Hundreds of people receive financial help to self-isolate, with more help now available

Almost 800 people have received financial support to self-isolate totalling £395,500 from councils across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Money

In addition, hundreds more who were not eligible for funding have received help in other ways via the network of support hubs run by the district and city councils. In this way, the councils are going further than the support provided nationally, which was highlighted by LGA Resources Board Chair Cllr Richard Watts on BBC Newsnight yesterday, available to view on BBC iPlayer until 12 February 2021.

In further good news, the government has announced an extension to the scheme with local authorities due to learn shortly how much extra they will receive to support residents to self-isolate.

People who need to self-isolate are able to make a bid for funding from the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme which is run by Peterborough City Council and each of the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire. Those who don't meet the criteria are also able to apply for a discretionary payment of £500.

Since the financial support schemes were launched in October, 793 requests for support have been approved across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, with many other people being offered help in other ways, for example by the network of support hubs.

In the first round, Cambridgeshire councils received £229,500 and Peterborough City Council received £105,000 as part of the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. They were also allocated £138,736 (Cambs) and £63,018 (Peterborough) to award in discretionary payments and Peterborough council set aside additional funds on top of that to help people self-isolate.

So far £228,500 has been paid out by Peterborough City Council and £126,500 by councils across Cambridgeshire.

Councillor Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We know that self-isolating may be a daunting prospect and that some people will feel they can't self-isolate for financial reasons and that is why councils across Cambridgeshire continue to pull out all the stops to ensure that everyone who needs support to self-isolate receives it.

"Across Cambridgeshire 2,041 people have asked us for help to self-isolate, and we have been able to help them in many ways, either financially or through the network of support hubs. With the extension of the scheme we can now help many more people, even those who may need to isolate more than once.

"If there are barriers preventing you from self-isolating please come and talk to us, as we can help you to remove those barriers. We need to help you make sure that there is no reason not to."

Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire have a range of support available to help anyone to self-isolate.

This support includes:

  • The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme which is run by Peterborough City Council and each of the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire, which entitles people who meet certain criteria to a one-off payment of £500 if they lose income as a result of not being able to work. This payment can be made available on multiple occasions if a person comes into contact with people who test positive a second or even third time.
  • For anyone not eligible for the government support - a local discretionary fund which offers financial support to make sure people don't suffer financially.
  • The network of support hubs run by the district and city councils which can support people with grocery shopping, medicine collection, befriending services and in many other ways.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme people must meet all the following criteria:

  • You have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • You are employed or self-employed.
  • You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result.
  • You are claiming at least one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit
  • If you do not receive one of the above benefits you may still be eligible for a discretionary payment if you are going to suffer financial hardship by isolating.

NHS Test and Trace ID number, bank statement, and proof of employment or self-assessment returns will need to be provided.

People can also contact their local support hub. Contact the Fenland District Council hub on 01354 654321 or email: covid19@fenland.gov.uk

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