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Council launches Test and Trace support payment scheme

Fenland residents who face financial hardship while self-isolating due to coronavirus can now apply to Fenland District Council for a £500 support payment.

Money

People who test positive for COVID-19, or those identified by NHS Test and Trace as a contact of someone with the virus, are now required by law to self-isolate.

To help support and enforce the legislation, the Government announced a new Test and Trace Support Payment for people on lower incomes who cannot work from home while self-isolating and have lost income as a result.

Fenland District Council is administering the £500 lump sum payments locally and has now launched an online application form. Residents can check if they are eligible and apply online via our Test and Trace Support Payment page.

Cllr Chris Boden, Fenland District Council Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: "While our area has a low number of cases compared to other parts of the UK, coronavirus is still a threat, particularly to vulnerable people, so it's vital we all continue to do our bit to reduce the spread and to protect our vulnerable friends, families and communities.

"Self-isolating when required to do as per Government guidance is a pivotal part of controlling the spread of the virus but we know this can cause difficulties for those who face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.

"These support payments will help ensure that no-one is unfairly disadvantaged as a result of staying at home and doing the right thing."

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, residents 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 will lose income as a result
  • Be currently receiving one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

An NHS Test and Trace ID number, bank statement, proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits and proof of employment or self-assessment returns will need to be provided when applying. Payments will be made within three working days and can be backdated to September 28.

The Council has also launched a discretionary scheme for residents required to self-isolate but who do not fulfil all the requirements of the Test and Trace Payment Scheme.

Discretionary lump sum payments of £500 can be made to individuals who:

  • 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
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Are 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
  • Are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating

The Test and Trace Support Payments and discretionary payments are available until January 31, 2021.

For more information visit the Test and Trace Support Payment page or call the Council's Customer Contact Centre on 01354 654321.

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