OVER £ 255,000 PAID TO ISLANDS FORCED TO SELF-ISOLATE – BUT £ 5,000 SHOULD BE REFUNDED – Island Echo

More than £ 255,000 has been made in test and tracing payments on the Isle of Wight – though some people are being asked to return the money.

As of the end of September, payments of £ 500 have been available for those who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

The program is still ongoing and is aimed at low-income people who cannot work from home if they have to self-isolate and will lose income as a result.

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The Isle of Wight Council has administered the alimony payments and has so far made 511 payments for a total of £ 255,500.

When an applicant applies for the program, the board undertakes checks, such as confirming the applicant’s NHS account ID, loss of income and their entitlement to an eligible benefit.

A council spokesperson said all cases went through the same process to confirm eligibility and all checks were done before payments were released. However, speaking at an audit committee meeting, the board’s chief internal auditor, Elizabeth Goodwin, said there were instances where money had been requested.

After checking more than 30 applications, it was found that 10 did not meet the eligibility criteria. These 10 payments could mean that a potential amount of £ 5,000 has to be repaid.

Ms Goodwin said the grants were implemented quickly and at the time very little evidence needed to be submitted.

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The tests carried out, Ms Goodwin said, were to verify that an actual drop in pay had occurred after the payment. Some employers have forced workers to take time off instead or granted sick pay to employees. Some people thought their pay was going to go down, but maybe it wasn’t.


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