COVID-19 Money and Direct Payments Promotional Banner

Updated 3 April 2020

What impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) may have on Direct Payments, what to do if you have a personal assistant (PA), how you can use Direct Payments to buy personal protection equipment and to prioritise essential tasks.

Call Plymouth City Council or Devon CCG Personal Health Budget Team if you cannot get support due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you do not have any other support network, which means you have no care today or tonight.

1.   Direct Payments Funding Pay Dates

We will make sure that your payments continue to be paid on your regular payment dates.

2.   Personal Assistant (PA)

Insurance Providers

Insurance providers' useful information:

Frequently asked questions

Question

Answer

Is my PA classed as a critical worker?

YES

What if my PA is challenged on her way to visit me?

The PA should explain that they are classed as a critical worker.  Direct Payment Recipients will receive a letter for their PA/support worker

My PA is sick and can't work

The PA qualifies for SSP

My PA is sick and self-isolating

The PA qualifies for SSP

My PA is not sick but is self-isolating

The PA qualifies for SSP

My PA is not sick and able to work but I am self-isolating

The PA must be paid their contracted hours

You and your PA must follow the Health and Safety new rules and procedures very seriously and implement them based on government guidance. This is for yours and their protection as well as reducing the risk of infection to other people

Where the PA has capacity to support ther vulnerable people, the PA should contact Plymouth City Council on 01752 668000

My PA is not sick but has children at home

The PA is classed as a critical worker. 

Children should remain at home if they can be safely cared for at home.

Where this is not possible, children should continue to attend school or nursery.  The PA should contact the school or the nursery to more information

My PA can work and I am not self-isolating

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                              

If your PA can work, they should carry on fulfilling their caring duties.

You and your PA must follow the Health and Safety new rules and procedures very seriously and implement them based on government guidance. This is for yours and their protection as well as reducing the risk of infection to other people

 

IMPORTANT:

If you feel it is safer for your PA to self-isolate, even though they haven't displayed any symptoms, you will need to pay their contracted hours

 

Statutory Sick Pay explained

If your Personal Assistant tells you they have symptoms of COVID-19 as described on NHS website, they should stay home or you can send them home. If they earn above the Lower Employment Limit (LEL) statutory sick pay would apply from day one.

If they do not qualify, they can check GOV.UK to see if they can get financial support in the form Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance.

The statutory sick pay (SSP) regulations 2020 (coronavirus amendment) came into force Friday 13 March. Statutory Sick Pay will now be payable to those self-isolating merely under Government guidance so there's no need for formal written notice to be given by a medical officer. 


Using Direct Payment to buy additional personal protection equipment or prioritise essential tasks at home

Personal protection equipment (PPE) can be:

  • Gloves
  • Masks
  • Sanitiser gel
  • Aprons

Normally employers must ensure their employees are adequately protected, but with PPE in short supply, we request that Direct Payment Recipients contact Plymouth City Council if they have any concerns regarding the funding of PPE.  

You can also check the Public Health guidance on how to use PPE effectively.

If you need to stay home because of self-isolation, you can use Direct Payment funding in a more flexible way to prioritise essential tasks like:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Hygienic cleaning
  • Clothes washing
  • Food preparation

Useful guidance

Where to get direct payment help and advice in Plymouth

Enham - Support Service Provider:

Plymouth City Council

NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group - Personal Health Budget Team