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Maldon District Council make it easier to get financial support to self-isolate

Published on Thursday, 15th April 2021

Covid isolation grant

Maldon District Council has worked with councils across Essex to make it easier for people who have to self-isolate to get a £500 support payment if they need it.

People must, by law, self-isolate if they are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace or Essex and Southend contact tracing. If they are on a low income and can’t work from home, they may qualify for financial support from either a national or local, discretionary scheme.

This includes those who are told to self-isolate because they:

  • test positive for Covid-19
  • are a parent/guardian with a self-isolating child
  • live with someone else who tests positive
  • have contact with someone in their childcare or support bubble who tests positive.

But take-up of the local scheme was inconsistent. So, Maldon District Council has worked with Essex County Council and the other 11 local councils in Essex to agree common criteria and simplify the application process. The changes come into effect on Thursday 15 April.

Employed people who earn less than £500 per week (net), have household savings below £16,000, are not on benefits and meet other existing criteria are now eligible. This includes self-employed and zero-hours contract workers.

Employees in receipt of benefits may be eligible for the national scheme.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health for Essex said “Thanks to everything the people of Essex have done Covid-19 case rates have gone from among the highest in England to about a third of the national average. But we can’t let down our guard. I urge people to get tested regularly, whether they have symptoms or not, and to self-isolate if they or someone they’re in contact with tests positive.

“If you carry on going out to work because you’re worried about losing money, you could be spreading the virus. These changes to the discretionary test and trace support scheme will help more people to self-isolate.”

For more information about support while you are self-isolating see essex.gov.uk/support-if-you-are-self-isolating. To apply for payments see

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Maldon District Council received £130,789 of Government Covid-19 support funding to from Essex County Council in January 2021 to fund the discretionary Test and Trace support payments scheme.

2. Under the revised scheme, people may be eligible for a discretionary payment of £500 if they:

  • Live in the Maldon District Council area
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because
    • they've tested positive for coronavirus or
    • they’ve recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. This includes people in their support or childcare bubble
  • are on a low income, earning less than £500 per week net
  • have household savings of less than £16,000
  • are employed or self-employed, including those on zero hours contracts and self-employed who have been trading for less than a year
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and are able to demonstrate that they will lose income
  • are NOT 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.
  • Have an 8-digit reference number from NHS Test and Trace.