As of November, 470 claims of damage to the Covid vaccine have already been filed, with about 20 each week.
It is expected that in the first year of the contract with Crawford, the claims management firm will conduct 1,500 to 1,800 medical examinations and process these claims.
This means that by the end of 2022/23 the government expects a total of up to 2,630 people to apply for severe disability as a result of Covid vaccination.
Although this figure will be a twenty-five-fold increase in the usual annual count of about 100 VDPS claims, it is still about one claim for every 54,000 injections – or one for every 20,000 people who have received at least one. dose. coronavirus vaccine.
Since the start of the vaccination program, a total of 142.6 million doses have been delivered to 53.3 million UK citizens. This is comparable to, for example, the 1.7 million influenza vaccines introduced in the winter of 2019/2020, which preceded the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
Beginning in the second year of the contract, the NHSBSA has indicated that it expects annual claims to be in the range of 100 to 1,000. The agreement is valid until at least March 2027, and two additional extensions of one year could result in the engagement will last until 2029.
It is unknown how many claims are expected to result in payment, as well as how much payment is expected in general or on average.
A total of 2,000 approved claims will result in payments totaling £ 240 million.
The contract stipulates that Crawford “will be provided by the buyer with requests to assess medical claims and corroborate medical evidence for assessment through a digital documentation platform”.
“The supplier is expected to acknowledge receipt of the documentation to the buyer within one day of receipt and confirm that all expected records have been received,” the statement said. “If the transfer of documentation through the digital documentation platform is not possible, the buyer may consider providing paper documentation as an exception.
The document adds: “During the initial period after the service start date, when the provider will have to complete applications for a medical evaluation of Covid vaccine, the buyer proposes to gradually send claims to the supplier and will work with the supplier during implementation plans to agree on frequency and scope of cases. will be sent – but would expect to send a certain amount per week to slow down the delivery of cases to the supplier. “
The NHSBSA did not comment on the story, and Crawford declined to do so.