Test and Trace Self Isolation Support Payments Policy

Introduction to the Policy

From 28 September 2020 in England, there is a new legal duty on all UK residents who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by the NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, requiring them to self-isolate. Failure to comply will be an offence carrying a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for multiple breaches.

To support this the government has introduced support for those people on low incomes who must self-isolate and who are financially impacted because of this.

This scheme will run until 31 March 2022.

Purpose of the scheme

The scheme will provide a Test and Trace Support payment of £500, paid as a lump sum for those on low income to support them if they cannot work during their self-isolation and have lost income as a direct result of self-isolation.

Who is eligible for support?

To be eligible for support you must:

  • Live in the Cherwell District Council area
  • Have been notified to self-isolate on or after 28 September and not before that date
  • Have been notified to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and
  • Be employed or self-employed
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and
  • Be currently receiving
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit and/or
    • Pension Credit
  • A claim must be made within 14 days of the last day of self-isolation

All criteria must be met to be eligible for a payment

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • 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 ie 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.
  • Applicants who are not working due to being furloughed
  • are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless you have been tested positive or have bene instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

How much is the payment?

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.

Will these payments be taxed?

These payments will be subject to income tax; however, they will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. You will be contacted by HMRC regarding the tax payable on this payment at a later date, it will not be taxed at the point of payment.

Application process

A formal claim must be made before an award can be considered.

To apply for a Test and Trace Self-Isolation Payment you will need:

  • your national insurance number
  • your full name
  • your date or birth
  • your contact telephone numbers including a working mobile number
  • full names, dates of birth and national insurance numbers for everyone living in your household
  • your current full address and postcode
  • details of benefits you receive and how much you get
  • details of your employment including the name and address of your employer and nature of your work
  • your Unique ID number as provided by the NHS Test and Trace

You must submit the following supporting evidence at the time of completing the form:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number) that shows you were asked to isolate on or after 28 September 2020
  • a bank statement to verify what account we will pay
  • proof of employment, or, if they are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
  • proof that you will lose income as a result of self-isolation - For example a letter from your employer that confirms that your pay has been stopped or reduced because you are self-isolating

If you are unable to complete the form online, please call us on 01295 227002 and we will arrange to contact you to complete the form on your behalf.

Applicants can apply on behalf of someone else. However, the £500 must be paid into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made (so, for example, if someone applied on behalf of a parent, the payment would be made into the parent’s bank account).

How we will use and share this information

Information collected during the application process will be used to assess an applicants’ claim. Information will be cross matched with other data held by the council and third-party agencies eg DWP, HMRC for verification purposes.

In assessing a claim, it may be appropriate to make referrals within the council or to external agencies to provide advice or support.

We treat all its information that we hold on file with the upmost care and confidentiality. See our Privacy Policies to see how we use and share your data.

Notification of Decisions

All decisions made by us will be notified to the applicant either in writing or by email.

We will aim to make decisions within 3 working days where an application form and supporting evidence are supplied

Appeals Process

There is no right to appeal, and the decision of the Council is final

Policy amendments

We reserve the right to amend the scheme at any point depending on the level of the demand and any other relevant factors.

Managing the risk of fraud

Neither we, nor the Government will accept deliberate manipulation of the scheme. You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain payment, including failure to self-isolate which put others at risk.

We reserve the right to reclaim any payment made in error or where post-payment checks demonstrate that payment should not have been made. Where we identify that individuals have not self-isolated, we also has an obligation to notify the Police.

Useful Links

You can find the latest information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), and get advice on symptoms, self-isolation and keeping yourself and your family healthy, at the following websites: