Huntingdonshire District Council will launch the new national Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme on Monday 12 October. The scheme  enables residents to apply for a £500 support payment to help with financial pressures if they are required to be off work to isolate for 14 days.

The scheme is the local implementation of the government’s nationwide push to provide a support payment to those who are required to self-isolate in response to a positive COVID-19 test. To be considered for the £500 support payment, a resident must have been told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service on or after the 28 September (not before), either because they have tested positive or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

In addition, to be eligible, people must be:

  • employed or self-employed and

  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and

  • currently in receipt of one of the following and have recourse to public funds:

    • Universal Credit

    • Working Tax Credit

    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance

    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

    • Income Support

    • Housing Benefit and/or

    • Pension Credit.

Executive Councillor for Community Resilience and Wellbeing, Cllr Simon Bywater, said: "It is now a legal duty for those who are contacted, either due to testing positive or being in close contact with someone who has tested positive, to complete this period of self-isolation. This scheme is in place to support residents who have suffered or will suffer financially because of their isolation period and therefore, I encourage those who meet the criteria outlined seek the support payment as soon as they are required to self-isolate.

"It is vital that we continue to do all that we are asked to stop the spread of coronavirus, and completing any required self-isolation period is a must, however, residents shouldn’t be at a financial disadvantage by doing so."

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme has been devised by the government with a set amount of funding available for the council to allocate. Residents must meet all criteria to be eligible for the support payment and will need to make a claim with within 14 days of the last day of their self-isolation. Additionally, there is a discretionary element of the support payment scheme, with set government criteria, allowing applications from those who are awaiting decisions on their benefit applications.

To apply, residents should visit the Test and Trace Support Payments page, once the application form is live on Monday 12 October. Applications can be backdated to 28 September. Any applications require the unique identification number provided by NHS Test and Trace when asked to self-isolate.