Some residents of Cornwall that are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace can now apply for a £500 government support payment.

The Test and Trace Support Payment is available to those who are receiving certain benefits and are unable to work from home.

The scheme will help ensure people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus.

Cornwall Council deputy leader Adam Paynter said: “It is very important that anyone who is told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate realises that they are legally obliged to do so.

“This new government Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is designed to financially support people on low incomes. We’ll be processing applications as quickly as we can so that this vital support for those who will lose income as a result of self-isolating is given to those who meet the government eligibility criteria.

“If you don’t meet that criteria, you may still be able to claim support through the Council’s discretionary scheme.”

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To be entitled to the payment you must have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

You must be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home and able to confirm that you will lose income as a result of having to self-isolate.

 You must also be currently receiving one of following benefits: Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance (income-based), Working Tax Credit, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

Residents of Cornwall who are on a low income but not yet receiving one of these benefits may be eligible for a payment through Cornwall Council’s discretionary support scheme. Full details of the eligibility criteria for the discretionary scheme are available at

The government has said that the scheme will last until 31 January 2021.

The application form is now live on the Cornwall Council website and applications can be backdated to September 28. Anyone who can’t apply online should call us on 0300 1234 121 (option 5).