The B.C. government has been at the forefront of caring for and treating people with hepatitis C, including providing more than half a billion dollars to care for those who were infected by hepatitis C through the blood supply. Government believes that people who receive hepatitis C compensation payments should continue to have access to the BC Benefits system.
British Columbians who were infected by the hepatitis C virus through the blood system between 1986 and 1990 may be eligible for compensation under a federal/provincial/territorial settlement agreement reached in May 1999.
The compensation package affects three groups:
- Individuals who were infected by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) through the Canadian blood system between 1986 and 1990;
- Individuals secondarily infected with HCV by a partner or parent who is eligible for HCV compensation;
- Individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) who were secondarily infected by a partner or parent previously eligible for a government HIV compensation award.
- People who receive compensation payments under this settlement may be eligible for BC Benefits, including income assistance, Youth Works, and Disability Benefits. The provincial government has amended BC Benefits legislation by adding specific compensation payments to the list of items deemed not to be considered as either an asset or income for the purpose of determining eligibility for BC Benefits.
The federal/provincial/territorial agreement contains two types of payments:
- Lump sum payments. These are exempt.
- Payments for loss of earned income or loss of support payments to dependants. These are not exempt. However, once these compensation payments are exhausted BC Benefits may be restored.
- BC Benefits participants who have received hepatitis C compensation should talk to their financial assistance worker about the exemption.
The settlement agreement administrator, Crawford Adjusters Canada Inc., is processing applications for compensation. They can be reached at 1-888-726-2656.