Coronavirus: £900,500 handed out to those forced to self-isolate across Greater Lincolnshire

Nearly 2,000 people have been given more than £900,500 in self isolation payments by councils across Greater Lincolnshire.

As part of the government’s response to the pandemic, residents who are told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and who are on low income or facing financial hardship because of it, can claim £500.

However, research by the Trades Union Congress has said the support has been patchy, with around 74% of applications nationally rejected.

The figures include both the main support scheme and a discretionary scheme for those who have an income of no more than £375 a week or £1612.52 a month before deductions.

The City of Lincoln Council has given the most help with 342 payments totalling £171,000. It is followed by South Kesteven District Council with 274 payments totalling £137,000 and East Lindsey with 216 payments totalling £108,000.

Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Councillor Owen Bierley said: “Self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools we have in controlling the spread of COVID-19.

“The Test and Trace Support payment is there to help any residents who need to self-isolate, but need financial support to get them through their period of isolation.

“I encourage anyone in the district to come forward if they need support whilst self-isolating.

“Our infection rates are dropping and are encouraging, and we must work together to keep them that way and lower them further.”

North East Lincolnshire Council has confirmed it has made 417 payments – a total of £208,500.

Councillor Stan Shreeve, deputy leader and portfolio holder for finance at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “It’s important that those residents being hit hardest by coronavirus get the support that they need.

“This payment is expected to help offset the income lost by those who find themselves having to self-isolate and stay off work for a period.

“I would urge people who feel unwell and start to show symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate, book a test, and stop the spread of the virus.”

This is the list in full from most payments:

• North East Lincolnshire – 417 payments – £208,500

• Lincoln – 342 payments – £171,000

• South Kesteven – 274 payments – £137,000

• East Lindsey – 216 payments – £108,000

• North Kesteven – 195 payments – £97,500

• Boston – 129 payments - £64,500

• South Holland – 122 paments - £61,000

• West Lindsey – 106 payments – £53,000

• North Lincolnshire – Not responded by the time of publication

The Trade Union Congress, however, has published figures up to January 6 saying that rejection levels are far too high and criteria too strict.

In Lincolnshire for instance West Lindsey District Council had an 80% rejection rate, while Lincoln had 72%, North Kesteven had 73% and Boston had 74%.

The TUC has called for statutory sick pay to be extended to “the equivalent of a real living wage”.

To be eligible for the main Test and Trace Support Payment, you must:

• Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 App

• Have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace in which you have provided your contact details and where you have tested positive, the details of your contacts

• Be employed or self-employed

• Not have been on furlough in the week before you were asked to self-isolate

• Be unable to work from home

• Be on a low income and facing financial hardship

• And currently receiving, or are the partner of someone in the same household who is receiving: Universal Credit; Working Tax Credit; Income-based Employment and Support Allowance; Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income Support; Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.