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Social Care Workforce £500 Special Recognition Payment – Application Portal for Personal Assistants

In January 2021, the Minister of Health, Robin Swann MLA, agreed a Special Recognition Payment (SRP) for eligible staff up to the value of £500 net.  This is a payment to reward workers in Health and Social Care (HSC) settings in Northern Ireland for their work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  In Phase I the majority of staff employed in the Independent Sector (Care Homes, Domiciliary Care and Supported Living Schemes) were paid through their respective organisations.  This Phase II will deliver the SRP to the remaining cohorts of staff previously approved including Personal Assistants and the remaining categories of independent sector staff.  

This is the process for eligible Personal Assistants to apply for this payment. The submissions process is being administered by Scotland Excel on behalf of the Northern Ireland Department of Health. The payments process is being administered by the Independent Living Fund Scotland on behalf of the Department of Health.

Before completing the submission form please ensure you have read the Frequently Asked Questions document produced by the Department of Health, which is available to view at the link below. This sets out who is eligible for this payment and what information is needed to apply.


The deadline for submissions is midnight on Sunday 31st July.

Where possible you should make your submission using the online form below. If you are unable to complete the form online, please contact the Special Recognition Payment Helpline by calling 0800 170 1350.  Lines are open from 10:00 - 12:30, Monday to Friday.

Once we have received your submission we will work to validate and process this as quickly as possible. As part of this process some personal assistants will be randomly selected as part of an audit process and will be required to provide copies of pay slips in order to validate their application. You will receive an email from Scotland Excel seeking this information if required. We may also be required to contact the person or people you were providing care for, in order to validate your submission.

You will receive a confirmation email from Scotland Excel once your submission has been confirmed and passed to Independent Living Fund Scotland for payment.

For further information on who is eligible for the payment, and how to complete the application, please watch the two short videos below:


Confirmation of Eligibility *

I was employed as a personal assistant for four or more consecutive weeks between 17 March 2020 and 31 January 2021
I was paid directly by the person or people to whom I provided support, or by their representative
The funds to pay me are received by the person or people for whom I was providing support, or their representatives, from either a Northern Ireland Health & Social Care Trust, the Thalidomide Trust, or Independent Living Fund Scotland
I am qualified to work in the UK and possess a UK National Insurance number

Declaration *