Financial help for low-income people told to self-isolate

The Council is once again stepping in to help Plymouth residents who need financial support while self-isolating.

It is to extend its discretionary Test and Trace Support Scheme until the end of March and will run alongside the national scheme which is designed to support low income households who need to isolate.

Since the launch of both the main and the discretionary scheme a total of 554 households have received financial support while they self-isolate.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, said: “The infection rates are going down - which is great news - but we all know how quickly they can go back up and with more testing due to come, any one of us could be told to self-isolate. Nobody should be struggling to make ends meet because they are doing the right thing, which is why we are stepping in to bridge a gap left by the Government.”

The Council has so far received £120,500 for the discretionary scheme but that sum and more has already been spent supporting families. At the moment no further funding has come from Government.

Councillor Penberthy added: “Our overriding objective must be to protect our communities and look after the most vulnerable. If we had to end the scheme those who are financially vulnerable and unable to look after themselves, or their families may return to work putting others at risk of infection. We cannot allow that to happen.”

“We have written again to the Government asking them to review their funding. The allocation did not take account of the infection rate at the time, the city’s demographics and nature of employment, where many are in low paid jobs and cannot work from home.”

An emergency decision is being signed to allocate up to £17,000 to meet additional demand and to set a further £50,000 from the Test & Trace Support Grant should the forecasted demands increase

If you have been instructed to self-isolate, cannot work from home, lose pay as a result and will experience financial hardship, you might be eligible for help, more information on the scheme can be found here