The government has announced the launch of a new trial scheme that will pay people on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home. The trial will start in Blackburn, Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham to ensure the process works. The trial scheme started on Tuesday, 1 September 2020. The scheme is then expected to be rolled out in other areas of England with high coronavirus infection rates.
The new scheme will only be made available to people currently receiving either Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit. The benefits payment will allow for payments of up to £182 to be made to people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts.
Individuals who test positive with the virus will receive £130 for their 10-day period of self-isolation. Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.
Non-household contacts advised to self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace will also be entitled to a payment of up to £182, tailored to the individual length of their isolation period. Any payments made under the scheme will not reduce any other benefits for the recipient.
The scheme will help support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home while self-isolating, either after testing positive, or after being identified by NHS Test and Trace as living in the same household as – or coming into contact with – someone who has tested positive.