Bridgend county borough residents who are asked to self-isolate via the NHS Covid-19 app will now be eligible to apply for the £500 self-isolation support payment, Welsh Government has announced.
Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James has confirmed that from today, app users who have been notified as being exposed to the virus, are on a low income and at risk of financial hardship, are eligible to apply.
The payment is already available to residents who have been asked to self-isolate by Test, Trace, Protect or parents whose child has been asked to self-isolate by their education setting.
To be eligible, app users need to be employed or self-employed and unable to work from home, and will lose income as a result. They or their partner must also 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.
The scheme also includes a discretionary element to support people who are not on benefits but who meet the other criteria and are at risk of financial hardship.
Until the app is updated to verify individuals who have been asked to self-isolate, users will need to provide a screenshot showing the app has asked them to self-isolate in addition to evidence of reduced income when applying.
Bridgend County Borough Council will be able to accept and process applications for payments from Friday 5 February and applicants will be able to apply up to three weeks from their last date of isolation if their isolation period started on or after 1 February 2021.
The Minister, Julie James said: “The Welsh Government is committed to protecting people’s health and wellbeing and we will continue to support the people of Wales during this difficult time.
“Local authorities have once again risen to the challenge of ensuring all those who need financial support throughout this pandemic receive it whilst we finalise work to allow people to apply directly through the app. They have already been working tirelessly I once again thank them for their hard work and dedication.
“I will continue to keep the scheme under review to ensure that those most in need receive the support they need to self-isolate and reduce transmission.”
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “These support payments offer much-needed financial support to residents who are asked to self-isolate, helping to break the cycle of transmission and ensure no one has to choose between feeding their family or going to work and potentially spreading the virus.
“Coronavirus is still circulating in our communities so it is vital that you self-isolate if you are asked to do so. While the vaccination programme offers us hope, it will take some time for everyone to have their first dose and we must all continue to follow the rules.
“I would urge residents who are facing financial hardship due to being asked to self-isolate to apply for this payment.”
Residents who are eligible for a self-isolation support payment can apply through the council’s website.