Test and Trace Support Payment
Test and Trace Support Payment
We are all working hard to keep each other safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 by covering our faces, keeping our distance, washing our hands and following the local and national guidance.
From 28 September 2020 we are all required by law to self-isolate if we test positive for COVID-19 or if we are identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive by the NHS Test and Trace scheme.
What if I don’t self-isolate?
If you do not self-isolate, there is a fine of £1,000 for breaching self-isolation rules, but this could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and serious breaches, including if you prevent others from self-isolating. For example, if you own a business and threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not go to work.
Test and Trace Support Payment scheme
To support residents whose earnings are affected by staying at home and isolating for up to 14 days, the Government has set up the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, where eligible residents can apply to us for a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500.
The Government launched the scheme on 28 September and we were instructed to set up administration of the scheme by 12 October.
Eligible residents who start to self-isolate from 28 September will be able to apply once the scheme is up and running by the 12 October, and have their application backdated.
This scheme will run until 31 March 2021.
Am I eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment?
If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be eligible to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment.
To be eligible to apply for the scheme from Epping Forest District Council, you must be a local resident and meet all the following criteria:
- You must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after the 28 September, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- The NHS Test and Trace will give you your own unique reference number, which you will need to provide to us
- You must be employed or self-employed
- You must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of having to stay at home and self-isolate
- You must be 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
- You must have recourse to public funds
We may be given some additional funds so that we can support people who do not meet the Government’s eligibility criteria. We are still waiting to hear about this. We will publish full details when we can.
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- 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 i.e. your period of self-isolation ends before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
- Are quarantining and receiving furlough payments
For those residents who are not currently receiving one of the qualifying benefits, you may be eligible for help through the Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. This is provided you are on a low income and able to show you will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work whilst be required to self-isolate.
To be eligible for this payment you must:
- Have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace Service
- Be employed or self-employed
- Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
You will not qualify for a discretionary payment if you have capital of over £6,000.
There is no right of appeal in respect of the Test and Trace Support Payment schemes.