Thousands of bereaved families yet to claim £60,000 covid pay out
Relatives of health and social care workers who died after contracting covid through their jobs could be missing out on a £60,000 pay out.
A government scheme set up to compensate families of deceased workers put in close contact with covid patients has received 810 applications from across the whole of England.
Of those, 713 have been paid so far and 51 did not meet the eligibility criteria.
The race is now on to reach other families who might be eligible to make a claim – particularly those whose loved ones worked in social care - before the scheme closes in March next year. To be eligible, the death must have occurred before March 2022.
There are no official figures, but around 20,000 workers in the UK are estimated to have died from Covid caught at work since 2020. More people have died in the North West than in any other region – more than in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales put together.
While public sector workers from a wide-range of jobs contracted the virus while carrying out their duties, the government scheme is restricted to NHS and social care workers.
The families of trade union members who have died of covid due to work can seek advice and support from the North West Trade Union Covid Bereaved Support Group.
The Group was launched by UNISON North West and Greater Manchester Hazards.
UNISON Assistant General Secretary Kevan Nelson said
“Most of the people attending the inaugural Bereaved Support Group meeting was a relative of a trade union member who had lost their life to covid, or they were a trade union representative who had helped families through the pandemic and might also have lost a colleague or loved one themselves.
“It was very moving to listen to their experiences of living through covid and we are determined to do all we can to ensure lessons are learned. The bereaved have been offered support in making a submission to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry and the Inquiry team has been invited to speak to our families as part of its national Listening Exercise.
We are desperate for bereaved families to come forward to claim the compensation they deserve.”
Anyone who thinks they might be eligible to make a claim to the NHS Coronavirus Life Assurance (England) Scheme should go to Nhsbsa.nhs.uk or email [email protected]