Derbyshire Dales residents on a low income who need to stay at home and self-isolate may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, if they meet set criteria.
Who can apply?
You can apply for a self-isolation payment if you are aged 16 or over and you:
- have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you’ve tested positive or are the close contact of a positive case and
- are employed or self-employed and
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
You also need to be currently receiving one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income support
- Housing benefit
- Pension credit
You must agree to comply with the notification from NHS test and trace and self-isolate.
What about if I have symptoms, but haven't tested positive?The government has made clear you will only be eligible for the £500 payment if you have been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
You will only get this payment if you have either tested positive for coronavirus, or are close contacts of someone who tested positive.
How much is the payment?
You may be supported by a lump sum payment of £500. Payments must be made into a bank account.
Will this payment be taxed?
This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.
How long will this be in place for?
The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
When will this come into force?
These changes will come into effect on 28 September 2020, alongside the legal duty to self-isolate. We expect to have our systems in place by 12 October. Anyone who starts to self-isolate from Monday 28 September should receive a backdated payment after the scheme takes effect in our area.
How do I apply?You will need to apply online and submit supporting evidence (see below). If you cannot access online you will be able to apply by phone. We will publish the application link and the phone number as soon as possible.
We will deliver the payments and administer the system, according to the government guidance and payments will be credited directly into your bank account.
What evidence will I need to show?
The government says you will need to show four pieces of evidence when you apply:
- A notification from test and trace asking you to self-isolate (including a Unique ID number)
- A bank statement for the account you wish the funds to be credited to
- Proof of employment
- Confirmation from your employer that you are unable to work from home - or if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns for example.
If you don't qualify under this schemeThe government has also provided limited funding for discretionary awards to be made if you do not meet the criteria above. As funding is limited, discretionary awards will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
- Those who 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; and
- Those who are not 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; and
- Those who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work at home while they are self-isolating;
- Applicants must be in receipt of Council Tax Support; or
- have been in receipt of Council Tax Support or any of the Test and Trace Support Scheme qualifying benefits within the previous two calendar months of the date of isolation; or
- have made a claim for Council Tax Support or any of the Test and Trace Support Scheme qualifying benefits prior to the date of isolation but are still awaiting the outcome.
Those people who were in self-isolation before 28 September 2020 are not eligible to apply for the scheme, even if their isolation continues after 28 September.
The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
People from the same household can make individual applications if they each meet the eligibility criteria.
Applicants can claim for each period of self-isolation as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and as long as their periods of self-isolation do not overlap.
Eligible individuals can make a claim up to 14 days after the period of self-isolation has ended.
Applicants can apply on behalf of someone else; however, the £500 support payment can only be paid to the bank account of the person for whom the application is made.
The support payment can only be made to those people who have a valid notification from NHS Test and Trace telling them to stay at home and self-isolate. The scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad.
The Council reserves the right to vary the terms of the scheme at any time, and without notice, should it be necessary to do so.
The application process
An online application or telephone application must be completed. Applicants must provide:
- a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate;
- proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits; or
- proof that one of the qualifying benefits is being assessed;
- a bank statement in the name of the applicant;
- proof of employment or evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
Payments of £500 will be credited directly to the applicant’s bank account within 3 days of receipt of an eligible application.
Applicants who are overdrawn can exercise their 1st right of appropriation on the £500 payment, so that their bank does not use the support payment to pay their overdraft. The Council will provide a template to help applicants where this is required.
Discretionary Test and Trace Support payments will be subject to income tax but will not be subject to National Insurance Contributions.
The Government and the Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud and any person caught falsifying records or breaching self-isolation when support payments have been awarded may face prosecution and the support payments issued will be subject to claw back.
What are the penalties for not self-isolating?
As well as new support measures, from 28 September, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19. Or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.
From this date, if you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.