More than 100 low-income workers in Harrogate get £500 self-isolation payments - but same amount rejected

Almost £60,000 has been paid out to low-income workers in Harrogate who have been told to quarantine by the NHS Test and Trace scheme.

Monday, 7th December 2020, 12:26 pm
Updated Monday, 7th December 2020, 12:29 pm

The £500 one-off payments are being made by the government to compensate for any loss of earnings low-income workers may suffer as a result of having to self-isolate.

There were warnings that thousands of people in some coronavirus hotspots in England were being excluded from the scheme as councils reported running out of cash and loopholes leaving families ineligible.

However, Harrogate Borough Council - which is distributing the money on behalf of the government - said this has not been an issue in the district.

Almost £60,000 has been paid out to low-income workers in Harrogate who have been told to quarantine by the NHS Test and Trace scheme.

It has handed out £58,000 to 116 applicants, although 101 were rejected because they did not have a valid Test and Trace reference number or were not on one of the required benefits.

The scheme launched on September 1 but only those on Universal Credit or working tax credits were initially eligible for payments.

It was then extended to include people who claim income related employment and support allowance (ESA), jobseekers allowance (JSA), income support, savings pension credit or housing benefit.

Harrogate Borough Council has set up a dedicated claims page on its website with information on eligibility and how to apply.

It said applicants will have to provide evidence of the notification from NHS test and trace, such as a text message, when making an application, as well as a bank statement to show your income has fallen.

Employed people will be asked to show proof of employment, for example your contract or payslip.

Self-employed people will need to show evidence of their trading income and that their business cannot be carried out without social contact.

You will also need to wait until your period of self-isolation is over before making a claim.

Applications will need to be made within two weeks of your quarantine period ending.

Workers who have to self-isolate after travelling abroad and those who can work from home while they isolate won't be able to claim.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter