Eligible residents on low incomes, who will lose income as a consequence of self-isolation, will be offered a £500 payment as part of a national scheme facilitated by Swindon Borough Council.
From last Monday (28 Sep), it became a legal obligation for people across England to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus or are identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. Those breaking this rule face an initial fine of £1000, rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders.
To support this legislation, the Government has introduced a new Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, which will be administered by local authorities. The scheme will offer a one-off, lump sum payment of £500 for each period of self-isolation (subject to any income tax payable), to eligible residents on lower incomes, who cannot work from home and who will lose income as a result.
The Council has developed an online application form for qualifying residents so they can easily apply to receive the Test and Trace Support Payment.
To be eligible to receive the support payment, residents must meet the specified eligibility criteria, which is listed on the Council website. Eligible residents must:
- Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace after Monday, 28 September and have a unique Test and Trace number provided by the NHS
- Be making their application during their period of self-isolation, or no more than 14 calendar days after the date their period of self-isolation ended
- Be employed or self-employed
- Have lost income by being unable to work from home while self-isolating
Residents must also be receiving at least one of a number of specified benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- income-based Employment Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
For residents who are not currently in receipt of these benefits but who do meet the other specified criteria and will face financial hardship during self-isolation, the payment may be available, but will be reviewed on a discretionary basis.
Councillor Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Commercialisation, Education and Skills, said: “Ensuring residents self-isolate when required, is crucial in our fight against coronavirus, but for those who cannot work from home, we understand that self-isolation can have significant financial implications.
“As a council, we are pleased to be able to provide financial support to residents who need it most, during what continues to be for many, an extremely challenging time.”
The Test and Trace Payment Support scheme is just one form of financial support available to residents whose income has been affected by coronavirus. Residents can find information on all the available support via the Council website.
The Test and Trace Support Payment is available until 31 January 2021. More information on the scheme, including the eligibility criteria, as well as the application form to apply for the payment, can be found on the Council website here: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/testandtracesupport