Age threshold of payments for survivors of childhood abuse lowered
Review of Advance Payment Scheme.
A fund to offer support to survivors of childhood abuse in care has lowered the qualifying age of applicants to help more people.
Coming in with immediate effect, this will benefit survivors who may not live long enough to apply to the statutory redress scheme when it is established.
The Advance Payment Scheme provides acknowledgement to those who were abused in care in Scotland and who are terminally-ill or aged 68 or over.
More than 270 applicants have received a flat rate payment of £10,000 since the scheme opened on 25 April.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“This reduction in age threshold will offer more survivors, who may not live long enough to apply to the future statutory redress scheme, the opportunity to receive recognition and acknowledgement for the abuse they suffered in care and the impact that has had. We know how meaningful that can be for some individuals.
“While clearly nothing can take away the pain that individuals have suffered, the scheme, together with other actions we are taking, will go some way towards acknowledging the grievous harm inflicted on them when they were most vulnerable.”
The Scottish Government has issued more than 260 application packs to abuse survivors. A dedicated phone line, set up to help survivors apply to the scheme, is operated by specially trained staff. The number to call is 0808 169 9740.
Since the scheme opened 274 payments have been made, 263 applications have been sent out, many more have been downloaded online, and 985 phonecalls have been received.
The Advance Payment Scheme comes ahead of planned legislation for a statutory redress scheme, which the Scottish Government intends will pass its final Parliamentary stages before March 2021.
The dedicated phone line operates Monday to Thursday, 10am - 4pm. It will be closed over the festive period from 19 December and will re-open on 6 January.
Financial redress is part of a package of measure the Scottish Government is taking to help support adult survivors of childhood abuse and includes Future Pathways, the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and the National Confidential Forum.