The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced a new payment scheme for people on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home in areas with high incidence of COVID-19.
A spokesman for DHSC said the scheme, which is limited to those who currently receive Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, will launch on September 1 and will be trialled in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham.
Eligible individuals who test positive with the virus will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation. Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.
Non-household contacts advised to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace will also be entitled to a payment of up to £182, tailored to the individual length of their isolation period.
A spokesman for DHSC said the scheme is designed to support people who are unable to work from home while self-isolating. Either after testing positive, or after being identified by NHS Test and Trace as living in the same household as, or coming into contact with, someone who has tested positive.
Payments will be provided within 48 hours of the eligible individual providing the necessary evidence. Individuals will be asked to provide a notification from NHS Test and Trace and a bank statement.
The DHSC spokesman said the local authority can also check the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm the individual has been asked to self-isolate, if the individual is unable to provide this information.
The local authority will put in place checks to prevent fraud and ensure compliance through welfare check-ins, phone calls and employment checks.
The DHSC said there will be a rapid review of the scheme in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham to assess the performance consider how effectively vulnerable people have been reached, and consider how far it has helped reduce transmission of the virus in these areas.
If the approach is successful, the scheme will be quickly applied in other areas of high COVID-19 incidence.
A spokesman for DHSC said the scheme will not reduce any other benefits that they receive, however, to be eligible for the funding, individuals must meet the following criteria:
Photo Credit – Pixabay