Coronavirus/COVID-19 and people in receipt of a direct payment and/or Independent Living Fund Scotland funding

Published: March 18, 2020

For Personal Assistant employers

You and your Personal Assistant (PA) should make yourselves aware of current NHS advice and follow it. Up-to-date guidance is available here;

If your PA is self-isolating or has been tested positive for COVID-19 and earns at least £118 per week they would qualify for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from the first day of absence for up to two weeks and the cost for this can be recovered from the state.

If the PA earns less than £118 per week then they would need to approach the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in regards to benefits.

If you need to self-isolate then your PA should not come to work but they will still need to get paid as they are available for, but unable to attend, work. You can still use your direct payment for this. Depending on the type of assessed support you require there may still be some tasks your PA can safely carry out for you; shopping, for example.

Please keep up to date with NHS guidance regarding COVID-19 and if you require employment law advice you can contact your Employer’s Liability Insurance providers employment law advisors or the LCiL’s Independent Living Team.

Lack of support

Any absences due to self-isolation or illness will have a negative impact on many people. As a direct payment recipient, your local authority maintains a duty of care and if you find yourself without support or with reduced levels of support that put you at risk, you should contact your local social work department. This duty of care applies whether you use your direct payment to employ PAs or to contract with a care agency.

In all cases, your first port of call should be your allocated social worker if you have one. Alternatively, you should contact;

City of Edinburgh Council

Social Care Direct

0131 200 2324

Monday to Thursday 8.30 am to 5 pm and Friday 8.30 am to 3.55 pm

Or out with these times (evenings, weekends and public holidays);

0800 731 6969

East Lothian Council

Social Work Contact Centre on 01875 824 309.

Monday to Thursday 9 am-5 pm and Friday 9 am-4 pm

Emergency Social Work Service, for evenings, weekends and public holidays 0800 731 6969

West Lothian Council

During business hours;

Assessment and Care Management Team  01506 284848

Out of hours;

Social Care Emergency Team – 01506 281028 / 01506281029

Midlothian Council

Adult social work 0131 271 3900

Children and families 0131 271 3413

Emergency social work (outside business hours) 0800 731 6969

Independent Living Fund Scotland

In light of the latest COVID-19 developments, ILF Scotland has taken the decision to suspend home visits to the recipients of their 2015 Fund.

Instead, they will carry out 2015 Fund reviews through a combination of telephone calls, emails and Skype. If you are due to have a review visit soon, one of their assessors will be in touch to advise further.

At this time, ILF Scotland’s day to day work will carry on as usual and they will continue to make payments. You can contact their specialist caseworker team on 0300 200 2022 or

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