People who will suffer financial hardship when told to self-isolate should not delay in applying for support.
As at the beginning of January, Cherwell District Council had paid out £98,500 of £500 Test and Trace support payments and is processing more every day. The government payments are mainly for those on benefits, but a limited discretionary scheme is also running.
Councillor Tony Ilott, Lead Member for Financial Management and Governance, said: “We understand that self-isolation is difficult for people on modest incomes and those with families to support. But the dangers of COVID to lives and livelihoods in Cherwell are stark and real. It is a legal obligation to stay home when told to by NHS Test and Trace. These support payments are here to make following that direction a lot easier for people who cannot work from home. As cases rise in our area, applications are increasing all the time. People who supply all the necessary information to us will usually get their money within three working days.”
Key criteria for the main grant scheme include: complying with the NHS Test and Trace notification to self-isolate; being employed or self-employed; being unable to work from home and facing loss of income; and being in receipt of benefits.
The Test and Trace discretionary payments scheme is also open to people in similar circumstances but who are not in receipt of benefits. By the beginning of January, the council had made 197 payments; 138 under the main scheme and 59 under the discretionary scheme.
People who do not self-isolate when told to by NHS Test and Trace are committing an offence, which carries a fine of at least £1,000.
People can read more and find the complete eligibility criteria and application form at: www.cherwell.gov.uk/selfisolation