Families of health care workers who died having contracted Covid-19 in the course of their work can now apply for a tax-free payment of €100,000.
The Minister for Health has today (September 13) opened the Death in Service Ex-Gratia Scheme for applications following Cabinet approval of the scheme in March this year.
The payment is open to the families of workers from across the healthcare system who have passed away, including GPs and others working in primary care including administrative staff, disability services staff, private staff in nursing homes and throughout the healthcare system.
According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), 23 healthcare workers died having contracted Covid-19 as of August 17 2022, with the majority of deaths occurring in the first year of the pandemic.
Speaking about the news, Minister Stephen Donnelly said, "Today is an important day and offers another means for us as a country to recognise the significant contribution our 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."
It is possible that some claims may be paid at the end of 2022, but the majority are expected in 2023.
In order to apply, a family will need to complete a claim form available on the Pobal website. This should be read in conjunction with the claimant guideline document and the completed claim form and supporting documentation can be submitted to Pobal in either of the following ways: a scanned copy submitted with supporting documentation by email to DIS@pobal.ie, or send all documentation to Pobal by post to: DIS Section, Pobal, Building 1000, Unit 1102, City Gate Business Park, Mahon, Cork, T12 RY76
Full list of eligible categories of worker:
Eligibility will extend to the estate of all workers who worked in the provision of:
(a) hospital services
(b) therapy services provided by a member of a designated profession within the meaning of section 3 of the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 (No. 27 of 2005)
(c) services relating to public health, including services relating to:
(i) the identification, tracing and contacting of persons who have been in contact with persons who have been diagnosed, or are suspected of having been infected, with COVID-19, and
(ii) the testing of persons for COVID-19
(d) laboratory services
(e) drug treatment and addiction services
(f) hospice services
(g) pharmacy services
(h) primary care and general and specialist medical practice activities
(i) dental services
(j) blood donation and related services
(k) tissue or organ donation and related services
(l) residential care services (including nursing care, mental health and substance abuse services, services for elderly persons and persons with disabilities) and children’s residential services
(m) homecare, home help and other health services in the community
(n) social work and social care services, (including disability services, mental health services, child protection and welfare services, domestic, sexual and gender-based violence services) and homeless services including homeless outreach services
(o) paramedical, ambulance and pre-hospital care services
(p) services provided by minor injury units
(q) maternity services
(r) food safety and environmental services
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