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New £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people claiming qualifying benefits who are required to self-isolate

21 September 2020

The government has announced a £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people in England claiming qualifying benefits or working tax credit who are required to self-isolate to avoid coronavirus transmission.

The new financial support comes as the government places a legal requirement on people to self-isolate when instructed to by NHS Test and Trace and the introduction of higher fines for breaking the rules:

“People will be required by law to self-isolate from 28 September, supported by payment of £500 for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.

New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 – bringing this in line with the penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel - but could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most egregious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.”

Local Authorities will set up these self-isolation support schemes, we expected to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their Local Authority.

The eligibility criteria for the £500 payment are contained in updated Pubic Health England guidance - Stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - that says:

“You will be eligible if you live in England and meet all the following criteria -

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • 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 credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income support, pension credit or housing benefit.'

For more information see New package to support and enforce self-isolation available from gov.uk

See also:

–  available from disabilityrightsuk.org.