‘Huge increase’ in demand for self-isolation support grants

Bridgend County Borough Council is reminding anyone who wants to apply for a self-isolation support grant of the importance of providing all of the information required while not submitting multiple applications.

It follows a huge increase in applications from people who have been told to isolate by the NHS Wales Test, Trace and Protect team as council staff give up their weekends and leave days to deal with the unprecedented demand.

The increase in applications has coincided with a recent move into alert level zero and a rise in the number of people who are testing positive for coronavirus.

It also follows the Welsh Government’s announcement earlier this month that the support payments would increase from £500 to £750.

Designed to tackle financial barriers faced by people who are self-isolating after either testing positive, displaying symptoms of coronavirus or having been identified as close contacts who are not yet fully vaccinated, the grant scheme is set to be reviewed by ministers later in the year.

The Deputy Leader, Cllr Hywel Williams said: “We have seen a huge increase in claims following the easing of restrictions and a rise in the number of people who are testing positive for coronavirus.

“Staff are working flat-out to process this unprecedented demand for the payment, which supports those who cannot work from home as well as parents and carers with children who have to self-isolate, and more than £357,000 has been successfully allocated so far.

“This is by necessity a complicated process as staff need to ensure that people who require support can receive the help they deserve while at the same time preventing scammers from making fraudulent claims to take advantage of the pandemic.

“You can support staff in accommodating this demand and help minimise delays by not submitting multiple applications, and ensuring that you have provided all of the required information.

“I want to thank staff for their efforts and ongoing dedication towards supporting eligible people while also protecting taxpayers from being exploited.”

More information on eligibility and how to apply for the Self-Isolation Support Scheme can be found on the Bridgend County Borough Council website.

 

 

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