People who are told to be isolated through the contact-tracing app are unable to claim financial aid, Sky News has learned, raising fears that low-wage workers will be forced to choose between health and disadvantage.
The leading poverty charity said the situation was “ridiculous” and accused the labor government of putting the family at risk of poverty.
In benefits, low-income workers are entitled to 500 500 if they cannot work from home in isolation.
A hidden error in the payment claim process means they can only claim support if a code is provided by a human contact follower.
For which the positive test Coronavirus And they get their results through the application can get the payment because NHS test and trace will be sent for manual communication through their telephone call.
However, people in England and Wales have been asked to stay away from the app because they have been in close contact with someone for a positive test. COVID-19 Payment cannot be claimed, even if they qualify for it, but the privacy-protection design of the application means their identity will remain confidential.
The news came despite the Health Secretary’s claim that “there is a button on the application” to demand payment from the public.
Sky News has confirmed that there is no such button, low-wage workers are at risk of disappearing with serious financial assistance.
Examination and trace sources say the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) developed a plan for such a system at least two weeks ago.
However, the feature that enabled users to drop the app quickly was not added despite the app earning users quickly. According to DHSC, it has now been downloaded more than 18 million times.
Asked why Mr Hancock claimed the button despite not having a button, a DHSC spokesman said he was referring to the search for manual communication.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Labor MP Rachel Maskel said the public health team in her York Central constituency was “overwhelmed” by the claims and the situation was “creating chaos” for the local council.
Jonathan Reynolds MP, shadow secretary for work and pensions, told Sky News: “People and their families should not be pushed into trouble if they follow the guidelines for self-separation.
“Everyone wants to do the right thing and should be able to self-destruct if needed through financial support where needed.”
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Anna Stevenson of the national poverty charity Turn 2U warned that low-income people would struggle to become self-sufficient without financial support.
“We all know that we need people to self-isolate and yet if they are asked to self-isolate via a phone line they are supported to do so and if they are told to self-isolate by an application they do not. , “He said. “It’s ridiculous.”
The বলা 500 demand for low-wage workers to take time off work was a central part of the government’s plan to encourage self-segregation, after research showed that less than 20% of people in the UK were asked to communicate, mainly because of financial reasons.
However, the communication tracing app was launched on September 26, two days before the new law on self-isolation came into force, but sources working on the app say the two systems were never connected.
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The app team took a solution and was approved by the NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England (PHE) at least two weeks ago, the source said, but the planning work was carried out because the Cabinet Office and Downing Street were concerned about the risk of fraud.
A spokesman for the Department of Health told Sky News: “The NHS Covid-19 app allows users to volunteer anonymously, which means that, at present, people are not eligible for assistance if the app suggests self-disconnection because they recommend F-disconnection. They had close contact with someone like that. “
The spokesperson added: “We are actively exploring ways to expand the payment scheme to include users in this group.”
Treasury Secretary-General Steve Berkeley told Sky News, “I was not aware of that particular issue,” but reiterated the support of those who called for self-separation.
He added that the app was “easy to use” and claimed “it has been very effective”.
After the change of law in England, it is now illegal to fail to do what anyone has told you to do by test and trace. This does not apply to the instructions received from the application, which is not legally applicable
In order to be eligible for self-employment, workers must be self-employed or self-employed, unable to work from home and forced to stop work to prove that they will lose income.
They also need to take advantage of multiple benefits, including universal credit and income-based jobseeker’s allowance.
According to official figures, only four million workers in England were eligible for this payment, although that number could rise further as more people struggle to find work.
Despite widespread government support, the number of people receiving universal credit has almost doubled since February, from 2.9 million to 5.7 million.
Test and trace figures released on Thursday show less than that show 60% of close contacts Reached among people tested positive for coronavirus in England – the lowest weekly percentage since the service was launched.
And in England only 15% of people who have tested on a private site get their results within 24 hours.
Boris Johnson admitted at a news conference on Downing Street “Frustration” with the system And recognized it needs to “improve”.