£500 Test and Trace Support Payment available to those self-isolating due to Covid who may lose money
Parents having to look after a child with Covid and who are unable to do their job from home, and workers self-isolating who won't get paid, are among those who could be entitled to a one-off £500 payment from the government.
With the Omicron variant continuing to spread rapidly, record numbers of employees are now said to be self-isolating with Covid-19, while thousands of parents are also being forced to remain indoors and off work to look after youngsters who have contracted the virus.
But for those forced into taking unpaid leave to remain indoors or households who experience a drop in their income because they won't earn when self-isolating – there could be vital support available from the government's Test and Trace Support Payments scheme.
It is designed to help people financially when they are required to isolate.
A payout could be available if you’re employed or self-employed, you, or a child you’re the parent or guardian of, has tested positive for coronavirus, you cannot work from home and will lose income by self-isolating or by staying at home to care for a child who is unwell with the virus.
People who were also told to self-isolate between November 30 and December 13 because they had been identified as being in contact with someone who had the Omicron variant during its early stages, when all close contacts were required to complete 10 days of isolation regardless of a negative test, may also be eligible to apply for the same financial support.
Help is also available to close contacts of people with Covid-19 who are not exempt from self-isolation – such as those yet to be fully vaccinated.
The one-off £500 payment, which is paid directly into a recipient's bank account, must be applied for within 42 days of isolation starting.
The Test and Trace Support Payments scheme, available only in England, is run on behalf of the government by local councils.
It means anyone who wishes to submit an application for financial help must do so via their local authority.
Councils might ask to see payslips, bank statements or self assessment tax returns alongside evidence from NHS Test and Trace that self-isolation is required, in order to verify a claim.
To learn more about the scheme, or to find the nearest local authority which could help with your claim, click here.