A leading MP called on ministers to boost promotion of the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance scheme
Image: Adam Gerrard / Sunday Mirror)
Just a third of families of NHS and social care staff who died from coronavirus have received compensation from an official government scheme, we can reveal.
Only 521 payments have been approved from the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance – despite 1,561 health and care workers dying during the pandemic.
While the vast majority of applications for payouts – worth £60,000 – are successful, MPs say too few grieving relatives realise they may be eligible for support.
They want ministers to wage a publicity drive to increase awareness of the scheme.
Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, campaigned for the scheme to be setup to help relatives of those who died on the Covid-19 frontline.
She said: “The bereaved families of NHS heroes have already had to bear so much and the burden should not be on them to seek out the support they are entitled to.
“The Government must ensure the scheme is more clearly signposted so bereaved families know they can apply for compensation.”
The number of families who have received payouts was revealed by Care Minister Helen Whately following a written parliamentary question.
Ms Whately said: “As of July 21, 2021, there have been 622 claims to the scheme.
“Of these, 521 claims have been successful.
“These figures are inclusive of claims received and accepted in 2020.
“Eight cases have been rejected and the remainder are under consideration.”
The scheme was announced in April last year(2020) by then Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He said at the time: “Nothing can make up for the tragic loss of a loved one during this pandemic.
“We owe a huge debt to those who die in service to our nation and are doing everything we can to protect them.
“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.
“We will continue to strive night and day to provide them with the support and protection they need and deserve to keep them safe as they work tirelessly to save lives.”