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UK families bereaved by Covid-19 lose eligibility for welfare benefits

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Information and advice resources - Age UK

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Just when you think they can’t sink any lower….

The families of low-paid frontline NHS and social care workers who die from coronavirus will be stripped of eligibility for welfare benefits if they receive a payout under the government’s Covid-19 compensation scheme, it has emerged.

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.

A House of Commons library note says: “The DWP has agreed with HM Treasury and the Department for Health and Social Care that these payments will not be disregarded. Therefore, if a recipient of a payment from this … scheme is on one of these benefits, it will fully be taken into account as capital.”

UK families bereaved by Covid-19 lose eligibility for welfare benefits

Andrew Dutton
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Welfare rights service - Derbyshire County Council

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A government spokesthing said:

“The death of any healthcare worker is a tragedy. Since it began in May, the life assurance scheme has already provided additional financial security to families of frontline NHS and social care workers in England who have died due to coronavirus.

“It has always been one the central principles of Universal Credit that decisions on awarding the benefit should take into account individuals’ existing ability to meet their basic needs, so that we maintain our focus on supporting families in most need.”

Mmm. Nice. From the people who brought you ‘There are no more jobs for life, chum.’

Countdown to the reverse-ferret?