Coronavirus life assurance scheme updates

COVID-19 death in service benefits

Employers should be aware of two updates to the Coronavirus life assurance scheme claim process. These involve providing proof of probate and the employer’s role in certifying eligibility for the scheme.

Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration

The stage at which a claimant needs to apply for probate whilst making a claim under the scheme has been revised. Either the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration will now be requested after the case has been certified as eligible by NHS Business Services Authority.

This will help avoid delays in reassuring claimants that their case is eligible to receive the lump sum payment.

If the case is certified as eligible, the payment will be made within 30 days of NHS BSA receiving the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration from the claimant.

The information on the BSA’s website has been updated to reflect this development.

Certifying eligibility

The role of the employer in certifying the eligibility of a claim has also been clarified. Although the eligibility criteria focusses on staff in frontline roles, the Secretary of State has discretion to consider claims where the individual was not in a frontline role, but where:

  • the individual was exposed to a high risk of contracting coronavirus disease whilst carrying out their work
  • the individual contracted coronavirus in the course of their work
  • coronavirus disease was the whole or main cause of death.

Employers should therefore still process a claim even if that role may not necessarily be classed as frontline. A full description should be provided through the claim form of the role that was being carried out on the individual’s last day in service. This will ensure that appropriate consideration can be given to the claim by the Secretary of State.

We have updated our employer responsibilities web page to clarify this, and further information can also be found on the BSA’s website.

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