Test and Trace Self Isolation Support Payment

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Alert

The Government has decided that, from 28 September 2020, anybody who is instructed to self-isolate by NHS test and trace will have a legal duty to do so and may face fines if they fail to isolate themselves.

Self-isolation may well cause hardship to people who are unable to work – particularly those on low incomes. To offset the worst effects of this requirement the Government has introduced a scheme to assist those who have to self-isolate and have lost earned income as a result. This scheme is currently intended to run until 31 January 2021.

Who is entitled to a payment?

Payments are £500 and are payable to anybody who:

  • Lives in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
  • Was instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace on or after 28 September 2020.
  • Is either employed or self-employed.
  • Has been required to self-isolate, cannot work from home and has lost income as a result.
  • Claims within 14 days of the end of the period of self-isolation.
  • Is in receipt of at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit or,
    • Pension Credit.

Discretionary payments:

  • If you are not receiving one of these benefits but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause you financial hardship, you may still be entitled under a special discretionary scheme.  You should be able to satisfy the Council that:
    • You are on a low income and/or,
    • You could suffer financial hardship if a payment is not made and,
    • It is appropriate to make a payment.

You will not be entitled to a payment if you:

  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Have been asked to self-isolate before 28 September 2020.
  • Have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS COVID 19 web app.
  • Are self isolating because you, or another member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19
  • Are unable to work because a child under your care cannot attend school due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
  • Continue to receive full wages during your period of self-isolation.
  • Can work from home during the period of your self-isolation.

How to apply

What you will need:

  • Your National Insurance Number.
  • 2 months recent bank statements (issued within the last two months which must clearly show your name and bank details).
  • Proof of employment (eg. a payslip, letter from your employer, etc.).
  • The name and address of your employer.
  • If you are self-employed: proof of your self-employment, eg. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment tax returns.
  • Your NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference (8 digit identifier e.g. 4a2c204a). This can be found on your contact journey invitation message (sent by text message or email) or on the confirmation message you were sent when you completed the NHS Test and Trace questionnaire. You will not be able to submit an application without this.
  • You will not be able to submit your application without evidence.

You may be prosecuted if you provide false information, or if you do not self-isolate.

Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as will any grants paid in error. The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Apply for a Self Isolation Support Payment

Government advice regarding coronavirus can be found on the GOV.UK website.

You can make a claim each time you begin a new period of self-isolation and if more than one member of your household is required to self-isolate, each member of your household may make a claim so long as they satisfy the criteria listed above.

A person may make a claim on behalf of another person, but payment will be made to the bank account of the person who is actually entitled to the grant.

If you have no access to the internet and no-one to help you, please ring us on 0208496300 and choose the option for Housing Benefit and we will help you. Please note that this may delay your application as we will still need you to provide some evidence.

To upload evidence, you can take a photo(s) using a mobile phone and upload the photo(s) using a mobile phone.

Is there a time limit for making applications?

Yes, you must make a claim within 14 days of the end of your period of self-isolation. We cannot accept applications after this point. For example, if you have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace on 1 October to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days, your isolation period ends on 15 October and you must apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment by 28 October.

Evidence requirements

When you complete the online application you can upload your evidence and submit it along with your form. You can take a photograph of your documents, such as your bank statements, and when the form asks for evidence click ‘browse’ and select the document from your photos. 

You can only upload documents that are in JPEG (which most photographs are) or PDF format. 

What is the Test and Trace Account ID number and where can I find it?

The NHS Test and Trace Account ID is an 8-character identifier unique to each record. The NHS Test and Trace team will provide you with this information when you are instructed to self isolate.

I am self-employed: what proof do I need to provide?

Self-employed applicants need to provide evidence of self-assessment tax returns and trading income. 

You will need to provide evidence about your income and the type of work that you do. It will be easier for some professions to work from home than others. You will need to evidence that you have lost income as a result of self isolating.

Payments

Payment will be made by BACS transfer and is subject to income tax but will not affect your entitlement to benefit.  Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs will contact you about any tax you may need to pay at a later date.

If you are suffering financial hardship you may wish to contact your bank and exercise a first right of appropriation against the grant – this means that you will tell the bank what the payment is to be used for. Find a template letter through the National Debt Helpline.

Government advice regarding coronavirus can be found on the GOV.UK website.