Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by the Revenues and Benefits Manager (circulated previously) regarding policies for the Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme and Discretionary Payments Scheme.
The Head of Resources highlighted the following:
· From 28th September 2020, Government had changed legislation so that certain people would have to self-isolate due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
· A package of legislative measure had been introduced both to ensure that those who are required to self-isolate do so and that those on a low income receive a payment to assist their finances to encourage compliance with the legislation.
· The Government had set down the requirements for two payment schemes to be set up by the Council: Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme (standard scheme) and Test and Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme (discretionary scheme).
· The eligibility criteria for the standard scheme was detailed in paragraph 4.1 of the report.
· Where individuals meet all of those requirements but were not in receipt of a qualifying benefits they could be considered for a payment from the discretionary scheme. The discretionary scheme had been approved by Devon Chief Executives and Leaders as detailed in paragraphs 4.5 and 4.6 of the report.
· The Council had received a fixed amount of funding from Government for the four months that the discretionary scheme was intended to last. Government had confirmed that no additional monies will be given to the Council.
· Arrangements were quickly put in place to administer these payments, including the design of an on-line claim, and this went live on 12 October 2020.
In response to questions, the Head of Resources advised the following:
· To date 15 payments of £500 had been made under the standard scheme.
· It was anticipated that the take up of the scheme would be low and was for individuals on low income and were required to self isolate.
· The funding received for the discretionary scheme (£24,000) would allow for approximately 50 payments to be made.
· It was anticipated that the funding received from Government should be sufficient, however if it was not then the Council would make representation to the Government for additional funding.
· The schemes would be administered in house and the online application form had been designed in house. Therefore if required some of the funding received from Government for administration costs could potentially be used.
RESOLVED that the adoption of the policies for the Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme and the Test and Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme with effect from 28 September 2020 as detailed in Appendices A and B be approved.
Publication date: 17/11/2020
Date of decision: 02/11/2020
Decided at meeting: 02/11/2020 - Strategy and Resources Committee