Bristol City Council has today opened applications for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, to help residents affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Payments of £500 will be given to eligible low income workers in the city who have been asked to self-isolate and are unable to work from home.
The scheme, which will run to 31 January 2021, follows new laws requiring all those who test positive for COVID-19, or those identified as ‘close contacts’, to self-isolate.
To be eligible for the scheme, applicants must be a resident in the city and must meet the following criteria:
- 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 low paid employed or self-employed.
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
- 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.
Discretionary payments may be available to those who do not receive one of the benefits but who are in low paid employment, meet the main qualifying criteria and could suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.
Applications will only be accepted from residents who were told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020, even if the period of self-isolation continued after 28 September. Claims can be made retrospectively for the period from 28 September to 12 October 2020. Eligible residents can only make a claim up to 14 days after their period of self-isolation ends.
Christina Gray, Bristol’s Director of Public Health, said: “Self-isolation is key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the city. However, we need to help our residents avoid financial hardship if they are unable to work because they have been asked to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace system.
“Ensuring that Bristol residents who need to self-isolate are able to do so is vital. This new scheme will help us to support those on low incomes, protect our most vulnerable and provide some reassurance for those who had concerns around self-isolating due to loss of income and not being able to work from home.”
In order for an application to be verified, residents will be required to provide evidence supporting their application. This includes proof of employment or self-employment, proof of loss of income, the self-isolation notification from NHS Test and Trace, and a bank statement for the account which the payment will be made to, which must be in the name of the applicant.
If more than one person is self-isolating in a household, individual applications to receive a payment can be made, as long as each person meets the eligibility criteria. Residents can also claim more than once, if requested to self-isolate multiple times, as long as the criteria is met for each individual claim and the periods of self-isolation do not overlap.
To find out if you’re eligible and to apply for the scheme please visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/testandtracepayment. If you are not eligible but would like to know about other support available, see our Get Help page or call We Are Bristol on 0800 694 0184, open 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.