Test and trace payment scheme changed to financially support more residents to isolate

Barnsley Council's test and trace payment scheme and discretionary scheme have provided £604,500 in financial support to 1,209 people while they have been unable to work.

This is part of a broader commitment to support those who have had to isolate at home if they've been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App and told to self-isolate.

As part of the offer available, the council have provided a discretionary grant to support people who are not eligible for the main government scheme. From Monday 1 March, the discretionary grant eligibility criteria have been changed so that more people in Barnsley are now eligible for the one-off payment of £500 while they isolate.  

Under the new criteria, the limits for how much a person can earn as well as any savings they have has increased, and each claim will be made based on information for each individual and their circumstances rather than households. These changes mean that more people can successfully apply for the grant. 

From Monday 1 March, under the new eligibility criteria for the discretionary scheme, you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or NHS COVID-19 app;
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

You must also meet the following criteria:

  • your gross annual salary must not exceed £26,000;
  • you don't have savings of more than £5,000.

Claims for the main government test and trace scheme and the discretionary scheme can be made up to 28 days from the first day of isolation.

Councillor Alan Gardiner, Cabinet spokesperson for Core Services, said: "It is still important that we can do all that we can to support people whose income would be seriously affected by isolation. By offering this grant, we can provide peace of mind to these people while they do the right thing by protecting their communities. 

"Now that the eligibility has changed for the discretionary scheme, more people will be able to apply for the grant and receive financial support successfully. 

"We also have a range of additional support available for our residents who have been financially impacted by the pandemic. For more information about this, please visit barnsley.gov.uk/money-advice-and-support."

Residents eligible for the scheme can apply on the council website or by calling (01226) 787787 and pressing option 3. Lines are open between 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. 

If a resident has been told to isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, additional steps will need to be taken. Further details on how to apply and eligibility for both schemes can be found on the council website.  

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