edics were already furious after some received just £ 90 of the £ 500 that had been pledged.
Now more than 400 have received letters asking them to reimburse money due to what the health ministry has described as an “overpayment error”.
Social worker Debbie White, who was ordered to return £ 117 of the £ 339 she received, accused the executive of adding insult to injury.
She added: “The way this letter made me feel, it would have been better if I hadn’t received anything.
“I put myself and my family at risk by walking into people’s homes and working with different girls.
“I am furious about this letter. He was saying they were going to take £ 117 out of my paycheck next month, which I just can’t afford to lose.
Health Minister Robin Swann announced in January that all health workers would receive a special recognition payment of £ 500.
However, it later emerged that the amount would be taxed and allocated on a pro rata basis, meaning part-time workers would benefit from a reduced amount.
“I thought it was great that we were getting £ 500 so I had to accept that it would be a lot less for me as a part-time worker,” said Debbie, of Magheralin, Co Down.
“To receive this letter saying that I am getting even less and that I have to pay it back, it’s just a real kick in the teeth.
“The unemployed have received an extra £ 80 per month because of the pandemic and are still receiving it. What they got in two months for sitting at home I got for working a whole year and putting myself in danger.
DUP MP Carla Lockhart said staff were right to be angry.
“The workers were encouraged when the government announced it would recognize them with this payment. Since then it has been a litany of disappointments, ”she added.
“I wrote directly to the Minister of Health about this. The Ministry of Health must take the upper hand and stop demoralizing the staff we rely so heavily on, especially as we prepare to enter the winter period, where they will again have to strengthen themselves. “
The Department of Health said it had paid up to £ 735 to compensate for the loss suffered by part-time workers.
A spokesperson added that the payments were processed by the regional business services organization’s shared payroll department, which processed more than 80,000 assignments to health and social services staff at the end of the month. July.
They added: “[It is regrettable that] at a late stage, it was identified that a number of individuals had an incorrect calculated value, [but] immediate action was taken to remedy the situation.
“It is unfortunate that some staff did not receive the exact amount of their award.
“It was simply due to the fact that the payroll system took over some salary increases as regular salary.
“While the error was identified and immediate corrective action was taken, unfortunately it came too late for some, and their payroll system was already closed.
“While the vast majority of payments were made correctly, unfortunately a small number (impacting less than 2% of CSS staff) could not be corrected in time for the payroll systems to close.
“When this is the case, each individual has been contacted to correct their payment. “