New test and trace support payment

The government has launched a new payment for those on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating.
Borough, district and city councils across Gloucestershire will be processing applications and making payments to those who: have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; are employed or self-employed; are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and are 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. Those who meet the criteria, and have been provided with an eight-character account reference from the NHS Test and Trace Service, will be eligible for a one-off payment of £500. Local borough, district and city councils will be inviting applications from Monday 12 October 2020. In an agreed statement, the Gloucestershire authorities’ chief finance officers said: “It’s so important that we all follow the guidance to reduce Covid-19 infection rates as much as possible across Gloucestershire. Self-isolation is a key part of that and it is now a legal requirement to do so if you test positive for the virus or have received a notification from the NHS Track and Trace app. Obviously, this can place low-income households under added financial pressure, but it is hoped this support payment will go a long way in supporting those struggling financially to self-isolate swiftly and keep the virus from spreading further.” For more information, and to apply for a support payment, visit https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/council-tax-and-benefits/coronavirus-council-tax-and-benefits/