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APPLY NOW | Online application open for recognition payments




The Department of Health is reminding social care Personal Assistants who worked during the pandemic to apply for a special recognition payment and has also confirmed that those in the independent sector whose employers have ceased trading can now also apply.


The online portal which enables personal assistants to apply for the recognition payment will remain open until 31 July 2022.



In addition, a new online portal is now also available for individuals employed in the Independent Sector (Care Homes, Domiciliary Care and Supported Living Schemes) between 17 March 2020 and 31 January 2021 whose employer is no longer in operation and who missed out on previous phases of the scheme.


Applying online is the easiest and most efficient way for eligible groups to receive the payment. A paper based application form is also available for those who prefer and a dedicated helpline is also in place to support applicants. As with recognition payments to other health and social care workers, Personal Assistants and other eligible individuals will receive a pro rata payment of up to a maximum of £500, depending on the number of hours they work in an average week.



£58.9m has been paid out to 83,000 statutory employees in Health and Social Care. In addition, a total of over £16.6m has been distributed under Phase 1 of the scheme to independent sector care home and domiciliary care providers covering 28,470 individuals. Under Phase 2, over £4.2m has been paid out to 9,857 individuals.


This phase is delivering the recognition payment to the remaining cohorts of staff previously approved including Personal Assistants and the remaining categories of independent sector staff.



Those eligible to receive the recognition payment must have been employed for a continuous four week period between 17 March 2020 and 31 January 2021 as a Personal Assistant. Eligible PAs will fall within one of the following categories:


  • Personal Assistants employed by Independent Living Fund recipients in NI;

  • Personal Assistants employed by the Thalidomide survivors in NI via the Thalidomide Health Grant;

  • Personal Assistants employed via direct payments from Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCTs);

  • Self-employed Personal Assistants.



Staff who worked in the independent sector (care home/domiciliary care/supported living) whose employer is no longer trading are eligible to apply for this payment if they were employed for a continuous 4 week period between 17 March 2020 and 31 January 2021.


Personal Assistants can apply online:


https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PA500N/


and those in the independent sector whose employers have ceased trading can apply online:


https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SRPnolongertrading/


A dedicated helpline is also available from 10am – 12.30pm Monday to Friday for both groups . The helpline number is: 0800 170 13 50


A full list of Frequently Asked Questions is available online for PAs:


https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/special-recognition-payments-social-care-personal-assistants


and for those in the independent sector whose employers have ceased trading:


https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/special-recognition-payments-former-employees-where-provider-has-ceased-trading