CAMBRIDGE residents on low incomes, who cannot work because they are self-isolating due to coronavirus, can now apply for a one-off support payment.
The government Test and Trace Support Payments of £500 will be administered by Cambridge City Council, and people who qualify for them will be able to apply via the council’s website at www.cambridge.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payment
To be eligible for the government’s payment, people must:
- Have been asked to 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;
- Be employed or self-employed;
- Be unable to work from home and losing income as a result; and
- 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
If people are not receiving one of these benefits, but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause them hardship, they may still be entitled to a payment under a discretionary scheme.
People can apply online, or by phone on 01223 458678 if they are unable to, and will be asked to provide:
- Their notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate, including their unique ID number;
- A bank statement;
- Proof of employment, or if self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contacts.
The new payments have been introduced by the government following reports across the country that some people were struggling to self-isolate due to their financial situation, and the need to go out and work to support themselves and their families.
Although the scheme started on 28 September, applications are only being accepted nationally from 12 October. However, anyone eligible from 28 September will be able to make a backdated claim for their payment and will have up to 14 days from the end of their isolation period to apply for this help.
Since 28 September, anyone testing positive for coronavirus or identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact has been legally obliged to self-isolate. People not self-isolating when they should do, can now be fined between £1,000 and £10,000.
Cllr Mike Davey, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic many people have experienced financial difficulties, especially those on low incomes or whose employment situation is precarious.
“It’s really important that people self-isolate when instructed, to help stop the spread of coronavirus and lessen the risk of another full lockdown. These one-off payments of £500 will help people on low incomes to self-isolate and give them some financial security while they do so.”