Richmondshire District Council

Financial support for those self-isolating

From 28 September 2020, there is a legal duty for people to self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 or have been identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. 

If you have been told to self-isolate or you are a parent/guardian who has to stay off work to look after a child who is self-isolating, you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

This support payment is to help those people on low incomes who cannot work during their self-isolation period and will as a result lose income. Those who meet the eligibility criteria will receive a support payment of £500. This will be paid directly into the bank account of the person who has been told to self-isolate.

This Test and Trace Support Scheme will run from 28 September 2020 until 30 June 2021. 

Please note - if you were told to self-isolate before 28 September, you are not eligible to claim this payment. This is in line with Government guidance.  

When to make a claim

You can only make a claim if you have been asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020 - not before this date.

A claim must be made within 28 days of the first day of your self-isolation.

You can apply on behalf of someone else who is self-isolating. The payment will however be paid into a bank account in the name of the person required to self-isolate.

From 8 March 2021, if you are applying as the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been asked to self isolate by their education/childcare setting, please note that we will check and verify the information provided about that child/young person with the education/childcare setting.

What is the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment you must:

  • live in the district of Richmondshire
  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020, or you are a parent/guardian who has to stay off work to look after a child who is self-isolating
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and therefore will lose your income 
  • currently be receiving one of these benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income based Employment and Support Allowance, income based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

You will need to provide:  

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number) 
  • a bank statement
  • proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that the business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact

Can I apply more than once for a self-isolation payment of £500?

A claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. This means that people can receive multiple payments as long as all the eligibility criteria has been met and evidence provided, and the periods do not overlap.

If you have to self-isolate for a period of 10 days more than once before 30 June, you can use the scheme again and for as many times as you are required to self-isolate and cannot work and cannot get paid. It is paid as a lump sum. It is subject to income tax deductions but not National Insurance payments.

Discretionary payment

The Government has also provided limited funding for a discretionary award of £500 to be made to individuals who do not meet the benefits criteria above, but are facing financial hardship as a result of self-isolating and not being able to work. As funding is limited, discretionary awards will only be made in exceptional circumstances.

On the application form you will be asked to state your average weekly or monthly household income before self-isolation, and your expected monthly household income when self-isolating. You will need to state the reasons why you face financial hardship due to self-isolation. You should include as much detail as possible regarding your circumstances supported by evidence. This will help us with the assessment.

Further information

  • Test and Trace Payments will be disregarded when calculating eligibility for other benefits. This includes calculating entitlement to Universal Credit
  • This payment is subject to income tax, but you will not be taxed at the point of payment. You will be contacted separately by HM Revenue and Customs, or you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return
  • People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment if they each meet the above eligibility criteria
  • Someone can claim more than once (if they are told to self-isolate multiple times), so long as they meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and their periods of self-isolation do not overlap
  • Payments will be made into a bank account. If you are overdrawn you may need to request your bank to exercise your first right of appropriation on the £500 payment
  • Appointees 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
  • Richmondshire District Council will apply relevant checks and participate in a data matching exercise to verify eligibility of payments to prevent fraud and error. 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. For more information on how TransUnion may use your data please visit TransUnion's website.
  • All allegations of fraud will be investigated. Persons who are found to have made fraudulent applications will be prosecuted and be required to repay any payments they have received
  • If the council become aware that you have failed to self-isolate, then the matter may be referred to the police and you will be required to repay any payments made to you

How to apply

You must complete our online NHS Test and Trace Support Payment application form:

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment 

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