Mother putting mask on child

Self-isolation support for parents and carers

Parents and carers of school children who are asked to self-isolate following contact with a positive case of Covid-19 can now access support if they are unable to work as a result and are on a low income.  
The Department for Health and Social Care issued new guidance in March which extends the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme to those parents and carers who cannot work because their child or children are required to self-isolate as a result of a close contact.  
The scheme provides a one-off £500 payment to those on low incomes or eligible benefits.  
Jan Willis, Executive Director of Finance at Northumberland County Council said: “This will be very welcome news for many parents and carers who are unable to attend work due to caring for a child who has been required to self-isolate.  
“We understand that not everyone can work from home or afford to take unpaid leave as a result, so this financial support can help those who need it most during this time.”
The payment is limited to one parent or carer per household, and parents and/or carers will need to meet all the relevant eligibility criteria.  
Anyone, whose child(ren) have had to self-isolate at any time since Monday, March 8 can now make a claim.  
Parents and carers will need to provide either a communication from their school or nursery informing them that their child needs to self-isolate or their child’s NHS Test and Trace Account ID if available.
Those making a claim must also meet the following criteria:
  • A parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and needs to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate (limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period);
  • Are employed or self-employed;
  • Cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result; and
  • Meet all other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.
The child or young person must:
  • Be aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
  • Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
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