15 October 2020

a man and a woman looking through paperwork with worried expressions.

If you are required by law to self-isolate because you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID- 19, and you are on a low income, you may be supported through a payment of £500, which would be administered by your local Council.

For people who are facing hardship because they have been contacted by NHS Track and Trace and are required to self-isolate for 14 days, the Government has launched a grant to support scheme.

If you are working, and on a low income, and are unable to work from home, you may be eligible to claim the grant worth £500.

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council's Executive Member for health and wellbeing added: "It is looking like there is a challenge ahead of us all, we must help to control the COVID virus and stop it spreading.  This payment will enable those people who would otherwise not be able to afford to self-isolate, protect others and play their part."

Cllr Tony Leech, West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for health and wellbeing said: "These grants will help support people most at risk of financial hardship and provide a degree of security for those needing to self-isolate. There are a range of other measures that the Council may be able to offer households who are finding things difficult, so if you are experiencing difficulties, please make contact with us.  

You can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are over 16 and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020.
  • You are employed or self-employed.
  • You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result.
  • You are currently receiving at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit,
    • Working Tax Credit,
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance,
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance,
    • Income Support,
    • Housing Benefit and/or
    • Pension Credit.

If you fail to comply with the Test and Trace isolation rules - not self-isolating 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 - you could face a fine. 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 of up to £10,000.

If you are facing financial hardship, please get in touch with your local council who may be able to help or signpost you in the direction of an organisation who can support you. You can find your local Councillor through the Council's website:

https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/761/Your-Councillors

You can find out more information on the Council's webpages:

https://www.southhams.gov.uk/test-and-trace-payments