Posted: 14.04.21 at 20:18 by The Editor
A new scheme to make it easier for Essex residents to claim £500 to support them through self-isolation begins today (Thursday, 14 April).
Essex County Council (ECC) announced the new scheme yesterday afternoon.
A spokesperson for ECC said: "Essex County Council and the 12 borough, city and district councils in Essex have made it easier for people on low incomes to apply for a discretionary £500 payment if they’re unable to work from home while self-isolating."
This includes those who are told to self-isolate because they:
-test positive for Covid-19
-are a parent/guardian with a self-isolating child
-live with someone else who tests positive
-have contact with someone in their childcare or support bubble who tests positive.
Previously each local council set its own criteria and take-up was inconsistent. Now they have agreed common criteria and simplified the process.
Employed people who earn less than £500 per week (net), have household savings below £16,000, are not on benefits and meet other existing criteria are now eligible. This includes self-employed and zero-hours contract workers.
Employees who are in receipt of benefits may be eligible for the national scheme.
Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health for Essex, said: “Thanks to everything the people of Essex have done Covid-19 case rates have gone from among the highest in England to about a third of the national average. But we can’t let down our guard. I urge people to get tested regularly, whether they have symptoms or not, and to self-isolate if they or someone they’re in contact with tests positive.
“If you carry on going out to work because you’re worried about losing money, you could be spreading the virus. These changes to the discretionary test and trace support scheme will help more people to self-isolate.”
For more information about support while you are self-isolating and to apply for payments from your local council visit the ECC website using the link here.