More people are now eligible to apply for the £500 Self-Isolation Support Payment, Welsh Government has announced.
The scheme, which has been extended until June 2021, will now be open to applications from people with a personal income of less than £500 per week and those on Basic Statutory Sick Pay who have been asked to self-isolate by Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) service, the NHS Covid-19 App or by their child’s education setting.
These changes will make about 170,000 additional people across Wales eligible for a discretionary payment if they are asked to self-isolate and would lose income as a result.
Self-Isolation Support Payments are already available to residents who are employed or self-employed, have been told to self-isolate by the TTP service or NHS Covid-19 app and who are in receipt of Universal Credit or another specified benefit, unable to work from home, or are a parent or carer of a child asked to self-isolate due to an outbreak in an education setting.
The discretionary element supports people who are not on benefits but who meet the other criteria but are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.
Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James said: “Self-isolation is key if we are to stop the spread of coronavirus and with more community testing programmes planned in the coming months it is vital we enhance the scheme to help more people self-isolate and receive the financial support they need.
“I want to reiterate my thanks to local authorities in Wales for their continued support in delivering this scheme.
“Feedback is that the scheme is working well with nearly 8,500 payments made across the country. However we know that a lack of income is still being reported as a barrier for people self-isolating.
“The Welsh Government is committed to protecting people’s health and wellbeing and we will continue to help the people of Wales during this difficult time by ensuring those in most need support receive it.”
The Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “We welcome the extension of Self-Isolation Support Payment scheme, which will give financial assistance to residents who face a choice between staying at home and being unable to feed their family or going to work and potentially spreading coronavirus.
“No-one should have to make such a decision and extending this support will continue to help everyone to play their part in the fight against this pandemic.
“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 eligible residents who are facing financial hardship due to being asked to self-isolate to apply for this payment.”
Residents who are eligible can apply through the council’s self-isolation support payment webpage.