News release from 12/10/2020

Self-isolation support payment launches in Cambridgeshire

Residents can now apply for the new Test & Trace self-isolation support payment of £500 if they lose income as a result of not being able to work. 

The government recently announced the new payment aimed at helping make up for any lost income people face due to having to stay at home and self-isolate and tasked local authorities to have this in place by 12 October, with payments backdated to 28 September. 

You will be eligible for the self-isolation support payment if you meet all the following criteria: 

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test & 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. 

NHS Test & Trace ID number, bank statement, and proof of employment or self-assessment returns will need to be provided. Payment is sent within three working days.

South Cambridgeshire residents can now apply online.

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said: “We need to continue to do all we can to control the spread of the virus. Self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of Covid-19, and this new Test & Trace Support payment will ensure individuals on a low income will be able to claim a £500 lump sum payment if they cannot work from home and are required to self-isolate. 

“We know that some people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate or may not be eligible. Cambridgeshire local authorities can help with support as well as help with individual needs to self-isolate, so please do not struggle and telephone your local council whose numbers are on the webpages listed to seek support.” 

Councillor John Williams

Cllr John Williams, Lead Cabinet Member for Finance at South Cambridgeshire District Council (pictured above), said: “We know that for lots of people the idea of isolating for two weeks will present a number of challenges, not least if you will lose your income. We welcome this funding from government to help ease some of the financial pressures – please apply online as soon as you have been asked by NHS Test & Trace to isolate. If you are not eligible for this particular fund, please still check our website for other sources of financial and practical support for your isolation – including a Discretionary Scheme which similarly offers £500 for some people not eligible for the scheme already outlined. We want to help people to do the right thing, so please do get in touch if you need some support.”

You will not be eligible if you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate, continue to receive your full wages or are furloughed, can work from home during a period of self-isolation, your period of self-isolation started before the scheme launched on 28 September, or you are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive). 

This financial support comes as the government places a legal requirement on people to self-isolate when instructed to by NHS Test and Trace and introduces tougher fines for breaking the rules. You could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result. If you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine.