Mr Justice McAlinden, president of the panel that decides on who qualifies for the payment, previously said in April he intended for the scheme to open on June 30.
The president of the Victims’ Payments Board said the short delay in the opening date was to take into account the complex and detailed guidance involved in the application process.
The scheme for those physically or psychologically injured during the conflict is estimated to cost up to £1.2 billion over its lifetime.
The first year bill will come in at around £30 million.
The pension scheme, which should have been open for applications last May, has been dogged by controversy and prolonged setbacks.
Earlier this year, in a case taken by a victim, Appeal Court judges ruled that Stormont was under a legal duty to fund the payment scheme.
The Court of Appeal in Belfast has since accepted an undertaking from the Executive that it will provide the necessary funding for the scheme.
“I previously announced my intention for the Scheme to open on 30 June 2021. This would have coincided with publication of guidance on how the level of permanent disablement of applicants is to be medically assessed,” said Justice McAlinden in a statement today, Tuesday, June 15.
“Over the past days I have held discussions with representatives from the main groups supporting victims and survivors who are likely to be applying to the scheme.
“I believe this short delay will ensure that the scheme is equitable and fair to all applicants as it will give them, and those who may be supporting them through the application process, time to consider the detailed guidance.
“I realise that this short delay will be disappointing to some of the many victims who have struggled long and hard to get the recognition and payments to which they are entitled.
“However, it is important that applicants and those supporting them should have appropriate time and information to engage effectively with the scheme and familiarise themselves with the guidance.
“The Board feels that to open on 30 June risks causing additional harm by raising expectations that applications need to be submitted immediately after the medical guidance is available.
“A key principle of the scheme is to be responsive to the needs of victims and I want to ensure the victims and survivors who have been waiting for the opening of the scheme that all of the diverse aspects of the process are fully effective when it opens for applications.”
The Victims’ Payments Board will be responsible for determining who is entitled to payment in respect of an injury caused by a Troubles-related incident under the Victims’ Payments Regulations 2020.
Mr Justice McAlinden was appointed by the Lord Chief Justice as President of the Victims’ Payments Board in March, and has been joined by 26 other members, including legal and medical representatives.
The scheme will open at noon on Tuesday, August 31.
Anyone wishing to register an interest in the scheme or the information sessions can do so by emailing [email protected].Tags: