COVID-19 - Test and Trace Support Discretionary Scheme
The Government has announced a new payment to support people who face financial difficulty if they have been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.
If you have been contacted by the NHS and asked to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial help during your self-isolation period. The Test and Trace Support Scheme will end on 31 January 2021.
Who will be eligible for a discretionary payment?
To be eligible for a discretionary support payment of £500 you must:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
- be employed or self-employed, and
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
- be aged 16 or over, and
- your household income must be low enough to qualify for Universal Credit if you were to apply for it
Before you apply, you will need to visit the Entitled To website and complete its free benefits calculator. If you are in a group that would normally be excluded from receiving benefits, please complete the calculator as if you were not in that excluded group. Once you have completed the calculator, you will need to save the results in PDF format and attach them at the end of your application. Without this information, we will not be able to consider your application.
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for payment if you:
- are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
- can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- your period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Scheme launched on 28 September 2020, even if you are still required to self-isolate after that date.
If you 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 you should apply for a support payment under the main scheme.
Before you start your application
You will need the following information to make an application:
- your eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID Number - we cannot issue a payment without this
- your National Insurance number
- your bank details
- a copy of your latest bank statement
- proof of earnings, such as a pay slip (one issued within the last month)
- proof of self-employment - for example, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
- PDF of benefits calculator results.
Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to tax but exempt from any National Insurance contribution, and they do not count as income for benefit purposes.
You will be required to consent to us verifying your loss of income, this may be by contacting your employer.
Payments may be delayed if you do not provide details and evidence as requested when submitting your application.
Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?
You can help someone else fill out an application, or fill out an application on their behalf. However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else. Payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
What happens next?
Once you have submitted your completed application and supporting evidence we will carry out the necessary checks to confirm you are eligible for a payment. If you are eligible, we will let you know when you will receive your payment.
If I receive a support payment what am I required to do?
You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.
The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone:
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace, and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action, as may any grants paid in error.
The Government is supporting us to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.
How do I apply?
To apply for a support payment you will need to complete the application form below and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. No application can be accepted without a valid Test and Trace ID reference number.
You can make an application up to 14 days after your period of self-isolation ends. For example, if you are told to self-isolate until 10 October, you have until 24 October to make your claim.
Please note: you will not be able to complete the application form using Internet Explorer. You will need to use a more modern browser, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.
If you cannot use our online application form, please call 01442 228894. We will complete the application form with you over the phone and then arrange for a Council Officer to come and take photos of the evidence. Evidence can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.