Low-income workers who live in parts of England with a high rate of COVID-19 will be able to claim £130 if they have to self-isolate and cannot work remotely.
From 01/09/20, this scheme will start to trial in Blackburn, Pendle and Oldham. Those who are are employed or self-employed and are a recipient of Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit will receive £13 a day for the 10 days they spend in self-isolation, equivalent to £130.
However, if you live with someone who has tested positive with COVID-19, and you must self-isolate for 14 days you will be eligible for up to £182.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary said:
The British public have already sacrificed a great deal to help slow the spread of the virus. Self-isolating if you have tested positive for Covid-19, or have come into contact with someone who has, remains vital to keeping on top of local outbreaks.
This new payment scheme will help people on low incomes and who are unable to work from home to continue playing their part in the national fight against this virus.
If you are to make a claim you must prove you have COVID-19 with NHS test results and provide a bank statement. Self-employed individuals must also show evidence of their business income. Local authorities will be putting checks in place to stop fraud occurring.
Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor has already criticised the scheme and stated it does not go far enough in financially supporting those who self-isolate.
Mr Burnham said:
The health secretary has already said that he couldn’t live on statutory sick pay (SSP) at £95 a week. So how can an announcement like this work?
For many workers in Greater Manchester, this will not provide the support people need to cooperate with NHS Test and Trace. Having belatedly acknowledged that something needs to be done, government must now accept the calls of the ‘time out to help out’ campaign and support people across the country to self-isolate on full pay.