Dedicated portal to reach last group of social care workers.
A special online portal has been launched for more than 10,000 Personal Assistants across Scotland to ensure they receive a £500 thank-you payment.
The Personal Assistant workforce are employed directly by disabled people, for whom they provide vital support to enable them to live independently. They are the last remaining group to receive the bonus payment for health and social care workers which was announced in November 2020.
The portal launched today will provide the most effective, streamlined way to reach these workers. A paper based application form is also available for those who prefer it. They will be administered by Scotland Excel on behalf of the Scottish Government. A dedicated helpline has been set up to support applicants.
As with other health and social care workers, Personal Assistants 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.
Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The importance of Personal Assistants within the wider social care workforce has only been made more visible during the pandemic. Along with the rest of our health and social care workers, they deserve the thanks of the whole country.
“Personal Assistants and their employers are a unique part of the social care setting, and we are committing to making access to the thank you payments as simple as possible.
“We have worked with disability lead organisations and payroll providers for Personal Assistant Employers to ensure that payments are made as quickly as possible to this complex and geographically diverse workforce.
“I am delighted that this new portal will now enable us to ensure this key group of workers can apply for the thank you payment they well deserve.”
Personal Assistants can apply online at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/500PoundApplicationsForPAs/
A dedicated helpline to support applicants, including access to paper applications, can be contacted on 0800 841 1321 on Monday to Friday from 9.30am-4.30pm. The portal will be active for eight weeks and closes midnight on Wednesday August 25th.
On 30 November, the First Minister announced a non-consolidated, pro-rated payment of £500 to NHS, social care, residential childcare and ‘shared care’ employees. Estimates, based on available data, suggest there are over 10,000 Personal Assistants and ‘shared care’ workers.
Personal Assistants are publicly funded when their employer receives funds through Self-Directed Support (option 1) or from Independent Living Fund Scotland.
Successful applicants will receive payments from Independent Living Fund Scotland, who have agreed to administer payments on behalf of the Scottish Government.
Unlike other social care workers, Personal Assistants are not registered with the Scottish Social Services Council, and the services they provide are not registered with the Care Inspectorate. This has made engagement with this workforce particularly challenging, and is why this bespoke application process has been developed.
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