Special Recognition Payments for Social Care Personal Assistants

Date published: 23 March 2022

An online application portal is now open to enable special recognition payments to be made to social care Personal Assistants who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.


As with recognition payments to 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.


Personal Assistants are employed directly by disabled people, for whom they provide vital support to enable them to live independently.

To be eligible, applicants must have been employed as a Personal Assistant for a continuous 4 week period between 17 March 2020 and 31 January 2021.

Eligible PAs will fall within one of the following categories:

  • Personal Assistants employed by Independent Living Fund recipients in NI;
  • Personal Assistants employed by the Thalidomide survivors in NI via the Thalidomide Health Grant;
  • Those Personal Assistants employed via direct payments from Health and Social Care Trusts (HSCTs);
  • Personal Assistants providing Day Opportunities;
  • Individuals employed in the Independent Sector (Care Homes, Domiciliary Care and Supported Living Schemes) who have moved employers, or left the sector, within the qualifying period; and;
  • A number of outlier organisations that were inadvertently excluded from the initial Phase I criteria, specifically HSC commissioned services not regulated by the RQIA.


The online portal is the easiest and most efficient way for Personal Assistants to receive the payment. To apply online, visit https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PA500NI/


A paper based application form is also available, for more details please email: to SRPqueries@health-ni.gov.uk

A dedicated helpline is open 10am – 12.30pm, Monday to Friday. Helpline number is:    0800 170 13 50

Frequently Asked Questions

Information on Recognition Payments for HSC staff, students and the Independent Sector is published on the Department of Health website.

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