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Test and Trace support payments

From 28 September 2020, there is now a legal obligation in England to self-isolate if advised to do so.

This is to ensure individuals, who test positive or are identified as close contacts, self-isolate and minimise the possibility of transmitting COVID-19.

If people do not comply you will be subject to fines of at least £1,000 and up to a maximum £10,000 for repeat or very serious offences.

To assist people to self-isolate, the government has announced that individuals on low incomes will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if they meet certain criteria, in order to support them through their self-isolation period.

The payments are only available to people who have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

Requirements

If you receive a self-isolation notification 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

  • Testing  positive
  • Those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Eligibility

People who have been officially instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate from 28 September 2020 onwards, either because they have tested positive or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, will be entitled to a self-isolation payment providing they:

  • Comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, and
  • Are employed or self-employed, and
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • Are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Income based Job Seeker's Allowance
    • Pension Credit

To qualify you must meet all the conditions above. You will need to provide evidence to support your application and you can upload information to support your claim; photographs are acceptable.

You can make a claim up to 14 days after the period of isolation has ended. Any applications received after this period will be declined.

Any payment of £500 received will be subject to the payment of income tax.

Discretionary scheme criteria

We will consider making a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who:

  • Have been officially instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace from 28 September 2020 onwards, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
  • Are employed or self-employed, and
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • 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, but
  • Are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating or have no recourse to public funds, if they meet criteria above, and
  • Have property related costs, e.g. rent/mortgage and are liable for Council Tax (occupied properties only). Applications will be considered from those who are not liable for Council Tax where a formal tenancy agreement is in place

Income of both applicant and partner will be taken into account in deciding any discretionary payment.

To qualify you should meet all the conditions above. You will need to provide evidence to support your application and you can upload information to support your claim; photographs are acceptable.

We will only consider applications outside of these criteria in exceptional circumstances, where households would be facing severe financial hardship without an award of £500.

Before you start

You will need the following information in order to apply:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings)
  • Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
  • Your 8-digit NHS Test and Trace reference
  • A copy of the NHS Test and Trace notification you received. This can be a photo of the letter or email, but it must clearly show the date you received the notification and the Test and Trace ID
  • Your National Insurance Number

We will be able to check your eligibility to benefits so you do not need to provide proof of this.  We may contact your employer to verify that you are unable to work from home and have lost income.

People 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 or been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace)
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate

Helping someone make an application

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. 

Appeals

There is no right of appeal if an application is declined.

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 recovery, as will 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.

Data sharing

The information you submit here will be processed by Blackpool 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 Payment Scheme.

More information on this via the NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice

Blackpool Council privacy notice

Blackpool Council relies on your consent to access your records contained in NHS Test and Trace data system, known as CTAS, for the purposes of confirming your eligibility for this scheme of payment.

You can find more information on CTAS via the privacy notice.

Your data will not be shared with other entities outside of the council for any purpose and you may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us on 01253 477477. Please be aware that if you do withdraw your consent, you will no longer be entitled to the payments under this scheme.

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.  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 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 do withdraw your consent, we will not be able to make a payment 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 Payment.