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The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme started on 28 September 2020.

If you have been told by the NHS 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 support during your self-isolation period.

If you have been notified via the NHS COVID-19 App, you can refer to the countdown timer in the app to understand how long you should self-isolate for.

Self-isolation means not leaving your home for any reason - even for exercise, food shopping or collecting medication. This will minimise the risk that you unknowingly spread the virus to others and help protect your friends, family, colleagues and community.

NHS Test and Trace App

If you have the NHS COVID-19 App and have been told to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will need to follow some steps to request your Account ID. This is because the app is anonymous, so you need to register with NHS Test and Trace by following a link in the app. You must do this while you are in your self-isolation period. You cannot request your Account ID after you’ve finished self-isolating

How to apply

To apply, please complete the application form (link available at the bottom of this page) and we will assess your eligibility. Please do not delay in applying for financial support to self-isolate.

Before completing the form please read the eligibility criteria below. Please also read our information on the First Right of Appropriation.

Eligibility

People who live in Stevenage who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment 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
  • Have an 8 digit NHS Test and Trace ID number
  • 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

Parents and guardians of a child/young person who is self-isolating

From Monday 8 March parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is.

Applicants must meet all the criteria below:

  • They are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.
  • This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
  • They are employed or self-employed.
  • They cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • They meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment as mentioned above.

Their child or young person:

  • is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
  • has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Discretionary Scheme

If you do no meet the above criteria you may still qualify for a payment under our discretionary scheme. Discretionary scheme applications will be considered from:

  • Applicants who have 'no recourse to public funds'
  • Applicants who are appealing or waiting a decision on a qualifying benefit.

To qualify for the discretionary scheme you must:

  • be unable to work from home
  • have a loss of income during the isolation period
  • will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work whilst self-isolating
  • Earn less than £500 per week after Tax and National Insurance contributions
  • have less than £16,000 capital
  • supply evidence of the requirement to self-isolate (8 digit NHS ID)
  • claim within 28 days of the start of the self-isolation period

Check whether you are eligible

Before applying you can also check your eligibility via the NHS COVID-19 App. Once you've been told to self-isolate a button 'Financial support' will appear on the home screen.

This will take you to a website which will ask you for some information to check whether you could be eligible. None of the information you provide will be passed back to the NHS COVID-19 App. The app is designed to protect your privacy and does not know who or where you are.

If your answers show that you may be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, there are 4 steps to apply for the payment.

Who is this payment for?

This payment is designed to support people on low incomes, if they will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage them to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

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.
  • Are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. 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.

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.

Before you start

You will need the following information to complete this form:

  • your eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID Number - we cannot issue a payment without this;
  • your bank details and a copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last month);
  • proof of your earnings, such as a pay slip (issued within the last month) ;
  • proof of self-employment e.g. most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment HMRC returns;
  • Your National Insurance Number.

Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to income tax but exempt from any National Insurance contribution and they do not count as income for benefit purposes.

What am I required to do?

If you receive a Self-Isolation / Test and Trace Payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.

Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those

Fraud

You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may 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.

Data Sharing

The information you submit here will be processed by Stevenage Borough Council. We need your consent so that we can access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you are eligible for the Self-Isolation / Test and Trace Payment Scheme.

You can find more information on this via the NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice

We will carry out checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax and national insurance purposes, and with your employer. If you are claiming for a child we will verify information with the child's education and care settings. We will not share your data with other organisations or individuals outside of the Council for any other purpose.

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because Self-Isolation / Test and Trace Payments are subject to Income Tax. If you are self-employed, you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

We may use some automated decision-making to determine if you are eligible to access funds. This means that a decision may be made by automated means, without any human involvement.

Your rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 allow you to object to any automated-decision making used in this process. If you do, there may be a significant delay in the processing of your application.

We never sell your data to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without your consent. All information is processed in accordance with the Council’s data protection policy

If you wish to request any changes to the way your data is used for the purposes of processing this application, including the withdrawal of consent , you can exercise your rights under GDPR in writing to the Council’s Data Protection Officer.

If you do withdraw your consent, we will not be able to continue payments to you. Your consent is necessary to establish your eligibility and to authorise any payments made.

In submitting an application you must confirm that you have read, understood and consented to your data being processed in this way for the purposes of assessing your eligibility for a Self-Isolation / Test and Trace Payment.

Bank details validation

To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your support payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of support payments.

This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating.

Please visit the TransUnion website for more information on how TransUnion may use your data.

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