People with a low income can now claim for a Test and Trace Support Payment if they have been told by the NHS to self-isolate due to Covid-19 and to do so would affect their income.
These payments are available to anyone fitting the criteria below that was asked to self-isolate by the NHS on or after the 28 September 2020.
The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
Who can claim
Individuals will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if they:
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- Are employed or self employed
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- Are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Who is not eligible
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
- Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
- Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
There is also a discretionary fund for individuals who meet the above criteria but are not receiving a qualifying benefit.
Applicants must also meet the following additional criteria in order to qualify for a payment from this scheme:
- Are suffering financial hardship as a result of having to self-isolate
- Have less than £3000 in capital or savings
- Normally earning more than £80 per week but less than £290 per week.
Make a claim
If you think you are eligible you can register online and submit any evidence for the Test and Trace Support payment electronically.
If you are unable to make an application electronically, please call the Council on 01424 787000
You will need the following information to complete this form:
- A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
- Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
- Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate;
- Your National Insurance Number
A video offering help in how to complete an application form can be found here.
Eligible individuals can make a claim up to 14 days after their period of self-isolation has ended. After this date any application will be refused. For example, a person who is instructed by NHS Test and Trace on 1 October to stay at home and self-isolate must have applied for the Test and Trace Support Payment by 15 October.
Someone can claim more than once (if they are told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and their periods of self-isolation do not overlap.
For example, if someone claims for a period of self-isolation lasting from 1 October to 14 October and then claims again for a second period of self-isolation beginning on 10 October, they would only be allowed to claim once, because the two periods overlap. However, they would be allowed to claim for a second period of self-isolation that began after the first period had ended on 14 October.
Applicants who are overdrawn
You can protect this payment from being used to repay an overdraft by writing to your bank and informing them that the payment is to support you whilst you have been instructed to self-isolate. This protection is called a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’.
What am I required to do?
If you receive a self-isolation payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.
Please visit the NHS website for more details on what to do if you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.
Evidence of failure to self-isolate
Where there is clear evidence either through post-payment verification checks or through other means, that someone has not self-isolated, the Council will refer the matter to the police. The police will then determine what follow-up action to take and, where necessary, issue fixed penalty notices.
Please see the separate privacy notice below.
There is further support available for people who are suffering as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit our community support webpage or read more about financial support available for Rother residents.