Following concerns over the number of people that have been excluded from financial support when self-isolating, Imran Hussain MP is calling on the Government to extend the coverage of the self-isolation payment scheme to all those unable to work from home when asked to self-isolate.
Under the current eligibility criteria, only those who are have been asked to self-isolate by the testing service and who receive welfare support are guaranteed the £500 self-isolation payments, leaving those asked to self-isolate by the NHS App or by their employer, or those who need to stay home to care for children required to self-isolate, without any support over the 10 to 14 day isolation period.
Imran is therefore calling on the Government to extend the eligibility criteria for the self-isolation payment scheme in order to cover all those who are required to self-isolate under the Government’s own guidance on when to self-isolate, but who face serious financial difficulties in doing so to ensure that no one is excluded from support when they need it the most.
This call also follows previous concerns raised by Imran around the failure of the testing service to provide people with the Account IDs required to make an application for the self-isolation payments. This failure has led to many people missing the deadline to apply whilst they attempted to correct the testing service’s mistake, and Mr Hussain has called on the Health Secretary to extend the application window for those who have been denied support through no fault of their own.
Speaking on his call to extend the eligibility criteria for the self-isolation support scheme, Imran said:
“Ensuring that people can survive financially when they need to self-isolate is key to helping those who need to do so and to stopping the spread of Coronavirus across Bradford. However, the eligibility criteria for the self-isolation payments have been drawn far too narrow by the Government.
“As a result of these narrow criteria, the Government have excluded many people who have been asked to self-isolate from the support that they need, forcing many of the lowest-paid to choose between working and putting food on the table, or isolating and going unpaid for up to two weeks.
“If the Government wants to help encourage people to do the right thing by self-isolating when they have symptoms or after they have been in contact with others who have tested positive, they must work with local authorities to extend the coverage of this scheme so that it supports all those on who are on low incomes and who cannot work from home over this period.”