Middleton encourages applications to Victims Pension Scheme

Commenting on the news that only 10% of eligible applicants have applied to the Victims Pension scheme Foyle MLA Gary Middleton said,

By Gary Middleton Candidate

Foyle

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“The victims pension scheme was a significant step forward in delivering for the needs of victims who were severely injured during the troubles. The payments are a recognition that many people were either left unable to work or their career was disrupted through injuries they received. The payments help to address the significant shortfall faced by those people.

The scheme was finally established despite Sinn Fein’s attempts to frustrate and delay, eventually requiring a Court to overrule Michelle O’Neill’s obstruction.

Given that background, it is disappointing that so many of those eligible for the pension are missing out because they have not applied. As we approach the first anniversary of the scheme opening for applications it is important that the factors behind this are properly analysed by the Department for Justice.

Anyone caught up in an incident during the troubles should consider making an application if they were injured as a result. The figures are not demonstrating that applications are being rejected by the scheme, but simply that the vast majority of those who would have been considered eligible have not applied.

The application process can be viewed as quite complex because of the varying nature of different injuries that have to be considered, but I would urge people not to be put off by this and to seek the assistance available to help with this process.

Terrorism blighted so many lives across Northern Ireland and no-one should be forced to endure the impact of injuries without adequate help and assistance.”



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