Advertisement

From Monday, 28 September 2020, you are required by law to self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

The Government has introduced a £500 support payment to help people on low incomes who have to self-isolate. The scheme will run until 30 September 2021 but is being kept under review by the Government. Worcester City Council is responsible for making the payments. Please read all of the information on this page before applying.

Do I qualify for this scheme?

To qualify for the payment, you will need to meet all of the criteria below:

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020
  • you have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and provided any legally required information
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you cannot work from home and will lose money as a result
  • you are claiming at least one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

If you are not claiming one of the above benefits you may still qualify for a payment under the local discretionary scheme - please see below.

Who cannot apply for a payment?

You cannot apply for this scheme if:

  • You do not have a valid notification from NHS Test and Trace (unless you are claiming as a parent or guardian- please see below for further details)
  • You have been told to self-isolate before 28 September 2020. This applies even if your period of self-isolation overlaps this date
  • You are self-isolating after returning from abroad
  • You are on furlough. The self-isolation support payment is only for people who will lose money because they cannot work while self-isolating
  • You can work from home while self-isolating
  • If you are the owner or employee of a business that has been required to close due to national lockdown restrictions because you will not be losing income due to self-isolation, as the business has been required to temporarily close.
  • You are not claiming one of the benefits listed. You may qualify for help from the local discretionary self-isolation support scheme.

What proof do I need to provide?

To prove you are eligible for the scheme, you will need to fill in the online application form on this page and you must provide the following information:

  • National Insurance (NI) number
  • Your eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number
  • Proof of benefit entitlement - Accepted evidence includes a recent (within two months) benefit award letter or email, a screenshot or photograph of Universal Credit journal showing award and payment date, or a recent (within two months) bank statement showing the benefit payments in your account.
  • If you are employed:
    1. A recent bank statement (within the last two months)
    2. Proof of employment (for example wage slip).
    3. Evidence showing a reduction in your wage from your employer (for example, a letter, email or notice from your employer).
  • If you are self-employed:
    1. A recent bank statement (within the last two months)
    2. Proof of self-employment (for example, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income)
    3. Proof that you cannot deliver services without social contact
  • If you are a parent/guardian caring for a child told to self-isolate
    1. Either a valid NHS Test and Trace ID reference number, OR evidence of communication from your child's education or childcare setting telling them to self-isolate (for example, a letter, email or notice from the education or childcare setting).

Your application may be rejected if you do not provide the information required.

Parents and Guardians

You may be eligible for a payment if you have to take time off work to care for a child who is self-isolating. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period and only applies to self-isolation periods that began on or after 8 March 2021.

To be eligible for a payment you must meet all of the criteria below:

  • you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.
  • you are employed or self-employed.
  • you cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • The child or young person is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting AND has been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021 by NHS Test and Trace OR by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;

AND;

  • you are claiming at least one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

OR;

  • you are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, but are on a low income and will face significant hardship as a result of lost income. Please apply for the local discretionary scheme.

Local discretionary self-isolation support scheme

If you meet all the other criteria for the self-isolation support payment, except that you are not claiming one of the benefits listed, but you are on a low income and self-isolating will cause you severe financial hardship, then you may still qualify for help from the local discretionary self-isolation support scheme.

If this applies to you, please fill in the application form as normal, but when you get to the question about claiming benefits, choose ‘none of these’. Carry on to complete and submit the form.

Additional criteria for a discretionary payment

  • You must meet all the eligibility criteria apart from receipt of the qualifying benefits; and
  • Earn £410.00 or less per week after tax and national insurance deductions; and
  • Work at least 16 hours per week; and
  • Have capital of less than £6,000; and
  • Will face hardship as a result of lost income during your self-isolation.

Can other people I am living with make a claim?

If there are other people living in your household, then they can make their own application to the scheme, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Can I claim on someone else’s behalf?

You can apply on someone else’s behalf, but the £500 must be paid into the bank account in the name of the person you are applying on behalf of. For example, if you are applying on behalf of a parent, the money must be paid into your parent’s bank account.

I have been asked to self-isolate more than once. Can I claim again?

If you are told to self-isolate more than once, you will be able to apply for the payment again, as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

I have been notified to isolate by the NHS Covid-19 App, can I make a claim?

If you have been notified to isolate by the app you will need to follow some steps to get your own unique Test and Trace ID number, which you will need to make an application from this scheme. Please visit the NHS website for more details.

How long do I have to claim?

From 17 March 2021, the deadline to submit an application has been extended to 42 days from the first day of your self-isolation period. This means that someone who began isolating on 17 March must submit their application by 28 April 2021. Unfortunately, applications submitted after the 42-day deadline will be rejected.

Tax and the Self-Isolation Support Payment scheme

Payments made under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme are subject to income tax (if you’re a taxpayer) but not National Insurance contributions. If you’re employed, HMRC will automatically recover the tax from your pay with a change to your tax code.

Self-employed recipients will need to report the payment on their 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return.

Apply for a self-isolation support payment

 Due to a high volume of applications, it may take up to 10 days to process your application.

Apply for a Self-isolation Support Payment

If you are unable to complete this form online or need help completing it, then please call 01905 722233, selecting Option 8 and then Option 4. You will be asked to leave a voicemail message and someone will get back to you and set up a mutually convenient telephone appointment to take you through the application process. You will be advised of any information that will be required to complete the application.

Other financial support

If you are on a low income but do not qualify for a self-isolation support payment, or the local discretionary scheme, then you may be able to apply for Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit or another benefit.

Other help while you are self-isolating

If you need help while you are self-isolating, such as deliveries of food or medicine, then please fill in the Worcestershire Here 2 Help I need help form.

Advertisement