Money Savings Expert founder Martin Lewis has said in a tweet that parents could be eligible for a £500 payment if their kids have to self-isolate and cannot attend school.
Low-income households could qualify for financial help if they receive certain benefits and have to take time away from work to care for a self-isolating child under 15 years old.
The one-off grant can be claimed if eligible families have youngsters sent home to self-isolate because another child in their class or bubble has tested positive for Covid. Many children are being sent home leaving working parents in a worrying situation, as they may not be eligible for sick pay themselves.
Martin Lewis’s tweet encouraged parents to raise awareness of the payment: “Spread word. Many children are being sent home by school due to someone in class or year group bubble testing positive for Covid. If so, and you then can’t work due to needing to be home with them, this (not just NHS test and trace) can trigger the £500 payment for those on low incomes.”
The grant is only available to those who can’t work from home and who will lose their income as a result of taking time off to care for self-isolating children – and the payment will not have to be repaid.
The payment is provided by local councils, and families who receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit will be eligible.
Low-income families who are not on these schemes may also qualify if the local council decides that the household is suffering financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.
When applying for the grant, parents will need to show the communication from their child’s school instructing the child to remain at home and self-isolate. Parents who decide to quarantine with their child without communication from the school of the NHS Test and Trace scheme will not qualify to receive the £500 payout.
Households who need to make a claim can visit the government’s council website checker to find out the contact details of their local council.