Here are some FAQs about direct payments and employing PAs which were prepared in April 2020. They remain relevant as long as the pandemic continues.
A: We can confirm that we advise you to pay the PA as you would for the weeks missed due to the family self isolating.
A: If your PA is unwell, Covid-19 sick pay guidance applies (please see www.gov.uk SSP).
If your PA has to self-isolate, we ask that you continue to pay the PA their usual hours for the time they are isolating.
A: If the PA is not self-isolating or supporting their own family who are shielding following a confirmation letter then we ask that they take holidays or unpaid leave.
A. If you are asking the PA to not attend work then you will still need to pay the PA for the hours they would have worked.
Q: My PA has had to stop working to look after their family, is there any other support I can access?
A: Individuals who require support and their PA is no longer available can register your need on: https://www.disabilitysheffield.org.uk/coronavirus-information-and-support
If you are paying a PA who is self-isolating, please contact Children with Disabilities team who can support with additional funding for a second PA.
A: Yes, please record any additional spend and keep receipts for auditing purposes.
A: Please contact the social care team to discuss this issue on a case by case basis.
A: Yes e.g. for shopping on behalf of the family or providing virtual lessons.
A: Yes PAs are classed as key workers. An authorisation letter is available via Voluntary Action Sheffield on email@example.com and 0114 253 6600 or contact Disability Sheffield on 0114 2536750.
Q: If day provision is cancelled can I use the funds that would have been used to pay for this, to increase my PA hours?
A: We have agreed to this when people were accessing club provision and a PA and the clubs have closed.
A: Please contact social care for any emergency packages that are needed.
Q: I am a PA and the individual I support has decided to self-isolate with their family and does not require my support. Can I work as a PA for someone else?
A: Yes, we encourage PAs who would like to redeploy or work additional hours to contact Disability Sheffield on 0114 2536750 and sign up to the PA register. The for can be found at https://www.disabilitysheffield.org.uk/coronavirus-information-and-support