A new payment scheme being trialled in Oldham allows low-income workers in high-risk areas to claim up to £182 if they are forced to self-isolate.
Anyone who claims Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit and cannot work from home is eligible – and the funds will be accessible from 1 September.
The benefits scheme works out at £13 a day, and is being trialled in areas subject to tighter restrictions – including Oldham – before being rolled out across the country if it is deemed a success.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who has been campaigning for those in isolation to receive full pay, said the new benefits scheme “goes nowhere near far enough.”
“The Health Secretary has already said that he couldn’t live on Statutory Sick Pay at £95 a week,” said Burnham.
“So, how can an announcement like this work?”
The recommended isolation period following a positive test is 10 days, meaning anyone confirmed to have coronavirus can claim up to £130.
Anyone who has been urged to self-isolate by contact tracers, or has come into contact with friends/family members carrying the virus, will need to remain indoors for two weeks – entitling them up to £182.
To access the extra money, people will need to provide proof of a positive test, a message from track and trace, and/or a bank statement.
Money will be transferred within 48 hours.
“If the approach is successful, the scheme will be quickly applied in other areas of high Covid-19 incidence,” the Government confirmed.
Find out more on the UK Government website.