Covid-19 self isolation payments.
The Government has announced a new payment to support people who face financial difficulty if they have been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.
If you have been contacted by the NHS and asked 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 help during your self-isolation period.
Who will be eligible for a payment?
To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
- be employed or self-employed, and
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
- be aged 16 or over, and
- be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Based Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
If you are not receiving one of these benefits, but you meet all of the other criteria above you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.
If any of the following apply you would NOT qualify for a discretionary payment;
- Your usual average earnings after deductions for Tax and National Insurance are higher than £2166.67 per month. Please note, prior to the 1st of February 2021 you would not have qualified if your normal average gross earnings were more than £1700 per month.
- Your partner’s (if you have one) usual gross earnings are higher than £2500.00 per month (before deductions) unless you can demonstrate the reduction in your income will still cause you financial hardship.
- You do not have a commercial rent liability or pay a mortgage for your home (paying ‘rent’ to a parent or relative you live with is not a commercial rent) unless you can demonstrate the reduction in your income will still cause you financial hardship.
- Your savings and capital are higher than £16,000;
- Please note prior to the 1st of February 2021 full time students were also excluded from receiving these payments.
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for payment if you:
- are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
- can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- are no longer required to self-isolate - in other words, your period of self-isolation ended before the Test and Trace Support Scheme launched on 28 September 2020
- your period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Scheme launched on 28 September 2020, even if you are still required to self-isolate after that date
- make your application more than 42 days after the start date of your self-isolation period.
If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate
If you are not legally required to self-isolate, but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if all the following apply:
- you’re the parent or guardian of a child in your household who is self-isolating, and you need to take time off work to care for them
- your child is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan (young person), normally attends an education or childcare setting, and has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting
- you’re unable to work from home and will lose income because you have to care for your child while they are self-isolating
- you meet all the other eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment
Parent and guardians who cannot get the Test and Trace Support Payment
Parents and guardians of a child who has been told to self-isolate will be not be eligible in any of the following circumstances:
- You are unable to provide evidence from your child’s school or care provider
- You have not experienced a reduction in earnings as a result of having to self-isolate
- You can work from home during the period of your child’s self-isolation
- Your child was notified to self-isolate before 8 March 2021
- Your application is made more than 42 days after your child's self-isolation period started
- You have taken time off work because your child’s education or care setting has closed
Number of applications
Parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can make one application per household for the child's or young person's self-isolation period.
In a household with two or more children, the parents or guardians can claim more than once only if the children’s self-isolation periods do not overlap.
Before you start your application
You will need the following information to make an application:
- your eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID Number (if you have been told to self-isolate)- we cannot issue a payment without this
- your National Insurance number
- your bank details
- a copy of your latest bank statement
- proof of earnings, such as a pay slip (one issued within the last month)
- evidence that your earnings will reduce ( a wage slip showing the reduction or an email from your employer)
- proof of self-employment if you are self employed - for example, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns.
In addition if your child is self-isolating, please provide:
- a copy of the letter provided by their childcare/school/college confirming that they have been told to self-isolate or;
- a screen shot of the young person's notification on their NHS Covid 19 App that shows they have to self-isolate.
Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to tax but exempt from any National Insurance contribution, and they do not count as income for benefit purposes.
You will be required to consent to us verifying that you will lose income whilst you are self-isolating. This may involve us contacting your employer.
Payments will be delayed if you do not provide details and evidence as requested when submitting your application.
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, or the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate.
What happens next?
Once you have submitted your completed application and supporting evidence we will carry out the necessary checks to confirm you are eligible for a payment. The easiest way to submit evidence to us is by e-mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are eligible, we will let you know when you will receive your payment. St Albans City & District Council is committed to getting these payments to eligible applicants as soon as possible.
If I receive a support payment what am I required to do?
You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.
The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone:
- testing positive or
- has been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace, and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action.
The Government is supporting us to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly. You can read a privacy statement here.