Our Guide to Understanding Interim Payments

Posted on: 14 mins read
Amy Baker

Graduate Solicitor Apprentice

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When you’re claiming compensation, the process can sometimes take longer than you’d planned. Whether it’s due to things taking longer in terms of settling on an amount, or if the process is just taking a while because of these services being overwhelmed, sometimes, things don’t go according to the timelines you expected. In these situations, you can be left needing the money you’re owed, either for treatment or for some other legitimate reason relating to your claim.

If this is the case, you may be entitled to get Interim Payments. This is money which is paid to you in advance of the final compensation settlement being reached by all the parties involved in this case. Interim Payments are usually paid out in Personal Injury or Medical Negligence cases and claims, where  our clients may need the money to pay for specialist medical care.

In this article, we’re going to take you through Interim Payments, from how they work to who can get them and when.

If you’ve been a victim of medical negligence or a personal injury and you’re claiming for compensation, we understand the difficulties and stress this can cause. That’s why we’re here to offer expert legal help and advice, so you can get the right result for you, and so you can keep afloat in the meantime.

What are Interim Payments?

If you’re claiming compensation for either personal injury or medical negligence, you might experience  a considerable gap of time between when you begin your claim and when you get your compensation money.

This can be really difficult to deal with, because you may still need to go through treatment or rehabilitation of some kind, which can cost money, especially if it’s specialist care.

In this situation, you could be eligible for receiving Interim Payments. As we touched on above, Interim Payments usually happen with personal injury and medical negligence claims. You’ll get part of your compensation money in payments before the settlement is reached, so you can keep getting treatment and rehabilitation without having to worry or stress about covering the costs.

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How Does an Interim Payment Work?

When you’re involved in medical negligence or personal injury claims, you may be confused about how Interim Payments work, and how they affect the money you’ll get when the settlement is reached.

So, in short, an Interim Payment is taken from the amount of compensation you’ll get after the settlement and will be deducted from the same at the end of your claim It’s essentially an advance of some of this money, which you can use for urgent or immediate treatment, rehabilitation or care. This way, you don’t have to stress about having to cover the costs of the treatment and care you need to begin to move on.

Who Can Get an Interim Payment?

Usually, the idea is that Interim Payments are for people who have experienced some type of serious injuries, for which they are claiming compensation.

These serious injuries require a lot of treatment, rehabilitation and care to either help  with the claimants care, or at least to help them improve their quality of life as much as possible.

That’s why, in these cases, claimants may need money to be able to cover the cost of this treatment or care, before the settlement is reached and the compensation is awarded. This is why Interim Payments exist – so that no one has to be left without treatment or care while they’re claiming compensation.

Sustaining a serious injury and claiming compensation can be difficult and stressful, and this stress doesn’t have to be added to by financial burdens like getting specialised treatment – which is why Interim Payments can really help people claiming compensation for Personal Injury and Medical Negligence.

When can I get an Interim Payment for Personal Injury?

If you’re claiming compensation for Personal Injury or Medical Negligence, you might be wondering when you can get an Interim Payment.

It’s important to understand the timelines, so you know when you’ll get the payment. This way, you’ll be able to financially plan for the time in between claiming and getting the Interim Payment.

So, you need to get an approval or a court order first before you can receive an Interim Payment. Once you get this in place and the defendant agrees to pay you some of the compensation in advance in  the form of an Interim Payment, it could be three to six weeks before you’re paid the money. This is important to remember, so you can financially prepare for this gap, in terms of treatment and care for your injury or condition.

What is the Purpose of Interim Payments?

Interim Payments are there to be used for the treatment, rehabilitation or care a claimant of Personal Injury or Medical Negligence may need to help them cope with the injuries or condition they’ve sustained.

These payments are part of the compensation money, and they’re given to the claimant before the  settlement of the claim is reached by all parties. Everyone understands the urgency of dealing with serious injuries or a condition, which is why Interim Payments are there to help the claimant receive the care they need before they get the rest of their compensation.

It can be difficult to know how you can get the funding and the support to deal with a serious injury or condition, especially if your treatment is expensive. This is even worse if you’re not entirely sure as to when you’ll get your compensation money. That’s exactly why you can get an Interim Payment.

What Amount can be Claimed at Interim Payments?

It’s important to understand how much you can claim when it comes to Interim Payments. Usually, you can claim a certain percentage of the total compensation owed to you, which depends on restrictions and limitations put in place – known as a “reasonable proportion” of the compensation money.

It may be a good idea to map out your finances and look at how much you’ll need to be able to cover your treatment and care before the agreement is reached and you get the  remainder of your compensation.

What Types of Claims Might Lead to Interim Payments?

There are a few common examples of the claims that  maylead to Interim Payments, but there really are many different types, so it’s best to get advice on your case.

However, the common claims and injury types which might lead to Interim Payments include:

  • Amputation Claims: In Amputation Claims, you might need to get Interim Payments to help you with treatment and rehabilitation, so you can adapt to your new life post-amputation.
  • Hip Injury Claims: In Hip Injury Claims, Interim Payments could help you cover the cost of rehabilitation to get you up and walking again.
  • Child Brain Injury Claims: When it comes to Child Brain Injury Claims, Interim Payments could help cover the costs of care or treatment for your child.
  • Sepsis Claims: With Sepsis Claims, if you get Interim Payments, these could help with treatment and care you need immediately.
  • Neurology Claims: In Neurology Claims, again, Interim Payments help cover treatment, care and rehabilitation.
  • Surgical Error Claims: When it comes to Surgical Error Claims, Interim Payments can help cover treatment and care for injuries or conditions you’ve sustained due to surgical errors.
  • GP Negligence Claims: If you’re claiming for GP Negligence, Interim Payments could cover the cost of the injury or condition you’ve suffered because of this negligence.
  • Hospital Negligence Claims: With Hospital Negligence Claims, Interim Payments could help you begin your treatment to deal with your injuries.

Why Claim Interim Payments for Serious Injuries?

If you’ve suffered an avoidable serious injury or condition which you’re claiming compensation for, it might be a good idea to figure out whether you want to claim Interim Payments.

Right now, you’ll probably be tackling the difficult issue of what treatment, rehabilitation and care you may need to be able to live with your injuries and move towards healing. This includes paying for these things, which can prove costly.

In these cases, Interim Payments can help you begin to get the right treatment, without having to worry about the cost.

If you’re wondering whether Interim Payments may be right for your case, our Medical Negligence Solicitors can offer help and advice on the route you should go down, tailored to your particular situation. When working on your compensation claim, we can help you understand whether claiming Interim Payments could be beneficial.

What if the Defendant Denies Liability?

Sometimes, things aren’t as straightforward as we’d like them to be in Medical Negligence and Personal Injury cases. Unfortunately, the Defendant  may deny liability, and it can be difficult to know exactly what to do when this happens.

In these situations, it might be best to begin court proceedings in order to get the Interim Payments you need to help you cope with your injuries or condition. This way, if you apply to the Court in the right way and using the right evidence, they might be able to force the Defendant to pay you the Interim Payments.

What if the Other Side wants to Settle Early?

You may be excited about the idea of settling early, especially if you’re stressed or concerned about  how long legal proceedings may take.

But, it’s important to understand that  any settlement figure needs to be a fair amount which accurately reflects your injuries, and when the other side wants to settle early, this might be for a much lower sum than you deserve.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure the amount of money you settle on really reflects the damage, injuries and/or conditions you’ve suffered, and the treatment and care it will take to help you cope with them.

How Long Do Interim Payments Take to Receive?

When you’ve decided on Interim Payments and an approval or Court Order has been granted, it could take between three and six weeks for you to receive your Interim Payments, as we’ve explained above. Again, it’s important to keep this in mind, so that you are able to budget as well as possible for the treatment and care you’ll need before  any compensation is  received

This way, once you understand the timeline of getting Interim Payments, you’ll be able to plan ahead and keep yourself financially afloat.

What Conditions Must be Satisfied?

There are a few conditions which must be satisfied for a claimant to be able to get Interim Payments. There are as follows:

  • The Defendant has admitted liability and has agreed to pay the damages;
  • The Claimant has got judgement against the Defendant, for the damage to be assessed;
  • The Court is satisfied that the claimant would get a substantial amount of money from the Defendant, if the case went to trial;
  • If there are two or more claimants, the Court is satisfied that at least one of the claimants would get a substantial amount of money from the Defendant, if the case went to trial.

What Will the Court Consider when Dealing with an Application for an Interim Payment?

When dealing with an application for an Interim Payment, the court will consider a number of factors. These include:

  • How much a reasonable proportion of the compensation would be;
  • Whether the Defendant has admitted liability;
  • Whether the above listed conditions are satisfied.

Once these  issues have been thoroughly considered, you will get a decision as to whether you’re eligible to get an Interim Payment before you settle on your compensation.

Example from Case Law for Interim Payments

In 2010, we took on a case of Medical Negligence, in which we were able to get our client £1.4 million in Interim Payments.

In this particular case, a baby sustained a brain injury due to medical negligence, which left them requiring care for the rest of their life. It was found that this brain injury was due to a breach of the defendant’s duty of care, causing the baby to be born with hypoxia, which stopped oxygen getting to body tissue in the baby. This means that this baby will need round-the-clock care and support, which can prove expensive.

We arepleased with the result of the child receiving £1.4 million in Interim Payments, so far. Whilst no cost could possibly cover this tragic event, this money means the cost of thechild’s care will be covered, both now and in the future.

How is an Interim Payment Requested?

It can be tricky to know how exactly you can request an Interim Payment. That’s why, if you get in contact with our team at Simpson Millar, we can look over your case and help you decide whether you require any interim payments and check whether you are eligible for the same. If we find that this is the best route to go down, we can request an Interim Payment for you.

What are the Steps to Getting an Interim Payment?

Step 1: Making sure the Defendant admits to their liability. This is a really important step in getting an Interim Payment or Payments. This means getting the Defendant to admit that they were liable for the damage, injury or loss caused to you.

Step 2: Requesting an Interim Payment. Once the first step is over, your Solicitor will be able to request an Interim Payment on your behalf. This discussion will take place between you, your Solicitor and the Defendant, or their legal representative.

Step 3: If the Defendant agrees, receiving the money. If the Defendant agrees to pay you an Interim Payment as part of the compensation, they will take the steps necessary to send that money over.

Step 4: If the Defendant refuses, seeking other options or getting the Court involved. If the Defendant doesn’t agree to pay an Interim Payment, there are alternative ways of funding treatment and care. Or, you could get the Court system involved, which could lead to the Defendant being forced to pay the Interim Payment.

How Can Simpson Millar Help You with Interim Payments?

As explained above, we can help you with the whole process of claiming compensation for Personal Injury or Medical Negligence, including claiming Interim Payments.

We’ll be dedicated to working through your case, helping take as much of the stress and weight off your shoulders as possible. This way, you’ll be able to focus on getting treatment and care, without having to worry about the cost of these things.

We can help you figure out what the best route is for you, based on your particular case, so that you are able to fully understand your options going forward.

Frequently asked questions about interim payments

Can I receive interim payments as part of my personal injury compensation claim?

Absolutely! That’s the whole idea – Interim Payments come out of the compensation claim “pot”, as such, meaning they’re a percentage of the sum you’ll settle on.

How long will it take to receive an interim payment?

This depends, but it is usually between three to six weeks. Sometimes, it can take longer, but this is based on the situation and case. That’s why it’s important to financially plan for the future, if you’re involved in this kind of claim. For example, with A&E Medical Negligence Claims, you might need immediate treatment for the damage caused, which you might not be able to cover with the money from an Interim Payment, depending on how long it takes before you get one.

What can interim payments be used for?

Interim payments can be used for your treatment, care and/or rehabilitation of the damage, injury or condition caused to you as a result of Personal Injury or Medical Negligence.

Will my benefits be affected by interim payments?

If you get an Interim Payment, it could mean you’re not eligible for means-tested benefits anymore, unless you get a Personal Injury Trust.

What are compensations trusts?

A Compensation Trust is a separate bank account where you keep the money you got from compensation. This is looked after either by you and another Trustee, or by two Trustees, who are independent experts who help you manage the money in this trust.

Why is liability important?

Liability is so important because it’s all about making sure people and organisations alike are held accountable for damage caused to others.

How Many Interim Payments Can I Receive?

There isn’t a maximum number of Interim Payments you can receive, but it has to be a “reasonable proportion” of your compensation money.

Are there any restrictions around interim payments?

As above, there aren’t any restrictions or limitations around Interim Payments, so long as the amount you get via Interim Payments is a “reasonable proportion” of your compensation money.

Will I have to pay tax on my interim payments?

No matter how many Interim Payments you receive, you will not have to pay tax on them. The same goes for the total compensation sum.


SourcesMinistry of Justice (UK). (n.d.). Part 25B - Procedure for claims for an interim payment. Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part25/pd_part25b

Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.). Interim payment. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/interim-payment

Citizens Advice. (n.d.). Personal injuries. Retrieved from https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/personal-injuries/

UK Government. (n.d.). Compensation after an accident or injury. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/compensation-after-accident-or-injury

Pump Court Chambers. (2023, September 15). Interim payments: The low down, including some practical tips. Retrieved from https://www.pumpcourtchambers.com/2023/09/15/interim-payments-the-low-down-including-some-practical-tips/

Civil Litigation Brief. (2021, September 30). Interim payments: The permutations considered by the courts. Retrieved from https://www.civillitigationbrief.com/2021/09/30/interim-payments-the-permutations-considered-by-the-courts/

Amy Baker

Graduate Solicitor Apprentice

Amy is a Graduate Solicitor Apprentice within our Personal injury department, based in our Manchester office.

She helps clients who have sustained injuries resulting from accidents at work and accidents in public places to recover compensation for the injuries they have sustained.

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