Financial help for people self-isolating
People who are self-isolating could be eligible for up to £500 if they are unable to work under the latest raft of support measures from the government.
Dudley Council will administer the Test and Trace Support Payments locally to people who are on low incomes who cannot work as a result of self-isolating.
The help is part of a series of new rules aimed at tackling rising rates nationally and locally.
From September 28 individuals will have to self-isolate if someone tests positive or is identified as a contact in the NHS Test and Trace system.
There will also be tougher penalties for people caught breaking the rules from £1,000 up to a maximum £10,000 for repeat offenders.
To minimise the impact, the government is keen to offer the one-off lump sum of £500 for those on low incomes to support them if they cannot work during their self-isolation period.
The Test and Trace Support Payment has been introduced in response to feedback from local authorities and directors of public health that some residents were struggling to self-isolate as directed due to financial constraints. It will help people on low incomes self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact, and to encourage more people to get tested.
People can apply for the grant via the council’s website.
Councillor Steve Clark, cabinet member for finance, said:
This money will help support those people who are finding it extremely difficult to self-isolate because of the financial impact that it has.
Isolation is one of the most important elements in fighting this terrible virus and we have to do all we can to support people to do that.
At the same time, everyone needs to be following these new rules which have been put in place to not only avoid severe financial penalties, but to save lives.
“The bottom line is, if people are struggling, we are here to help.”
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, people must have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after September 28 either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. They must also be employed or self-employed and be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
Finally, to be eligible people need to be employed or self-employed and currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.
The payment scheme will be in place by October 12 and is expected to run to January next year.
To apply for funding or for all of the latest on coronavirus visit www.dudley.gov.uk/covidisolationpayment