A new payment scheme has been set up to support Manchester residents whose income has been affected because they have been asked to self-isolate at home to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Residents who are eligible for the scheme can apply for a one-off support payment of £500 to cover living costs while unable to work.
Since 28th September, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or are identified as someone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive by the NHS Test and Trace, must self-isolate.
“Self-isolation is a key element of the prevention tactics to limit the spread of the virus – and Test and Trace can only be effective if people act on the advice to stay home if necessary,” said Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council.
“But we then need to help people avoid financial hardship if they are unable to work because they have been asked to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace system. We run the risk of people feeling they have no other choice but to return to work, risking spreading the virus further.
“COVID numbers remain at a precarious level and it’s up to all of us to follow the guidance there to keep us safe – but know that support is available if people are facing hardship to self-isolate properly without worrying about finances if they are unable to work.”
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the Manchester scheme, applicants must be a resident in the city and must meet all the following criteria:
- Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for COVID-19, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28th September 2020.
- Be employed or self-employed.
- Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of having to stay at home and self-isolate.
- Be 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.
A discretionary scheme will also be available to some people who do not receive the above benefits if they are on a low income and self-isolation would cause exceptional financial hardship.
Who is NOT eligible?
People will not be eligible if they:
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
- Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
- Have been asked to self-isolate before 28th September 2020.
- Have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS COVID 19 smartphone app.
- Are self isolating because you, or another member of your household, has symptoms of COVID-19, but have not been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
- Are unable to work because a child under your care cannot attend school due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
- Continue to receive full wages during your period of self-isolation.
- Can work from home during the period of your self-isolation.
How to apply
Applicants will need the following information to apply:
- National Insurance number.
- A copy of a recent bank statement that clearly shows your full name and bank details (the statement must have been Issued within the last two months).
- Proof of employment (eg. a payslip, letter from your employer, etc.).
- The name and address of your employer.
- If you are self-employed, proof of your self-employment, eg. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment tax returns.
- Your NHS Test & Trace Account ID reference (8 digit identifier e.g. 4a2c204a). This can be found on your ‘contact journey invitation’ message (sent by text message or email) or on the confirmation message you were sent when you completed the NHS Test and Trace questionnaire. You will not be able to submit an application without this.
If you are eligible, you can apply online here.