THE GOVERNMENT has began to accept applications for a scheme which will see the estate of healthcare workers who died having contracted Covid-19 in the course of their work receive €100,000.
The Death in Service Ex-Gratia Scheme was approved in March of this year, and has been specified broadly to include all healthcare workers designated 'essential' during the first phases of the pandemic.
This includes GPs and others working in primary care, including administrative staff. It also includes disability services staff, private staff in nursing homes and throughout the healthcare system.
This payment is in addition to any other arrangements a person may have in place or benefit that may be payable on death and does not impact their legal rights. It will be made in addition to any other benefit that may be payable and is open to the families of workers from across the healthcare system who have passed away.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the opening of the scheme "offers another means for us as a country to recognise the significant contribution healthcare workers made to Ireland's response to Covid-19."
"Since March 2020, we have asked them to assume an unknown level of risk in their work, and, unfortunately, many healthcare workers contracted Covid-19 in work and a small number sadly passed away.
"Myself and my colleagues in Government are aware of tragic cases where families have been left without income at a time of extraordinary grief. This payment offers some support from the state to provide for the family's needs, while also serving as a real acknowledgement of the debt of gratitude all of us across the country feel to the extraordinary sacrifices of their loved ones."
Applications for the Death in Service scheme will be made through Pobal, which works on behalf of Government to support communities and local agencies toward achieving social inclusion and development.
Pobal have substantial experience in managing payment schemes.
It is possible that some claims may be paid at end 2022, but the majority are expected in 2023.