Writing to the Secretary of State for Health, Imran Hussain MP has urged the Government to address failings in the privatised Testing Service that have left families in Bradford unable to receive financial support for self-isolation.
The £500 self-isolation payment was announced by the Government in September and is paid to those who test positive for Coronavirus or who are asked to self-isolate by the Testing Service, and are unable to work because of their self-isolation, with a unique Account ID provided by the Testing Service that allows them to make an application for this support.
However, several cases have been brought to Imran’s attention where the Testing Service has failed to provide low-income families in Bradford with these Account IDs, preventing them from applying for the self-isolation payment and denying them the urgent financial support to which they are entitled to during their isolation period when they are unable to work.
In an urgent letter to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Imran has demanded that the Government acts to rectify this issue as soon as possible to ensure that all those required to self-isolate can do so, and to waive the 14-day time limit for applications in cases where the Testing Service failed to provide Account IDs.
Speaking on the failings by the Testing Service that has denied access to self-isolation payments, Imran said:
“With many families left unable to work because they need to isolate, these self-isolation payments, whilst still far too low, are a vital lifeline that protects their incomes over this period. Yet, the failings and inadequacies of a privatised Testing Service that is just not up to the task have denied them these payments and has left them struggling financially.
“The Health Secretary and the Government must urgently address this issue so that no more families are denied the support to which they are entitled, and they must act to ensure that those who have already been denied these payments get the support that they need to protect their incomes whilst self-isolating.
“Ministers also must address the pitiful rate and limited eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay that is amongst the lowest and most stringent in Europe, and which has made these self-isolation payments necessary in the first place. Without addressing these problems, they are putting far too many people in the difficult position of choosing between working to support their families and self-isolating without any income.”