The government have announced a new financial package to support and enforce self-isolation.
In some circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate you may be eligible to receive a payment of £500, payable by the City Corporation.
The scheme is for individuals who have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020 or identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020.
Anyone who receives notification of a positive test result (including app users who initially report their symptoms through the app and are referred on to the test booking system) will be able to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment, if they meet the other eligibility criteria. When someone receives a positive test, they are legally obligated to self-isolate and will be provided their NHS Test and Trace ID via the email and mobile number they provide when ordering the test.
Individuals will not be eligible for the payment while they wait for a test, nor if they test negative.
If you have been advised to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App, you will need to follow the link on the app for Financial Support in order to register with NHS Test and Trace. This link will only be available for the period you have been asked to self-isolate for. You must download the latest version of the app in order to get this option.
Please visit the More Information on NHS Test and Trace Support Payments for information about how to register with NHS Test and Trace using the NHS COVID-19 app.
Information about the scheme
To get the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- you have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- you are employed or self-employed
- you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- you 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.
There is also a discretionary scheme. We may be able to make an award if:
- You have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace,
- You are employed or self-employed; and
- You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
But you 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; and
- on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while self-isolating.
Discretionary awards will be made on a case by case basis. Please provide supporting evidence if requesting a discretionary award such as proof of your day to day expenses and any other information relating to your financial hardship .
Please note that if you do not live in the City of London you must apply for this payment from the local authority where you live.
Who cannot get the Test and Trace Support Payment?
- Applicants who are self-isolating who have not been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- Applicants who are quarantining after returning to the UK
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 told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
How much is the payment?
Eligible applicants will receive a one-off payment of £500
How will this payment be made
Payments will be made by BACS payment. The payment must be made into your own bank account. When you make your application you will be asked to provide a bank statement. Payments will be made to this account.
What if my account is overdrawn?
You can protect your payments by telling your bank how you want a payment to be used. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.
What does First Right of Appropriation mean? Put simply it means that when you pay money into your account, you have the right to tell the bank how you want that money to be used. You must inform them how you want the money to be used at the time of payment.
This is an example of how you might do this:
A payment of £xx will be paid into the above account on (date).
"The account is currently overdrawn. However, I need the money to meet my living costs, utilities and rent payments over the next week.
I’m giving you notice that I intend to use the ‘first right of appropriation’ to reserve the £xx for this purpose and will withdraw the sum of £xx on (date) in order to do so."
Will this payment be taxed?
This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.
How long will this be in place for?
The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
When will this come into force?
These changes came into effect on 28 September 2020, alongside the legal duty to self-isolate. If you were instructed to self-isolate before this date you will not be eligible for a payment.
When can you apply?
Eligible individuals can make a claim from the date they are instructed to self-isolate up to 14 days after their period of self-isolation ended. We cannot accept applications after this point. For example, if someone was told to self-isolate until 10 October, they would have until 24 October to make a claim.
Before you start
You will need to have the following information available in order to make your claim
- a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate
- proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits
- bank statements
- proof of employment or, if self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
- proof of address
How do you apply?
Applications can be made online by completing this Test and Trace Payment form.
If you have difficulty uploading documents or have any queries please email the Benefits Team.
If you are unable to apply online, please call 020 7332 3937 and we will help you to make an application over the phone.
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Si no puede presentar la solicitud en línea, llame al 020 7332 3937 y lo ayudaremos a hacer una solicitud por teléfono.