A package of financial support is being made available to those who need to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
A Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 is available to residents who are on low incomes, in receipt of certain benefits and are required to self-isolate because they have received a positive test result or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The scheme is designed to support people on low incomes if they will lose money because of self-isolating and is aimed at encouraging people to get tested.
To be eligible for a payment, residents must meet the following criteria, alongside being asked to self-isolate by Test and Trace:
• They are employed or self-employed but are unable to work from home and will lose income because of self-isolating
• They are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
Councillor Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation, said: "We are aware that some people are failing to get a test because they are worried about losing income if they test positive and have to then self-isolate for two weeks.
"However, the only way we can contain the spread of the virus is if people follow the rules and self-isolate when advised to do so. This payment will hopefully go some way towards helping those hardest hit financially as a result of self-isolation."
He added: "It is only right that people on low incomes who are trying to do the right thing by following the rules and protecting their community should not lose out financially."
People can apply for the payment if they were asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September. They can apply up to 14 days after the period of self-isolation has ended.
The payment is available until 31 January 2021 and is subject to income tax. For more information, or to complete the online form, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/testandtracesupport or call 0191 424 7444.