Test and Trace self-isolation support payments policy
Introduction to the Policy
From 28 September in England, there is a new legal duty on all UK residents who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by the NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, requiring them to self-isolate. Failure to comply will be an offence carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches.
To support this the government has introduced support for those people who must self-isolate and who are financially impacted because of this.
The scheme will run until 31 March 2022.
Purpose of the scheme
The scheme will provide a Test and Trace Support payment of £500, paid as a lump sum for those on low income to support them if they cannot work during their self-isolation and have lost income as a direct result of self-isolation.
Who is eligible for support?
To be eligible for support you must:
- Live in the South Northamptonshire area
- Been notified to self-isolate on or after 28 September and not before that date
- Have been notified to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trust either because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and
- Be employed or self-employed
- Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and
- Be currently receiving one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit and/or
- Pension Credit
- A claim must be made within 42 days from the first day of self-isolation
All criteria must be met to be eligible for a payment
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
- Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
- Are no longer required to self-isolate ie your period of self-isolation ended before the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme launched (28 September 2020)
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
- Applicants who are not working due to being furloughed
- Applicants who are quarantining after returning to the UK unless they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
How much is the payment?
Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.
Will these payments be taxed?
These payments will be subject to income tax; however, they will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. You will be contacted by HMRC regarding the tax payable on this payment at a later date, it will not be taxed at the point of payment.
A formal claim must be made before an award can be considered.
To apply for a Test and Trace Self-Isolation Payment you will need:
- your national insurance number
- your full name
- your date or birth
- your contact telephone numbers including a working mobile number
- full names, dates of birth and national insurance numbers for everyone living in your household
- your current full address and postcode
- details of benefits you receive and how much you get
- details of your employment
- your Unique ID number as provided by the NHS Test and Trace
You must submit the following supporting evidence at the time of completing the form:
- a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number) that shows you were asked to isolate on or after 28 September 2020
- a bank statement to verify what account we will pay
- proof of employment, or, if they are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
- proof that you will lose income as a result of self-isolation - For example a letter from your employer that confirms that your pay has been stopped or reduced because you are self-isolating
If you are unable to complete the form online, please call us on (include phone number) and we will arrange to contact you to complete the form on your behalf.
Multiple claims within the household and from same applicant
Individuals can be asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace more than once.
Applicants can claim more than once (if they are told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as they meet the eligibility criteria in full.
An individual may make more than one application if
- The individual is told to self-isolate on more than one occasion and
- They meet all the eligibility criteria and
- The periods of isolation do not overlap
A new application must be made for each period of self-isolation
How we will use and share this information
Information collected during the application process will be used to assess an applicants’ claim. Information will be cross matched with other data held by the council and third-party agencies eg DWP, HMRC for verification purposes.
In assessing a claim, it may be appropriate to make referrals within the council or to external agencies to provide advice or support.
We treat all information that we hold on file with the upmost care and confidentiality. See our Privacy Policies and to see how we use and share your data.
Notification of Decisions
All decisions made by the Council will be notified to the applicant either in writing or by email.
We will aim to make decisions within 3 working days where an application form and supporting evidence are supplied
There is no right to appeal, and the decision of the Council is final.
We reserve the right to amend the scheme at any point depending on the level of the demand and any other relevant factors.
Managing the risk of fraud
Neither we, nor the Government will accept deliberate manipulation of the scheme. You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain payment, including failure to self-isolate which put others at risk.
We reserve the right to reclaim any payment made in error.
You can find the latest information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), and get advice on symptoms, self-isolation and keeping yourself and your family healthy, at the following websites: