To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179170 on Windrush Generation: Compensation, notwithstanding that her Department does not routinely publish the information requested, how many applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme her Department is aware of who have died in the period between applying for and receiving compensation under that scheme.
29 April 2021
This answer is a correction from the original answer.
It is very regrettable that a claimant passes away before a compensation award can be made or an apology sent to them.
The Windrush Compensation Scheme staff are working hard to ensure that where they are aware of claimants with critical or life shortening illnesses, that their cases are prioritised.
In the deeply unfortunate circumstances where a claimant has passed away after submitting a compensation claim, but before the claim is fully resolved, the team continues to work closely with the appointed representative, usually members of the family, to ensure the compensation payment is made as quickly as possible to that family member.
Out of the 1,996 applications made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme, we are aware of 21 cases to date where unfortunately the claimant has passed away after having submitted a claim but before receiving compensation. We are working closely with the families and legal representatives to determine the right person to whom the compensation can be paid as quickly as possible.
It must be noted that this data is manually recorded and is reliant on the person receiving the information on an applicant notifying the Windrush Compensation Scheme to record this information. The data isn’t recorded in a reportable field in the casework system.
The number of cases being worked through the Windrush Compensation Scheme as of 21 April are 1417. Of these 1417 cases:
- 281 have been in the process for 12-18 months;
- 214 have been in the process for over 18 months;
- 5 have been in the process for over 24 months.
Windrush Compensation Scheme staff continue to work hard to resolve these claims from the moment they are received and individuals are provided with an update on the progress of their claim on a monthly basis as a minimum, unless they have requested otherwise. A case is finally closed when an individual accepts a final offer or an application to the Scheme is unsuccessful as it does not meet the criteria. All claims will have been considered for a preliminary payment of £10,000 within 6 weeks of eligibility being confirmed under the terms of the Scheme, including these open applications. A preliminary payment is offered as soon as we receive the minimum level of information required to show that they will be entitled to compensation under the Scheme. Some of these people may also have received an urgent and exceptional payment. This policy remains available for those who have an urgent and exceptional need that cannot wait for a payment to be made under the Windrush Compensation Scheme. As of 25 March 2021, the Scheme had offered 362 preliminary awards (totalling £3,620,000); of which 255 (£2,550,000) had been accepted. 228 awards (£2,280,000) had been paid.
That said, each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires careful and detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences. There are 13 different categories of claim and some individuals’ experiences are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure these are considered carefully. We want people to receive the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and work closely with individuals, for example by contacting other government departments and third parties to help gather evidence to support their claim.
This holistic approach necessarily takes time but is ultimately beneficial to individuals.
Data on the number of claims received and the number of payments made is published as part of the regular transparency data release which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-march-2021.
Since April 2019 the Scheme has paid or offered £18 million. Of this, more than £6.1 million have been accepted and paid, an increase of £2 million in one month.
We have made fundamental improvements to the Scheme to ensure people receive significantly more money, more quickly. We increased the value of awards for impact on life at every level so everyone will be paid more in this category, with the maximum award increasing from £10,000 to £100,000 (with options for even higher awards in exceptional circumstances).
Within six weeks of these changes, we had offered more than we had in the first 19 months of the scheme (at the end of January we had offered £12m) and since the end of December we have more than doubled the amount of compensation paid to individuals (from £2.8m to £6.1m).
In December 2018, the Home Office established an Urgent and Exceptional Payments process for those members of the Windrush generation who had an urgent and exceptional need in advance of the Windrush Compensation Scheme. The process remains open for those who need it. The total value of the payments approved as of 29 March 2021 is £104,338.58.