City of Lincoln Council and North Kesteven District Council have jointly launched a new grant scheme aimed at helping those facing financial difficulties due to new self-isolation laws.
As of Monday 28 September, it became law in England for those who have either tested positive for coronavirus or those who have been asked by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.
Those who test positive must self-isolate for 10 days from the date they took the test, while those living with or in their support bubble must self-isolate for 14 days.
In recognition that some may face financial difficulties due to having to self-isolate and therefore being unable to work, the new self-isolation grant has been set up, awarding £500 to those who qualify.
To be eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment you must:
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Be employed or self-employed.
- Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
- Be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who:
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Are employed or self-employed.
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
In addition, the discretionary payment is being set up for people who do not qualify for the Test and Trace Support Payment, such as those:
- Not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
- On low incomes and facing financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.
Anyone who feels they may fit into the criteria set out above, should make an application as soon as possible via https://www.lincoln.gov.uk/selfisolationpayments for Lincoln or https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/isolationpayments for North Kesteven or to contact the Welfare Reform Support Team by e-mail email@example.com, or calling: 01522 873592.
Cllr Ric Metcalfe, Leader at City of Lincoln Council said: “We welcome this funding and are supportive of helping those who face financial hardship during this difficult time.
“This grant enables people to do the right thing, as we know that many are facing the difficult situation of making a choice between self-isolation and feeding their families.
“Both teams at Lincoln and North Kesteven have done a tremendous job in pulling together resources quickly and efficiently, and I hope this fund will help those facing hardship during this pandemic.”
Cllr Richard Wright, Leader at North Kesteven District Council, added: “We must keep protecting each other from coronavirus, and self-isolation is one of the most effective tools we have as individuals to do this.
“Self-isolating immediately if you’ve symptoms or a positive Covid test result, or when told to do so by Test and Trace, breaks the chain of transmission and limits the spread.
“These grants will help ensure people working on low incomes can self-isolate, as now required by law, with less of the worry and strain on finances that being unable to work during self-isolation would create.
“If anyone is struggling due to coronavirus financially or otherwise, regardless of their situation, I’d urge them to get in touch with their local authority. We’re here to help and can signpost people to all the available support and advice.”
For the latest updates and guidance regarding coronavirus, visit lincoln.gov.uk/coronavirus.