Payout pledge for covid care worker’s family
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Payout pledge for covid care worker’s family

Melvyn Sher, whose photo was used by the government in its publicity for a payout policy, said bureaucratic practices had delayed a £60,000 payment

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

Melvyn Sher flanked by brothers Malcolm (left) and Hylton
Melvyn Sher flanked by brothers Malcolm (left) and Hylton

The family of a frontline worker who died in April with Covid-19 have welcomed a government guarantee about a life assurance payout after concerns over its delay.

The family of Melvyn Sher, who worked as a healthcare assistant for Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital, and whose photo was used by the government in its publicity for the payout policy, launched shortly after his death, said bureaucratic practices had delayed the £60,000 payout.

Melvyn’s son, Joseph Sher, told Jewish News that his dad “loved his work and he loved working at the hospital… he always said the NHS were his second family”.

He criticised the government’s response, saying the grief for his father “wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t getting dragged out. I just want to get it sorted once and for all now.”

After Jewish News contacted the Department for Health and Social Care for a statement, the family were informed that their claim had been successful and that they would be given help to complete the final steps required. While the family have now gained reassurance, they still face another wait before payment, with Covid-related delays affecting the remaining legal stage.

Melvyn’s widow, Charmaine Sher, had contacted the Paperweight charity – which provide practical guidance to those in the Jewish community crisis – two months ago with her concerns.  

Benjamin Conway, chairman of Paperweight, “We are delighted with the positive outcome for the Sher family. However, many people face similar challenges because of the pandemic, which is dramatically impacting on the welfare of hundreds of families in our community”.

Three funerals in the past week brought the total number of Jewish virus victims to 513.

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