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27 August, 2020 Open access

People with coronavirus and their contacts to be paid to self-isolate

Self-isolation payments to come into effect from 1 September 2020 for those in receipt of universal credit or working tax credit

People with coronavirus and their contacts are to be paid to self-isolate, the government has announced.

With the Royal Society having warned that the current rate of statutory sick pay creates a financial disincentive for workers to self-isolate, and the TUC having called for the government to do more to protect the incomes of workers who are subject to local coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns, the Department of Health has announced today that -

'People on low incomes who need to self-isolate and are unable to work from home in areas with high incidence of COVID-19 will benefit from a new payment scheme starting on Tuesday 1 September ...

Starting with a trial in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham to ensure the process works, eligible 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.'

To be eligible, individuals must -

The self-isolation payment will not reduce any other benefits that the person receives and will equate to -

The government adds that -

'Payments will be provided within 48 hours of the eligible individual providing the necessary evidence. Individuals will be asked to provide a notification from NHS Test and Trace and a bank statement.

The local authority can also check the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm the individual has been asked to self-isolate, if the individual is unable to provide this information. The local authority will put in place checks to prevent fraud and ensure compliance through welfare check-ins, phone calls and employment checks.

For more information, see New payment for people self-isolating in highest risk areas from