What Support is There for Covid Parents?

Lone parents of children who test positive for Covid can claim incapacity benefit for 14 days, but are not able to access the new Covid Iso Payment, the Treasury Minister has confirmed.

Treasury Minister David Ashford was asked by Douglas East MHK Joney Faragher what plans his dept has to support single parents who need to take time off work to look after their child.

Mr Ashford said that lone parents who are responsible for a child under the age of 12 ‘can currently claim income support solely on the basis that they are a lone parent whilst they are absent from work’.

He said: ‘Lone parents (as well as other parents) who take time off work to look after their child who has tested positive for Covid-19 can be treated as being incapacitated for work for up to 14 days. That being the case, they are eligible to claim incapacity benefit and income support on the basis that they are incapacitated for work. This is the case irrespective of the age(s) of their child(ren).’

Ms Faragher told Gef that she raised the matter after several questions on a Manx parenting forum. She said: ‘With some forms of support over the pandemic being crystal clear and highly accessible, such as MERA, I’d like to see efforts to reduce the burden of the application process, and increase accessibility and awareness for vulnerable groups.’

Mr Ashford added: ‘The new Manx Isolation Payment is available to qualifying persons who have tested positive for COVID19 themselves and whose period of isolation begins on or after January 10. This is not available to parents taking time off work to care for a child who has tested positive for COVID19.’

He added that some employers allow parents to take paid leave to care for their children.

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