Important Information from Victims and Survivors Service

1st April 2015

The Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) highlighted that a number of individuals have expressed concerns that they have paperwork at home regarding the Individual Needs Programme 2014-15 but did not manage to get it to VSS by 31st March 2015,the end of the financial year.  VSS are keen to ensure that as many people as possible get access to the support services they need, particularly those who have already committed the money or made purchases.  Taking into account the Easter break, VSS are therefore extending the closing date for claims and supporting documentation for 2014-15 to be with the VSS by WEDNESDAY 15th APRIL 2015.

Here the information given by Margaret Bateson, VSS Interim Chief Executive:

Note:

1. Activities must still relate to 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015 (This canusually be seen from the date of the invoice – specific examples in line with last year are below). 

2. Unfortunately we will be unable to process any claims received after 15th April 2015 if we are to open the schemes for 2015-16 in a timely and clear manner.

3. We are currently experiencing high volumes of claims and current processing time is 17 working days.

4. As we receive incomplete claims, we have been calling clients to request invoices, signed award letters etc.  This has been working well.

5. This information is also available on the VSS website.  We are unable to divert resource from claims processing to send written communication to all clients who have not yet returned their claims due to the current payment volumes.

6. We would appreciate your assistance in assuring any clients who have committedmoney in relation to their award letter that these can still be processed if received by 15th April 2015.

7. Awards for this financial year 2014-15 cannot be ‘rolled over’ into next year.  We will be opening the schemes in full and on a timely basis in April this year.

8. Original Invoices should be accompanied by a signed award letter.

 

Note 1A – Specific and Common Examples of eligible 2014-15 expenditure

Chronic Pain Treatments/Complementary Therapies

- Therapies and treatments which took place between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015;

- Invoices dated pre 31st March 2015 but can be received by the VSS up to 15th April 2015.

Respite Breaks

- Evidence of booking made between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015.

- Invoices dated pre 31st March 2015 but can be received by the VSS up to 15th April 2015.

Home Heating

- Electricity, gas (or other home heating) bills dated 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015.

- Invoices dated pre 31st March 2015 but can be received by the VSS up to 15th April2015.


Disability Aids

- Evidence of order between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015

The above relates to most expenditure processed by the VSS.  If there are any items not on the list above, please contact us to discuss.

Individual Needs Programme 2015-16

We are pleased to advise that the Business Case for the programme funding for 2015-16 was approved by OFMDFM on Friday 27th March 2015.

We are keen to ensure this is as smooth a process aspossible for individuals.  Our focus now is therefore on ensuring all outstanding claims for 2014-15 are processed as soon as possible.  We also need a number of days to finalise our communications and make the necessary changes to our MIS systems.  We expect to commence issuing communication to all individuals in the weeks after Easter.  Again, due to the number of letters to issue, we anticipate that this may take us up to the end of April 2015 to issue them all.  I would appreciate your assistance in communicating this to any of your clients who enquire.  If they have not received any communication by 4 May 2015, they should make contact with us.

Margaret Bateson

Interim Chief Executive