The Historical Shortfall Scheme

Thank you for visiting the website of the Historical Shortfall Scheme.

Please note the scheme is now closed and can no longer accept new applications.

If you have submitted an application and haven’t yet heard from us, we will be in touch with you shortly.
If you have any questions about your application in the meantime, please get in touch with the scheme at historicalshortfallscheme@postoffice.co.uk.

(last updated: 28 November 2020)


Previously Postmasters were unable to join the Historical Shortfall Scheme if they ran their Post Offices through a limited company which has since been dissolved. This was because there was no legal entity to make the Historical Shortfall Scheme claim (nor company bank account to receive any settlement) - the company having ended. In the interests of fairness, Post Office has re-examined this position and has written to all 28 Postmasters who were ineligible for this reason and explained that Post Office is now reviewing their claim and will be in touch soon. If you were previously informed you were ineligible for the Historical Shortfall Scheme due to your company having been dissolved and you have not subsequently heard from us, please contact us at historicalshortfallscheme@postoffice.co.uk

Updated 8 August 2022


 

If you are experiencing financial difficulties or suffering serious health issues, we will consider making an interim payment to you. In advance of us sending a final outcome letter we will consider a payment to you of up to £10,000 or, if you have received an Offer but need more time to review or dispute it, we will consider paying part of your Offer. We will not ask for such payments back, whatever the ultimate outcome of your claim.

If you would like us to consider this, please email us at historicalshortfallscheme@postoffice.co.uk, describing your situation. 

Updated 9 August 2022


 

Update to Panel Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for the independent advisory panel have been updated to reflect the appointment of additional panel members to the Historical Shortfall Scheme's Independent Advisory Panel.

Please see the updated document on the right-hand side of the website and the Q&As below.

Q. Why has Post Office appointed additional panel members?
A. Post Office has appointed additional panel members with similar level of qualifications and experience to the original panel to assist in the effective running of the scheme and to ensure that individual cases are progressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Q. Who is on the Panel to assess cases?
A. Each case will be assessed by three members of the Independent Advisory Panel comprising one legal specialist; one forensic accounting specialist; and one retail specialist.

The Panel consists of two legal specialists (Alex Charlton QC and James Cross QC); two forensic accounting specialists (Susan Blower and Kevin Haywood Crouch) and two retail experts (Sunder Sandher and Chris Mitchener).

In addition, a legal specialist from 4 Pump Court and a forensic accounting specialist may be appointed as delegates should relevant members of the Panel be unable to attend Panel meetings. To date, Lord Edward Garnier QC, Lynne McCafferty QC and Michael Davie QC have been appointed as legal specialist delegates and Andy Cottle and Andrew Maclay have been appointed as forensic accounting specialists.

last updated 6 July 2022

 


Historical Shortfall Scheme: information on progress (published 2 August 2022)

Please see below information on progress for the Historical Shortfall Scheme.

We will update this information on this website and on our corporate website monthly. The data shown below is correct as of Tuesday 2 August.

Please refer to the footnote references and the documents on the right-hand side of this website for additional information. Individual cases vary significantly in amounts claimed and their complexity. Therefore published figures cannot be interpreted as an indicator of future payments for applicants or the overall potential cost of the scheme. 

 

There is no pre-defined amount for individual compensation payments as these are assessed by the Scheme’s independent advisory panel who recommend fair outcomes for claims. More straightforward claims of lower amounts have generally been completed more quickly through the Scheme to date.

Historical Shortfall Scheme data

Total number of claimant applications [1]
2,525 
Eligibility status [2]
Number
As a % of applicants
Eligible [3]
2,370 
94% 
Non-eligible [4]
155 
6% 

 

Offers & Payments progress
Number
As a % of eligible
Total settlement offers made to date [5]
1,729 
73% 
Total value of settlement offers made to date [6]
£40.6m 
 
Total number of payments made to date [7]
1,360 
57% 
Dispute resolution [8]
100 
4% 
Total amount paid to date [9]
£22.8m 
 

Although many claims are being resolved much sooner, our aim is to provide outcomes to 95% of all eligible applicants to the Historical Shortfall Scheme by the end of 2022.

 

Pre May

May-22

Jun-22

Jul-22

Aug-22

Sep-22

Oct-22

Nov-22

Dec-22

Post Dec- 22

Percentage of Offers issued (from 2,368 eligible claims)

 

Actual performance

55%

 

 

55%

60%

 

 

63%

65%

 

 

70%

70%

 

 

73%

75%

 

 

 

80%

 

 

 

85%

 

 

 

90%

 

 

 

95%

 

 

 

100%

 

 

 


References

[1] Total number of all applications received by 27 November 2020, regardless of their eligibility.
[2] All applications were verified against the scheme criteria – please refer to the HSS website and review the documentation and updated published notes.
[3] Volume of claims that passed the scheme eligibility criteria.
[4] Volume of applications that failed to meet the scheme eligibility criteria.
[5] Volume of applications for which a settlement offer has been made to the applicant (or their representatives where an applicant is deceased).
[6]Total £ value of all settlement offers made to date.
[7] Volume of applications for which a settlement offer has been paid following acceptance by the applicant (or their representatives where an applicant is deceased).
[8] Number of claims in the dispute resolution process. Details of the process are on the HSS website.
[9] Total £ value of all payments made to date. Individual cases vary significantly in amounts claimed and their complexity. Therefore published figures cannot be interpreted as an indicator of future payments for applicants or the overall potential cost of the scheme.


Update to Panel Terms of Reference – 3 March 2022

The Terms of Reference for the independent advisory panel have been updated to reflect the appointment of additional panel members to the Historical Shortfall Scheme's Independent Advisory Panel.

Please see the updated document on the right-hand side of the website and the Q&As below.

Why has Post Office appointed additional panel members?
Post Office has appointed additional panel members with similar level of qualifications and experience to the original panel to assist in the effective running of the scheme and to ensure that individual cases are progressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Who is on the Panel to assess cases?
Each case will be assessed by three members of the Independent Advisory Panel comprising one legal specialist; one forensic accounting specialist; and one retail specialist.

The Panel consists of two legal specialists (Alex Charlton QC and James Cross QC); two forensic accounting specialists (Susan Blower and Kevin Haywood Crouch) and two retail experts (Sunder Sandher and Chris Mitchener).

In addition, a legal specialist QC and a forensic accounting specialist may be appointed as delegates should relevant members of the Panel be unable to attend Panel meetings. To date, Lord Edward Garnier QC and Lynne McCafferty QC have been appointed as legal specialist delegates and Andy Cottle has been appointed as a forensic accounting specialist.