New payment for low earners who are self-isolating

30 September 2020

From Monday 28 September, people are required to self-isolate by law if they test positive for COVID-19 or are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. 

The government has introduced a support scheme for people in work on low incomes to help them to self-isolate, which will be available until 31 January 2021. 

Residents may be able to claim a £500 lump sum payment if they cannot work from home and are required to self-isolate. This payment aims to help make up for any lost income people may face due to having to stay at home. 

To be eligible for the support payment, all of the following must apply. The applicant must:
  • Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because of positive coronavirus test or recent close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • Be employed or self-employed
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;
  • Be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit
Councillor Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Legal and Finance, said: “Self-isolating, if you or a member of your household has tested positive or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive, is so important. It will help stop the virus from spreading to others and enable us to work together to combat this pandemic.

“However, we appreciate it is difficult for people to contemplate self-isolating if it means them being unable to earn money to support themselves or their families. This payment will help people on low incomes who meet the eligibility criteria be able to self-isolate without financial implications and play their part in fighting the virus. 

“If you have symptoms, get tested by calling 119 or visiting If you meet the criteria, contact us to make a claim.”
Residents will only be able to receive payment if their period of self-isolation begins on or after 28 September.

Residents can find out further information on the Cheshire West and Chester Council website, by emailing or calling 0300 1237730.

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