In addition to those already eligible, qualifying parents and guardians, who need to take time off work to care for a child who is self-isolating, will now be able to apply for a £500 support payment.
Since October last year, Swindon Borough Council has facilitated the national Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, which offers a one-off, lump sum payment of £500 for each period of self-isolation (subject to any income tax payable), to eligible residents on lower incomes, who cannot work from home and who will lose income as result.
The scheme has now been extended to allow one eligible parent or guardian of a child who has to self-isolate to apply to receive the support payment. Only one parent or guardian is able to apply per child and they must be employed or self-employed, but be unable to work from home and lose income as a result.
For parents or guardians to qualify to receive the payment, their child must:
- Be aged 15 or under, or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) and normally attend an education or childcare setting
- Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- Have started their period of isolation:
- on or after 8 March 2021
- no more than 42 days (six weeks) before making an application
Residents must also be receiving at least one of a number of specified benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- income-based Employment Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
For residents who are not currently in receipt of these benefits but who do meet the other specified criteria and will face financial hardship during self-isolation, the payment may be available, but will be reviewed on a discretionary basis.
In addition to the extension of the eligibility criteria, the scheme has also now been extended until 30 June 2021.
The Test and Trace Payment Support scheme is just one form of financial support available to residents whose income has been affected by coronavirus. Residents can find information on all the available support via the Council’s website.
More information on the scheme, including the eligibility criteria, as well as the application form to apply for the payment, can be found on the Council’s website here: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20013/benefits_and_swindon_money_matters/1148/covid-19_-_test_and_trace_support_payment_schemes/2