Families of health workers who have died at work after contracting Covid-19 are being urged to apply for a €100,000 goodwill payment.
Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly said the death on duty ex gratia scheme is now open to applications.
Some 23 healthcare workers have died as of August 17 after contracting Covid-19, most of whom emerged in the first year of the pandemic.
He said: “Following Cabinet approval for the program in March this year, the Health Ministry has worked with Pobal to set up a straightforward application process for affected families.
“The program consists of a tax-free payment of €100,000 to the estate of healthcare workers who have died because they contracted Covid-19 in the course of their work.”
He added that the eligibility was set broadly, including all healthcare workers who were described as “essential” during the early stages of the pandemic.
This includes GPs and others working in primary care, as well as administrative staff.
This also includes employees of disability services, private staff in nursing homes and throughout the healthcare system.
“This payment is in addition to any other arrangements an individual may have made or any benefits payable in the event of death and does not affect their statutory rights. It is provided in addition to any other benefits that may be payable and is open to the families of deceased workers from across the healthcare system.
“Today is an important day and offers us another opportunity as a country to recognize the significant contribution our healthcare workers have made to Ireland’s response to Covid-19. Since March 2020 we have asked them to take an unknown risk in their work and unfortunately many healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 at work and a small number have sadly passed away.
“I 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 provides some support from the state to meet the needs of the family while serving as a true recognition of the gratitude we all across the country feel for the extraordinary sacrifices made by their loved ones.”
Applications for the Death on Duty scheme are made through Pobal, which works on behalf of the government to support communities and local authorities in achieving social inclusion and development. Pobal has extensive experience in managing payment systems. It is possible that some claims will be paid in late 2022, but the majority is expected in 2023.
Deaths where all or the primary cause of death is Covid-19 and where virus is confirmed to be present in the workplace at the time of infection will be eligible for payment.
In cases where there are doubts about medical evidence, Pobal will seek an opinion from the Ministry of Health.
In cases where there is doubt about the cause of transmission, Pobal will seek evidence from the workplace and from the applicant.
Payments are made only to the deceased’s “legal personal representative” – the executor or executor of the estate where the deceased died intestate.
https://www.independent.ie/news/families-of-healthcare-workers-who-died-of-covid-invited-to-apply-for-100000-payment-41986653.html Families of healthcare workers who have died from Covid have been urged to apply for a €100,000 payment