£500 self-isolation payment and Covid welfare check rolled out by Dorset Council

If told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, residents in Swanage and across Dorset may be entitled to financial support and will be getting a call from Dorset Council to check on their welfare.

This new scheme from Monday 12th October 2020, comes as the government is expected to announce a new three tiered approach to coronavirus restrictions across England. Dorset, based on current statistics, is expected to be in the lowest tier with the fewest restrictions.


The Test and Trace Support Payments are being managed by Dorset Council on behalf of the government, and anyone who is on benefits and cannot work from home may be eligible for payments of £500 to fund them through their self-isolation period.

Even if they aren’t eligible for the payment, residents will get a call enquiring about their welfare from Dorset Council staff shortly after they’ve been told to self-isolate due to coronavirus.

Covid 19 test kit

“Break the chain of transmission”

Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for finance, commercial and capital strategy and Swanage ward representative, Councillor Gary Suttle said:

“We are very fortunate in Dorset that, while infection numbers have risen, they are still relatively low compared to lots of other places. It is critical that if any of us are told to self-isolate, we must do so to break the chain of transmission and protect our friends and family.

“We very much welcome this latest package of Government financial support for people who are being asked to self-isolate.”

Who is eligible for the support payment?

Anyone who is told they must self-isolate – either after a positive test or a Test and Trace message – may be eligible for the payment if they currently receive any of the following support:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

Self-isolation welfare check by Dorset Council

The aim of the welfare check by Dorset Council staff is to assess a resident’s individual needs and make sure they have support in place so they can self-isolate safely.

If a resident is vulnerable or doesn’t have friends, family or neighbours nearby who can help to access food and prescriptions, they can be assigned a volunteer to help them get the things they need. Referrals can also be made to access priority supermarket delivery slots.

COVID-19 home test kit

What are the self-isolation rules?

Anyone who either tests positive for COVID-19 or is contacted via NHS Test and Trace is required by law to self-isolate.

Penalties for breaching this rule include fines of between £1,000 and £10,000.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have COVID-19. It means:

  • Do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • Do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • Do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • Do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.

You’ll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • You’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • Someone you live with has symptoms or tests positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive

How to claim financial support

The system goes live on Monday 12th October 2020, and applicants must have their unique ID number from NHS Test and Trace, their employment details, a recent bank statement and their National Insurance number.

Find the form on the Dorset Council website

Anyone who needs help completing the form can call Dorset Council’s Customer Services team on 01305 221000

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