Support for residents

Updated: 20.01.21 @ 15:25

Blackburn with Darwen is in National Lockdown: Stay at Home. More information.

Financial support for those self-isolating

Test and Trace support payment

If you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500. The cut-off date for applications is 28 days after the first day of an individual’s period of self-isolation. Applications received outside of this time limit cannot be considered. Starts dates will be verified via Test and Trace.

The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer but it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

Due to the high volume of applications, the funding provided by the Government for the Discretionary scheme has now been spent in full. As a consequence, the council has no other option but to withdraw the Discretionary scheme from Friday the 18th of December. However payments will continue to be made to eligible claimants under the Government’s standard scheme as outlined below.

Test and Trace Support Payment

To be eligible you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace;
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • 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.

If you meet all the above criteria please apply.

Please read our Test and Trace support payment further information before you apply.

To apply you will need to have a personal Blackburn with Darwen account already or register for one.

Apply for Test and Trace support payment

At the start of the scheme, the government provided all councils with funding to establish a discretionary scheme for those who would not be entitled under the main criteria. Due to the high number of applicants over the previous months the funding allocation has been spent in full, and, as a consequence, no further discretionary payments will now be made.

Shielding (protecting people more at risk from Covid-19)

The government are advising those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home. If you cannot work from home you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit. Please speak to your employer.

The Government advise this group to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments. You may wish to meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble, for example, to exercise in an outdoor public place. You should always try to do so as safely as possible by maintaining social distancing. Please follow the guidance set out in the shielding section of the CEV guidance.

Mental wellbeing

Supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing is a key priority for the council. It is important than ever that you get help when you need it most.

Please read our Shuttle article for the latest mental health resources.

Council Tax

Please see the Covid-19 Council Tax advice information for help with paying your Council Tax.

Housing Advice

If you need advice because you have nowhere to live or are at risk of becoming homeless, please complete the online enquiry form using a computer or smartphone. You can find further information about our homelessness advice and support.

If you need support to find rented accommodation, landlord advice and other support please check our website.

Shelter can also offer financial, welfare and housing advice.

Help Hub

Partners in the BwD Help Hub are working together to support local residents to move forward with their lives during the coronavirus crises. Please see the Help Hub pages for more information.

Other financial support

Please see the Council website for further information on council benefit claims.

Please see the Government website for further income support.

Find out more information on our debt and welfare advice page.

Protecting yourself against fraud and scams

Unfortunately, criminals are using COVID-19 to target people online and in person with different types of fraud and scams. Lancashire Police are reminding people to be vigilant and suspicious of cold callers (in person and on the telephone) as the scams can appear realistic.

Please use the advice below to protect yourself and your family:

Stop

  • Take a moment to stop and think before handing over money or sharing personal information online.

Challenge

  • It is okay to say no. Only criminals and fraudsters will rush you to make a decision. If in doubt, call the company to confirm that the visit is official.
  • Official organisations will never ask you for online money transfers, cash or passwords.

Protect

If you suspect covid related fraudulent activity please contact the COVID fraud hotline on 0800 587 5030.

If you think you have been a victim of a financial scam please contact your bank immediately.

If you suspect other fraud cases please call Action Fraud on 0300123 2040 or the Police on 101.