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MP demands Government fix track and trace loophole which is leading to people self-isolating missing out on support payments

November 17, 2020 12:35 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has written to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock urging him to fix a loophole which is leading to many people self-isolating not able to access support payments.

Currently, local track and trace teams are unable to give people they contact an NHS track and trace ID - and they can't be fed back into the national system to obtain an ID.

Therefore, people being asked by local track and trace teams to isolate are unable to access support payments.

People who are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and are on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, may be entitled to a support payment of £500.

Cumbria's local public health team have been flagging this up to the Department for Health on a weekly basis since the end of August but say they are still awaiting a response to their concerns.

This morning, Tim raised this issue in Parliament during a Westminster Hall debate.

Tim said: "The support payments are a small lifeline to those on very low incomes who may struggle to afford to put food on the table if they are told to stop working and self-isolate for two weeks.

"So, the fact that many of these people could be missing out on this payment because of this loophole is frankly a disgrace.

"With local track and trace teams, especially ours in Cumbria, doing a much better job at contacting people than the national service, it's even more crucial that this gets fixed so we can protect lives and livelihoods."