Scheme awareness responsibilities
As the employer, we ask that you tell your employees about the Scheme and distribute communications materials provided by us.
You should make sure that all subcontractors and temporary staff also receive these communication materials.
We also ask subcontractors to share the information with their employees, including all employees within their supply chain.
If you become aware of a death where there may be eligibility for a claim, you should contact the next of kin of the deceased directly. You should explain the Scheme to them and the process to be followed if a claim is appropriate.
As the employer, you’ll oversee the completion of the claim form and payment details.
You should signpost the claimant to our website to download the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020 claim form (PDF: 448KB).
All applications need to be made in paper format. Applications will not be accepted for this Scheme online.
The claim form should be completed by the legal personal representative or a solicitor acting for the estate, or by the spouse, civil partner or unmarried cohabitee partner in circumstances where they were financially interdependent with or financially dependent on the person who died. The claimant will be asked to declare that the information entered on the form is correct, to the best of their knowledge.
The claimant should then send the completed claim form and original supporting documents to you, the employer, and not to us.
You’ll certify on the form that the deceased was likely to be eligible for the Scheme and that the death was likely to be a qualifying death. More information on this is available in the ‘employer authorisation checks’ section below.
Once completed, you should send the claim form, including any completed annexes, and relevant supporting documents to us:
NHS Business Services Authority
PO Box 2269
Employer authorisation checks
As the employer, you’re asked to check that the Scheme criteria are likely to be met before making a claim.
Eligibility criteria for the Scheme can be found in the NHS and Social Care Life Coronavirus Assurance Scheme 2020 eligibility factsheet (PDF: 152KB). The main criteria are summarised below.
Appropriate person to receive payment
The claimant must be an appropriate person to receive a payment under the Scheme. An appropriate person can be:
- The personal representative of the eligible individual
- An individual who, in the two years leading up to the death:
- was married to or in a civil partnership with the eligible individual, or was living with the eligible individual as if married or civil partners, and neither person was living with a third person as if married or civil partners; and
- was financially interdependent with the eligible individual or was financially dependent on the eligible individual.
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has ultimate responsibility for deciding if a case meets the eligibility criteria. In exceptional circumstances the Secretary of State can award payment to another individual than those specified above, having regard to the purpose of the Scheme as set out in the preamble to the Scheme rules.
The deceased must be an eligible individual under the Scheme.
All eligible employees or registered healthcare volunteers must have been working for an NHS body, or working for an organisation that supports the delivery of, either:
- an APMS contract
- a commissioning contract
- a contract or agreement between an NHS trust or foundation trusts and a higher education provider covering the provision of NHS services
- a General Dental Services contract
- a General Medical Services contract
- an integrated care provider contract
- a local authority contract for the provision of health or social care services
- an NHS standard contract
- an NHS standard sub-contract
- a PDS agreement
- a PMS agreement
- a primary medical and dental services contract
In addition to the Employment and Contract eligibility requirement, the Secretary of State must be satisfied that on the basis of evidence, the individual was exposed to a high risk of contracting coronavirus in circumstances where they could not reasonably avoid that risk due to the nature and location of their work.
Circumstances that likely fall within these criteria are where the individual was:
- testing or diagnosing whether a person has been infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)
- caring for or treating a person who has, or is suspected of having, coronavirus
- involved in any type of service that is provided directly within the environment or facilities where diagnosis or care is occurring
Where the individual was performing duties that do not fit these scenarios, or it’s difficult to establish the presence of coronavirus in the workplace, the claimant is invited to explain why they think the individual was exposed to a high risk of contracting coronavirus because of the nature and location of their work. The claimant’s explanation will be appropriately considered.
If the deceased does not meet the criteria to be an eligible individual, in exceptional circumstances the Secretary of State can decide to treat the deceased as an eligible individual, having regard to the purpose of the Scheme as set out in the preamble to the Scheme rules.
Only qualifying deaths will be eligible to receive this life assurance lump sum.
For a death to be classed as qualifying, the Secretary of State must be reasonably satisfied that the individual contracted coronavirus in the course of their work. The Scheme asks for evidence that the individual was at work performing their duties in the 14 days before the start of their coronavirus symptoms. A longer period may be accepted where supported by medical evidence. The Secretary of State must also be reasonably satisfied that coronavirus disease was wholly or mainly the cause of death.
The Secretary of State may also consider applications that relate to cases where coronavirus is not listed on the person’s death certificate, but where the person was providing health or social care services directly to people with coronavirus and the performance of those functions was likely to have contributed to the person’s death. Where coronavirus is not present on the death certificate, the Scheme may ask for further medical evidence.
The Scheme closed on 31 March 2022. Claimants have until 30 September 2023 to submit claims for deaths that occurred while the Scheme was open.
The claimant should provide you with a fully completed claim form and original supporting documents.
You should include a verified photocopy of the documents with the application form you send to us.
Supporting documents must include:
- the death certificate
- Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, if available (for cases where the claimant is the personal representative of the eligible individual)
- Proof of financial interdependence with or financial dependence on the eligible individual in the two years preceding the death, if available (for cases where the claimant was married to or in a civil partnership with the eligible individual, or living with the eligible individual as if married or civil partners)
Advise claimants that claims will be assessed for eligibility without Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, or proof of financial interdependence or dependence, but that payment cannot be made without the relevant documents being provided to the NHSBSA.
Where applicable an English translation of any certificate should be provided.
If there’s more than one legal personal representative listed on the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration you should check that each legal personal representative has completed a claim form annex declaring their agreement that the life assurance lump sum be paid to the claimant, the named legal personal representative or the solicitor who has completed the claim form.
We’ll process the application and pay the life assurance lump sum into the bank or building society account of the estate or issue a cheque to the claimant.
We’ll notify the claimant and all legal personal representatives that the life assurance lump sum has been paid.
We’ll then notify you, the employer, that the life assurance lump sum has been paid.
Where the death falls within the Scheme, payment will be made within 30 days of us receiving a certified claim form and supporting documentation from you the employer.
If the life assurance lump sum is not paid within 30 days, we’ll pay interest on the unpaid amount.
Interest will be paid at the bank base rate.
However, if the life assurance lump sum was not paid within 30 days as a result of some act or omission on the part of the claimant, no interest will be paid.
Complaints and Disputes
To complain or raise a dispute about the administration of the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme, send us a completed NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme disputes application form (PDF: 243KB)
You can read the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme disputes guidance (Word: 75KB) for more information about the disputes process.
Details on where to send the completed disputes application can be found in the guidance document and application form.
Rejected claimants may appeal the outcome of their claim. Their appeal will go to the relevant minister.
The rejected claimant must explain why they believe their case has been incorrectly rejected and send this, along with any additional evidence they have to support their case, to email@example.com.
The NHSBSA will pass the appeal to the Discretion Panel who will meet to reassess the appealed case, taking into account any new information presented, before passing a recommendation onto the relevant minister for final determination.
If you have any questions about the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020 claims process, contact us and an administrator will call you back.
Contact our NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme 2020 helpline by:
Telephone: 0300 330 3331
Outside UK: +44 (0)191 283 8904