We are encouraging eligible residents to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment, before the program ends on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
The scheme, which was introduced in October 2020, offers financial support to residents who have been told to self-isolate, are on lower incomes and are unable to work from home.
Residents who were told to isolate after Monday, 28 September 2020, and meet the eligibility criteria, are encouraged to apply for the £500 payment online before the deadline. Claims can be made up to six weeks (42 days) after the first day of self-isolation. If successful, the payment will be made in lump-sum, however it will be subject to income tax.
If a resident is asked to self-isolate on, or before Wednesday 30 June 2021, they will have six weeks (42 days) to apply for the payment.
The application process can be completed online, whereby only one payment per isolation period can be made. For example, residents will need to make one application if they were asked to self-isolate for 10 days. If the individual was required to self-isolate again, they will need to make a separate application.
To be considered as eligible, residents must:
- live in Medway
- be employed or self-employed
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- be 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 or are on a low income*
- have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace Service
- have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020
- be a parent or guardian who is staying off work to look after a child who is self-isolating from Monday, 8 March 2021.
- have had their first day of self-isolation within the last six weeks (42 days)
Residents will not be considered as eligible if they:
- do not live in Medway
- are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the quarantine period)
- are furloughed or continue to get full wages while self-isolating
- can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- are no longer required to self-isolate, for example, your period of self-isolation ended before the payment scheme launched
- did not get a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
*There is a discretionary scheme for people who do not receive a qualifying benefit.
Great help to families and residents
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Self-isolating when asked by NHS Test and Trace is vital, and we are legally obliged to do so. The introduction of the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment in October has been, and continues to be, a great help to families and residents who are on lower incomes and may be faced with financial worry when told to self-isolate. It is extremely important that residents who are eligible for this support payment apply within six weeks (42 days) after their first day of self-isolation. We must all continue to follow the latest government advice to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community during these difficult times. I would advise all residents to find out whether they are eligible, and if so, to apply before the deadline.’’
Residents who do not have access to the internet can call 01634 306000 to speak to an officer who will help them with their application.