Ipswich Borough Council has paid out more than £150,000 in Test and Trace Support Payments to Ipswich residents asked to self-isolate since September last year.
The government-funded scheme, which closes on 30 September 2021, enables residents who are unable to work as a result of self-isolating to claim a £500 lump sum payment from the Council to compensate for loss of earnings. Money is paid into their accounts within days of applications being verified, to relieve immediate financial hardship.
As of Monday 16 August, people who are double jabbed or aged under 18 will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that the criteria for the support payments has changed.
Residents will now be entitled to a £500 support payment if they meet all of the following requirements:
Parents and guardians of young people who meet the main qualifying criteria above and the following requirements will still be eligible regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not if they have to stay at home and look after their child and are unable to work from home. To be eligible their child must be:
Discretionary payments may also be available in exceptional circumstances to individuals who meet the main qualifying criteria but are not in receipt of qualifying benefits and are facing severe financial hardship.
The scheme is being administered by the Shared Revenue Partnership – a fast and simple application form is available on the council's website, together with information about how to easily provide the evidence required and a set of frequently asked questions.
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for communities said: “These are challenging times and we are pleased that we have been able to support those who have, and continue to, face financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Despite falling cases, the need to self-isolate when notified is still vital in protecting the most vulnerable people in our community and we hope that this scheme reassures residents in need that they will be supported while they do their bit.”