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COVID-19 death-in-service: families of nursing staff biggest group to receive lump sum

More than £9 million has been paid to families of nurses and healthcare assistants
Grieving father

NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme was set up to offer financial support to dependents of healthcare workers who died of COVID-19 after contracting coronavirus at work

More than 9 million has been paid out to the families of nurses and healthcare assistants who died of COVID-19 after contracting coronavirus at work.

The families of 77 nurses and 79 healthcare assistants have each received the 60,000 lump sum, making them the largest group to get the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme death-in-service benefit so far.

In total, 464 payments, worth 27.8 million, have been made since the scheme opened in April 2020.

NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme was set up to offer financial support to dependents of healthcare workers who died of COVID-19 after contracting coronavirus at work

Picture: iStock

More than £9 million has been paid out to the families of nurses and healthcare assistants who died of COVID-19 after contracting coronavirus at work.

The families of 77 nurses and 79 healthcare assistants have each received the £60,000 lump sum, making them the largest group to get the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme death-in-service benefit so far.

In total, 464 payments, worth £27.8 million, have been made since the scheme opened in April 2020.

Awareness and misinformation about eligibility

A further 88 applicants are awaiting outcomes in England, while five have been rejected.

A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson said it is still working to raise awareness of the COVID-19 scheme after unions expressed concerns in January that families needed more support to apply. GMB national officer, Rachel Harrison said then that some employers were wrongly telling families they were ineligible for the scheme.

The Scottish Government would not reveal how many claims it had received so far, but has rejected one. Fifteen claims have been made in Wales and one payment has been made in Northern Ireland.

The payments are in addition to the death-in-service benefits of the NHS pension scheme.

Who is eligible and how to apply

The families and dependents of NHS and social care staff who died after contracting coronavirus at work can apply to the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme through the deceased’s employer.

Students’ families are covered if the deceased was on paid clinical placement when they contracted coronavirus. The families of those who were on normal clinical placement are not automatically covered by the scheme but applications to the scheme can be considered.

Further information and application form

Families of deceased nursing staff deserve reassurance

A RCN spokesperson said it was critical nursing staff knew their families would be supported if they died.

‘At such a difficult time it is vital decisions on applications to the scheme are made swiftly. The families of those who have died in service deserve reassurance that they will receive all the support they need, they said.

Remembering the nursing staff who died with COVID-19

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