On September 25, 2013, the Daily Mail reported that seven year-old Josh Hadfield had been refused compensation by the UK government, despite being left with severe narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine in 2010.
Josh was a healthy four year-old little boy until he received the H1N1 vaccine Pandemrix. Within two weeks of receiving this vaccine, his life changed forever. Left unable to play, walk, swim or even laugh without falling to sleep, Josh now receives a large cocktail of drugs just to enable him to stay awake.
Despite this tragedy, Josh has been refused compensation by the UK government because they say that he is not disabled enough. 
However, page 44 of the National Health Service (NHS) Guide to Immunizations up to 13 Months states:
“Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme
Most immunizations are given without any trouble at all, but very rarely there may be problems. The Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme is designed to help with the present and future financial burdens of the person affected by the vaccination and their family. It covers all the vaccines described in this booklet except hepatitis B vaccine.”  (emphasis added)
These statements indicate that the scheme was set up to help children like Josh, so why was a child as disabled as Josh let down by the system that the UK government says was set up to help?
Will These Victims Receive Compensation for Their Vaccine Injuries?
Josh’s story was released just days after BBC News announced that four families with children injured by the Pandemrix vaccine had been awarded the right to apply for compensation by the government.
The BBC stated that:
“Four families have been told they can apply for government compensation over side effects of the Pandemrix swine flu vaccine.
Studies have shown the jab increased the risk of narcolepsy tenfold.
Families could be entitled to £120,000 through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme if they can prove ‘severe’ disability.
If the bid fails they and other families could still pursue compensation through the courts.” 
A few days later The Pulse reported a similar story. They reported that the Department for Works and Pensions had contacted four families who had previously written to them making claims for vaccine damage payments, stating that they will reconsider their cases. 
So, were these the same families as those reported by the BBC? If so, why were they originally turned down?
If they were turned down because their children were not found to be disabled enough to meet the Vaccine Damage Payment Unit (VDPU) criteria, then nothing has changed, and if they are subsequently awarded compensation, it will open the floodgates for other families to reapply.
Katie Stephen, another victim of vaccine injury, was left permanently and profoundly deaf in her left ear as a result of receiving the now-banned MMR vaccine, Pluserix. Despite her injury, Katie was also refused compensation for her disability because, like Josh, the VDPU found her to be not disabled enough to meet their criteria. 
What is the Criteria for Vaccine Injury Compensation in the UK?
If it is proven that your child has become severely disabled as a result of a vaccination, the VDPU can pay out up to £120,000. However, there is a catch: disablement is worked out as a percentage, and ‘severe disablement’ means that you have to prove that your child is at least 60 percent disabled or more to be seriously considered for compensation.
However, proving that a child is more than 60 percent disabled is tricky. This is because the VDPU uses the ‘Industrial Injury Criteria’ to measure how disabled a child has become and whether or not they meet the 60 percent disability criteria.
For example, a total loss of sight or hearing is usually considered to be 100 percent disabled.
The severity of disablement in individual cases is assessed on the same basis as that for the Industrial Injuries Disablement Scheme, which they say has been widely accepted as a test of severity.
This is where the whole system comes tumbling down for children like Josh and Katie.
How can a vaccine-injured child possibly be compared to an individual who has received an injury in the work place? They cannot, and this why children like Josh and Katie and many other vaccine-injured children will never ever get the compensation that they deserve. 
Do You Wonder Why They Call it a “Compensation Scheme?”
This is certainly not the compensation scheme that Jack Ashley, Member of Parliament, envisaged in 1977, when he fought so vehemently in the House of Commons for the rights of the vaccine-injured child.
At the time that Lord Ashley (as he has since become) spoke out, there was no vaccine injury compensation scheme in place whatsoever.
In one of his many speeches on the subject, Lord Ashley made his feelings abundantly clear when he called the UK government negligent in their failure to implement a vaccination compensation scheme. He stated:
“Behind the call for compensation for vaccine-damaged children lies a story of Government incompetence, neglect and even deceit. Healthy children whose lives have been shattered by blindness, deafness, paralysis or screaming convulsions have been brushed aside by successive Governments. The risks of vaccination have been hidden from their parents. And unsuspecting families have become the tragic victims of crass official ineptitude.”
He continued in an extremely powerful vein throughout his speech, stating that:
“Despite craftily-worded Government denials, the main beneficiary of the immunization program is society. It is not only the individual who benefits but the community at large, through a high level of population immunity, yet the risk is all to the individual. This large social element is completely ignored by the Government in their attempts to wriggle clear of their clear moral responsibilities to pay compensation to damaged children.” 
From my research it appears that nothing much has changed and the UK government continues to wriggle out of their responsibilities toward vaccine-injured children today.
Here are a just a few of the many tricks currently in place in the UK today.
1. If You Are On A State Benefit You Could Become Worse Off
If your child has become severely disabled after a vaccination and your family receives a state benefit, you could lose that benefit entirely if your child is fortunate enough to be awarded compensation. This means that families on benefits could find themselves worse off by being awarded compensation for their child’s injuries than they were before they applied.
2. If You Are Damaged By The “Wrong” Vaccine You Cannot Apply
You can only apply for compensation if the following vaccines injured your child:
- pertussis (whooping cough)
- rubella (German measles)
- tuberculosis (TB)
- haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB)
- meningococcal group C (meningitis C)
- pneumococcal infection
- human papillomavirus (HPV)
- smallpox (up to August 1, 1971)
However, since these recommendations were made, a few other vaccinations are gradually being included.
3. If Your Child Is Injured Or Dies Under The Age Of Two You Cannot Apply For Compensation
If you are claiming on behalf of your child, you HAVE TO WAIT until they are two years old before you can claim.
As the majority of childhood vaccines are given before the age of two, this means if your child’s vaccine injury happened before the age of two you cannot claim compensation for any treatment, therapy, equipment or care that your child may have incurred at the time that they were injured. 
It also means that if your child DIED as a result of their vaccinations prior to their second birthday, you cannot claim compensation, which actually makes a mockery of the ‘NHS Guide to Immunizations up to 13 Months of Age’ as the family of Anna Duncan found out.
In a letter to Mrs. Duncan, the VDPU stated:[feature_box style=”12″ only_advanced=”There are no title options for the choosen style” alignment=”center”]
“Dear Mr. Duncan,
About Your Claim For a Vaccine Damage Payment
We received your claim for a payment under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 on 30/05/2006.
I am sorry to tell you that your claim has been unsuccessful.
This is because claims can only be considered once a child reaches two years of age.
Unfortunately, Anna was under the age of 2 when she passed away.
Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 sect 2(1 )(c)
What To Do If The Information We Have Used To Make The Decision Is Wrong
If the information we have used is incorrect and Anna was in fact 2 years of age when she passed away please let us know so that we can consider reversing our decision.
The time limit for requesting a reversal is 6 years from the date of this letter. This means that you have until 06/06/2012.
What To Do If You Disagree With This Decision
If you disagree with the decision you can appeal to the Tribunal Service. You can do this by writing to the Vaccine Damage Payments Unit.
The Tribunal Service look at your claim afresh, to see if the decision was correct. There is no time limit for requesting such an appeal.
You can email us at CAU-VDPU@dwp.gsi.gov.uk We are open: – Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Mrs. Linda Willis
Vaccine Damage Payments Unit” [/feature_box]
Imagine having your child die in the most tragic of circumstances, only to receive a letter like this from an organization set up by your government to help you!
This letter offers this bereaved family no compassion, no empathy and no understanding. It just states the hard, cruel facts in a matter-of-fact way as if these parents had returned an item of clothing, rather than asking for compensation for the loss of their child.
When it comes to compensation, many of the world’s governments shirk their responsibilities and turn a blind eye to suffering families. Families are repeatedly encouraged to apply for compensation even though the governments are fully aware that they will be refused compensation when they do.
It is families like the Hadfields who need the money the most. Josh is a child who has clearly been injured after receiving a vaccination recommended by the government and yet his family has been refused compensation because the VDPU has deemed him as not disabled enough. How disabled does a child have to be, for goodness’ sake?
It is possible that Josh will require a lifetime of care as a result of his injury. It is common sense that in his current condition, Josh can no longer be left alone. He is no longer safe to cross the road, walk down the stairs or play safely with his friends as a result of his injuries. Yet it is children like Josh, Katie and many others who are being refused compensation for severe injuries because they do not tick the tick boxes required.
Even when families like these do fit the correct criteria to receive the compensation they so rightly deserve, their families could be penalized in other ways. Is this justice? After all, these are vaccines that our governments recommend as safe and effective.
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