Bereaved families of frontline social workers who die from coronavirus in the course of their duties during the pandemic will receive a payment of £60,000, the government has announced.
The government-funded life assurance scheme, unveiled yesterday by health secretary Matt Hancock, follows the death last week from suspected Covid-19 of a children’s social worker in Birmingham, Muhammad Islam. He is the second social worker reported to have died from the illness.
The payments will be made to bereaved families of local authority frontline social workers, care workers for publicly-funded residential or domiciliary care providers, as well as personal assistants employed by people receiving public funds for care and support.
“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,” said Hancock.
Employers will initiate claims on behalf of the practitioners’ families and claims will be verified and processed by the NHS Business Services Authority. It applies to deaths occurring from 25 March onwards – though it will be possible to make claims for deaths before that point – and will last for the duration of the pandemic, with Hancock giving notice on the scheme when it is deemed to be over.
There will be a minute’s silence today (Tuesday 28 April) at 11am to honour key workers who have lost their lives to the coronavirus.