Almost £1 million spent helping Peterborough and Cambridgeshire residents self isolate to prevent spread of COVID

Almost £1 million has been awarded to residents across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to support them to self-isolate and reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 12:20 pm

Since the scheme launched last October, almost 2,000 claims from people requesting financial support to self-isolate have been approved totalling £996,500.

The scheme was due to expire at the end of February, but the Government has announced that it has been extended until the end of June to allow councils to continue supporting everyone who needs assistance to self-isolate. It has also been expanded to include parents who need to have time off work to look after a child who is self-isolating. Parents will be able to apply for this support soon and further details will be provided by councils in due course.

People who need to self-isolate are able to make a bid for funding from The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme which is run by Peterborough City Council and each of the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire Those who don’t meet the criteria are also able to apply for a discretionary payment of £500.

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In addition, hundreds more people who have not been eligible for funding have received help in other ways via the network of support hubs. These hubs are run by the district and city councils and supported by the Countywide Hub which is run by Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

Councillor John Holdich, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme is really good news as it will allow many more people to receive the support they need to do the right thing, which is staying at home and self-isolating when they are asked to by NHS Test and Trace. In Peterborough we have awarded payments totalling £563,500 which has no doubt helped to reduce the spread of the virus.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we can only reach that light if people continue to self-isolate when they are told to. If you need support, please get in touch, whether it’s financial assistance or something more practical you need help with, such as food or medicine collection or dog walking.”

Councillor Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Hundreds of families across Cambridgeshire have been supported to self-isolate since the financial scheme launched last October and it is great news that this support will continue. For some people, financial assistance is the only way they feel able to self-isolate when needed, which is why the scheme is so vital.

“Rates are reducing in most parts of Cambridgeshire, but to ensure that trend continues we have to make sure we all continue to self-isolate when asked to by NHS Test and Trace. There is no better way to break the chain of transmission.”

Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire have a range of support available to help anyone to self-isolate.

This support includes:

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme which is run by Peterborough City Council and each of the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire, which entitles people who meet certain criteria to a one-off payment of £500 if they lose income as a result of not being able to work. This payment can be made available on multiple occasions if a person comes into contact with people who test positive a second or even third time

For anyone not eligible for the government support – a local discretionary fund which offers financial support to make sure people don’t suffer financially.

The network of support hubs run by the district and city councils which can support people with grocery shopping, medicine collection, dog walking, befriending services and in many other ways.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme people must meet all the following criteria:

You have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

You are employed or self-employed

You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result

You are claiming at least one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

If you do not receive one of the above benefits you may still be eligible for a discretionary payment if you are going to suffer financial hardship by isolating.

NHS Test and Trace ID number, bank statement, and proof of employment or self-assessment returns will need to be provided.

Details of both schemes are available at www.peterborough.gov.uk and www.cambridgeshire.gov.ukPeople can also contact their local support hub via their local council or by calling 0345 045 5219.