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Government grants to help support low income workers who need to self-isolate will soon be paid out to eligible people in North Devon.

The grants, worth £500 have been made available by central government through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

If you are required by law to self-isolate from Monday 28 September, you may be supported by a payment of £500, which would be administered by North Devon Council.

You can apply for a self-isolation payment if you are aged 16 or over and you:

• live in North Devon district
• have tested positive for COVID-19
• have a job or are self-employed
• are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
• you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace – either because you have tested positive or you have been in close contact with someone who has

You also need to be currently receiving one of the following benefits

• Universal Credit
• Working Tax Credit
• income-based Employment and Support Allowance
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• income support
• housing benefit
• pension credit

You must agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and self-isolate.

Leader of North Devon Council, David Worden says: "We would like to reassure our residents to that we are working really hard to get government grants to them as quickly as possible. We are waiting on detailed guidance from government and until this is received the council is not in a position to accept applications or make payments. In order to enable these payments we will have to buy in new software, which has to be implemented and tested before we can use it. It is hoped that the scheme will be up and running by the 12 October in line with the Government's request.

Individuals who are eligible for the payment between 28 September and 12 October will be able to make a backdated claim.

As well as new support measures, from Monday 28 September, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.

From the same date, if you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.

The council says it will be advising all residents via its website and social media pages on how to provide their eligibility and bank details when the application form is live. Full UK Government guidance is available on its support pages.