- Written by Jayne McCormack
- BBC News NI Political Correspondent
More than £25 million has been paid out under the Trouble Victims Pension Scheme since the scheme was launched two years ago.
Payments have been made to 465 applicants so far, but a further 239 have been deemed ineligible.
The Victim Payments Commission, which administers the fund, said the main reason for rejection was that the application did not meet its criteria.
The board’s secretary, Paul Brick, said the board needed to “manage” expectations about what it could deliver.
To date, the system has received approximately 5,500 applications and approximately 1,000 are awaiting decisions.
Criticism from victim groups
Approximately 90 appeals have been filed against the board’s decisions to date.
Some victims’ organizations have criticized the decision-making process and the length of time it takes.
Brick said he fully understands these frustrations, but added: “This is not a scheme you apply for and there will not be a decision, decision or payment within six weeks.”
“In some cases, it goes back almost 50 years, if not more. We have filed multiple cases and are at the mercy of the evidence providers.”
He said the commission was changing the application form to make it easier for victims to provide more information at the outset and to assess cases more quickly.
The scheme is valid for a total of five years from the initial start date of 31 August 2021.
Asked about the potential for budgetary pressures to impact the future of the scheme, Mr Brick said funding was currently ring-fenced.
“There is no indication that the funding is at risk. The Government has assured us that this funding remains available.”
“I’d like to think that the more time that passes, the more money will be paid to the victims who deserve it.”