Last reviewed 1 May 2020
Families of eligible workers who die from coronavirus in the course of their frontline essential work will receive a £60,000 payment.
This is part of an assurance from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that the families of health and care workers on the frontline in England will benefit from a new life assurance scheme during the pandemic.
Developed after discussions with health and social care unions, the scheme recognises the increased risk faced by staff during the crisis and will cover COVID-19 related deaths of workers in frontline health and adult and children’s social care roles during the outbreak.
Cover will be extended to full, part-time or locum NHS and public health workers, including GPs, dentists, retired staff and second and final year students taking up paid frontline roles.
Within social care, the scheme will cover employees of publicly funded care homes, home care, directly employed carers including personal assistants and frontline child and family social workers.
It also includes those providing direct care as well as cleaners and porters who continue to carry out vital duties in these care environments.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Financial worries should be the last thing on the minds of their families so in recognition of these unprecedented circumstances we are expanding financial protection to NHS and social care workers delivering publicly funded care on the frontline.”
Employers will be asked to initiate claims on behalf of the individual’s families and claims will be verified and processed by the NHS Business Services Authority, who will work with employers to ensure claims are handled swiftly and sensitively.
The scheme is time-limited, providing cover for the duration of the pandemic.
This is measured as the period for which the NHS workforce provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are in force (which took effect on 25 March) but claims for deaths occurring before this will be considered.
At the conclusion of the emergency response, the Secretary of State will give notice to close the scheme. (See also Free visa extensions for frontline health and care workers).