More than 2,000 people in the East Riding claim Test and Trace support payments

Thousands of people in the East Riding of Yorkshire received financial support to self-isolate while coronavirus rules were in place, figures show.

By Andrew Dowdeswell (Data Reporter)
Monday, 7th March 2022, 11:45 am
In the East Riding of Yorkshire, there were 2,210 successful claims for Test and Trace support payments up to February 16, figures from the UK Health Security Agency show. Photo: PA Images

From October 2020, people on low incomes could apply for a one-off £500 grant if they were required to self-isolate and could not work from home.

However, the Test and Trace support payment initiative ended on Thursday, February 24, when the legal requirement for people who test positive for Covid to self-isolate was also scrapped.

The Trades Union Congress branded the scheme “hopeless” as it claimed few were aware of its benefits, and added the decision to close it will force workers to take responsibility without adequate sick pay.

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In the East Riding, there were 2,210 successful claims for Test and Trace support payments up to February 16, figures from the UK Health Security Agency show.

Of these, 1,332 were handed out through the main government scheme, aimed at those who will lose income as a result of working from home and who are in receipt of certain benefits, including Universal Credit and housing benefit.

A further 878 were discretionary payments by the council, given to those on low incomes who did not meet the criteria for the main scheme.

It meant there were roughly 79 successful applications per 10,000 adults in the East Riding – below the national average of 116, when using the latest population estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

A total of £1.1 million was paid to support people self-isolating in East Yorkshire over a 17-month period.

A person could claim the payment more than once if they had to isolate on multiple occasions.

Across England, there were more than 500,000 successful claims – 292,000 through the main scheme, with a further 223,000 discretionary payments.

A Government spokesperson said temporary changes to statutory sick pay, and the Test and Trace support scheme, were to “to help people experiencing financial hardship if they were self-isolating”.

“We have worked closely with all 309 local authorities in England to ensure residents have been made aware of the support available to them,” they added.