New online application portal launched to enable special recognition payments for personal social service assistants

A new online application portal has been launched to enable special recognition payments to be made to personal social service assistants who have worked during the pandemic.

Employed directly by people with disabilities, to whom they provide vital support to enable them to live independently, there is also a paper application form and a dedicated helpline to support applicants.

Eligible candidates must have been employed as a personal assistant for a continuous period of four weeks between March 17, 2020 and January 31, 2021.

As with recognition payments to other health and social care workers, personal assistants will receive a pro rata payment up to a maximum of £500, depending on the number of hours they work during a average week.

Health Minister Robin Swann said personal assistants “form an essential part of our health and social care workforce and they have our greatest gratitude”.

“I first developed the program to help recognize and thank our health and social care staff for their immeasurable and vital contribution throughout the pandemic,” he said.

“We have developed the online platform to make the process as simple, straightforward and as quick as possible for applicants.”

“I would like to reiterate my sincere appreciation for the personal assistant staff and thank them for their important contribution during the pandemic.”

Further information is available at