Royal London has hit out at a Government decision that families of frontline NHS and social care workers who die from coronavirus should not be eligible for welfare benefits if they receive a payout under the its COVID-19 compensation scheme.
Under the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme, the £60,000 lump sum breaches capital limits rules for most benefits, meaning that the recipient would unable to claim universal credit, housing benefit or pension credit.
Labour has called for families who successfully apply for the payout to be exempted from capital limits rules.
Parallels have been drawn with rules for other compensation schemes, such as those set up for victims of the Windrush scandal and the Grenfell Tower fire, but they have been disputed.
Mona Patel, consumer spokesperson at Royal London, said that it is “disappointing that the Government has actively decided grieving families of NHS and social care workers will not be eligible for welfare benefits”.
She said: “Health and social care workers have played a key role in this pandemic and some have made the ultimate sacrifice. We would urge the Government to review its decision.”
Patel added that an estimated 540 frontline health and social care workers have died from coronavirus in England and Wales since the beginning of the pandemic.