A CONSTRUCTION worker who missed out on a Covid isolation grant because he was on annual leave when he caught the virus said he would struggle to make ends meet.
Karl Endicott (33), of Rockland Villas, Thrybergh, said he had been told by Rotherham Council that he was ineligible for the Track and Trace Support Payment under criteria set by the Government.
He said: “I couldn’t pick or choose when I got the virus.”
Karl was too unwell to return to work after his isolation period and had to go onto statutory sick pay — less than a quarter of his usual weekly wage — for two weeks.
But he was still not able to claim for the £500 grant, despite the huge drop in his pay as a result of Covid.
The council said Karl did not satisfy Government criteria to qualify for the payment.
Karl said he had been told to self-isolate on December 26 after testing positive for Covid-19.
He was already on annual leave at the time from his job as a construction worker for a firm in Chesterfield and was receiving full pay.
Karl’s isolation period ended on January 4, the same date he was due back at work after his annual leave but he had to go off sick because he was still recovering from Covid.
He applied to the council for a Track and Trace Support Payment but he was told that because he had been on annual leave, and therefore receiving full pay during his isolation period, he was ineligible.
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But Karl said that receiving £95 a week instead of his usual £440 would leave him with a huge shortfall.
“I couldn’t pick or choose when I got the virus,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it got me and it got me when I was on my Christmas leave.
“And it’s because of the virus that I had to go on sick leave after my leave.
“If I wasn’t on annual leave when I got the virus then the council would have given me the discretionary payment.
“I had no savings and I’m going to struggle to come back right from it now.”
Karl said he had to pay £500 in rent each month as well as council tax, TV licence, phone bills, utility bills and food bills.
He said the council had agreed to cover part of his council tax bill but he would have to wait until February 13 for the help.
Rotherham’s cabinet member for corporate services and ffinance, Cllr Saghir Alam, said: “The Test and Trace Support Payment is a Government scheme which the council administers locally.
“To qualify for payments, applicants must satisfy the criteria which is set by the Government, and in this case, the claimant did not qualify.”
The council launched a scheme on January 25 to support those required to self-isolate who did not meet the Government’s criteria but said payments would not be made retrospectively.
The Department for Health and Social Care did not respond to the Advertiser’s request for a comment.