​The government introduced the Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP) Scheme to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result. 

Eligible individuals are entitled to a TTSP or discretionary payment of £500.


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  • Eligibility

    Eligibility for a Test and Trace Support Payment

     

    The government has set out mandatory eligibility criteria for the TTSP Scheme. Individuals who have:

    a)     have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

    b)     are employed or self-employed

    c)     are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and

    d)     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.

      

    The government has also set out mandatory eligibility criteria for the discretionary payments. Individuals who:

    a)    have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

    b)      are employed or self-employed; and

    c)      are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

    d)     who 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

    e)      who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating

     

    In line with the governments intended principles our discretionary scheme is aimed at individuals:

    a)      Awaiting a decision on a Universal Credit award or the decision of a benefit appeal or

    b)      Self-employed or employed and

    c)      With property related costs (eg. Rent/mortgage and are liable for council tax for the property they occupy)

    d)     With no recourse to public funds

     Low income will be income b​roadly in line with the benefit cap. This would be £20k for a family or couple and £13.4k for a single person. Joint income will be taken into account.

    The discretionary funding is limited and no more payments will be made once this funding has been allocated.​

    Exclusions

    You are not eligible for a payment:


    a)       If you have not been told to do so by NHS​ Test and Trace

    b)      If you are quarantining on return to the UK 

    ​You cannot apply if you were told to self-isolate before 28 September 2020.​​ 

  • Backdating and timing of applications

    Backdating and timing of Test and Trace Support Payment applications

     

    You will be able to claim retrospectively if your period of self-isolation began on or after 28 September 2020.

    You cannot apply if you were told to self-isolate before 28 September 2020.

    You can claim more than once if you meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and the periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

    Applications can be made up to 14 days after the period of self-isolation has ended.

    The scheme closes on 31 January 2021.

    The Council may amend the discretionary scheme at any time.

    There is no right of appeal against the Council’s decision.​

  • How to apply

    How to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment

     

    What you will need:  

    1. Your NHS Test and Trace Account ID reference (8 digit identifier eg. 4a2c204a). this can be found on your contact journey invitation message (sent by text or email) or on the ​confirmation message you were sent when you completed the NHS Test and Trace questionnaire

    2.
       Your National Insurance number

    3.
        A copy of a recent bank statement (issued within the last two months which must clearly show your name and bank details)

    4.
        Proof of employment (eg. a wage slip, letter from your employer)

    5.
        The name and address of your employer

    6.
         If you are self-employed, proof of your self-employment eg. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment tax returns


    YOU CAN MAKE AN APPLICATION BY COMPLETING THE FORM HERE

     

    What else you need to do:

    If you receive a self-isolation payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace. 

     

    The NHS website has more information for people who have tested positive, or for anyone that has been in contact with someone who later tested positive, and was told to self-isolate.

     

    You may be prosecuted if you provide false information, or if you do not self-isolate.

    Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as will any grants paid in error. The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

     

    Your data will be processed under the terms of Chorley Council’s Privacy Notice available here.

  • Application Process and Additional Support

    Test and Trace Support Payment and additional support

     

    When you will get paid

    We aim to make payments within three days of receiving an application, as long as we have all of the required evidence. If we need further information to assess your application, we will contact you by phone or email, but this may delay payment. It is important that you provide all the evidence that we need when you apply so that we can make payments quickly.

     

    People who don’t have internet access

    Please ask a member of your household to help you apply. If you need to ask someone who doesn't live with you to help, please make sure you do not break the self-isolation rules.

    The application form is online HERE, you just need access to the internet. Most mobile phones have internet access.

    To upload evidence you can take a photo(s) using a mobile phone and upload the photo(s) using a mobile phone.

    A friend or family member can make the application on your behalf, using their phone or computer, but we can only pay the money into your bank account.

    If you have no access to the internet and no-one to help you please ring us on 01257 515151 and we will help you. Please note that this may delay your application as we will still need you to provide some evidence.

     

    Additional Support

    We are doing what we can to protect our communities and support the most vulnerable. Click here​

     

    Eligibility and evidence requirements

    I have lost more than £500 in income due to loss of work, can I claim more money?

    No, people will receive £500 as a lump sum, regardless of how much they have lost in income.

    I am a full time student and I also work. Can I claim?

    You may be eligible for the payment if you are a student and you receive one of the qualifying benefits (Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit) because, for example, you are a part-time student, are disabled or have children.

    If you don't receive any of these benefits you should contact your university or college welfare team to see what financial support they can give you, most have funds available that offer support for students facing financial hardship. If you rely on your wages to pay your accommodation costs, are experiencing hardship, and can't get help from your college or university then you can apply for a Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payment under the discretionary scheme and we will consider your application.

    I am a full time student and I also work. Can I claim under the discretionary scheme?  

    Most universities and colleges have hardship funds available. You should contact your university or college welfare team to see what financial support they can give you  If you rely on your wages to pay your accommodation costs, are experiencing hardship, and can't get help from your college or university then you can apply for a Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payment under the discretionary scheme and we will consider your application.  

    What about two jobs?  I can work from home on one but not the other and will be losing money. Can I claim?

    Yes, if you can evidence that you have lost income as a result of self isolating you will receive a grant. This is providing the other criteria are met.

    I have been furloughed, can I claim? 

    If you have been furloughed and are not working at all, you can’t claim. If you are furloughed and also working, but now can’t go to work because you must self-isolate and are losing income as a result you can apply.

    Is there a time limit for making applications?

    Yes, you must make a claim within 14 days of the end of your period of self-isolation. We cannot accept applications after this point. For example, if you have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace on 1 October to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days, your isolation period ends on 15 October and you must apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment by 28 October.

    I’ve just found out that I am now eligible for a benefit that would have qualified me for a Test and Trace Support Payment, can I make a backdated claim?

    No, you must have been in receipt of the benefit at the time you applied for the payment.

    I’m waiting to hear from DWP about my benefit claim. 

    If you meet all the other eligibility criteria but are not yet in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment. You should fill in the application form and complete the discretionary application questions.

    I am classed by the government as having no recourse to public funds due to my immigrations status, so even though I am on a low income I cannot claim any benefits, can I claim this if I can’t go into work?

    You are able to claim from the discretionary scheme.

    Can I claim if I am only staying at an address in Chorley on a temporary basis?

    No, you should claim from your permanent address as this is where records to confirm your entitlement are held. We will check the information that you provide to check that you permanently reside at the address that you provide.

    I am not registered for Council Tax, but still have to pay rent, can I still claim?

    Yes, as long as you have a legitimate liability to pay rent. We will check your application against other Council and Government systems to verify the information that you have provided. If we are not satisfied that you are resident, we will not pay the grant.

    We will report fraudulent attempts to claim to other agencies.

    Do I have to live in Chorley to claim?

    Yes, only people living within the Chorley Council area can claim. If you are not sure, check who you pay your Council Tax to.

    If you submit an application to the wrong Council  it may slow down your application.

    Can I claim if I have been notified to isolate by the Covid-19 app?
    No, at the moment people notified by the app will not receive a unique 8 digit reference code and are not eligible to claim.

     

    Evidence requirements

    How do I provide the evidence that I qualify? 

    When you complete the online application you can upload your evidence and submit it along with your form. You can take a photograph of your documents, such as your bank statement, and when the form asks for evidence click ‘browse’ and select the document from your photos.

    Can I provide my NHS number, rather than the Test and Trace number?

    No, we can only use the NHS Test and Trace number for payments. If you have not been allocated this number we cannot pay anything.

    What is the Test and Trace Account ID number and where can I find it?

    The NHS Test and Trace Account ID is an 8-character identifier unique to each record. The NHS Test and Trace team will provide you with this information when you are instructed to self isolate.

    I am self employed - what proof do I need to provide?

    Self-employed applicants need to provide evidence of self-assessment tax returns and trading income.

    I am self employed, how can I prove I am not going to be working, I will just cancel the jobs in my diary?

    You will need to provide evidence about your income and the type of work that you do. It will be easier for some professions to work from home than others. You will need to evidence that you have lost income as a result of self isolating.

     

    Multiple Claims

    Can I claim more than once? If so, is the process the same?

    Yes, provided the eligibility criteria are met on each separate claim and the self-isolation period for which you are claiming doesn’t overlap with a previous self-isolation period. The process should be the same as for any other claim.

    I have to isolate for 20 days - can I get two payments?

    No, claims are not allowed for overlapping self-isolation periods – an individual can receive a maximum of £500 for a period of isolation, regardless of how long it is.

    This includes someone who has to isolate for a continuous period of (say) 20 days, either because they have been identified as the contact of a second positive case within the same period or because they have gone on to test positive and have had to start a new 10-day isolation period. Only one claim can be made for this period.

    Are multiple claims from households allowed?

    Yes, provided each applicant meets the relevant criteria.

     

    Payments

    I am overdrawn, if you pay the £500 into my bank I won't be able to access it, can you pay me a different way?

    We will be paying the Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payments into a bank account in the applicant’s name. If you are overdrawn you can contact your bank and ask that this payment is not used to pay towards your overdraft. This is called ‘exercising your first right of appropriation’ and it will ensure the money isn’t used to pay the overdraft.

    You would have to contact the bank to explain that you are expecting a £500 payment (the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment), and detail how you would like to spend the money. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.

    Are the payments subject to tax and National Insurance?

    Any payment that we make will be subject to tax. It is not subject to National Insurance.

    The Council does not deduct the tax before making the payment. We will provide details to HMRC and they will deal with the tax issues.

     

    Impact on other benefits

    How will Universal Credit be impacted if there is a loss of earned income?

    The NHS Test and Trace Support Payments will be disregarded when calculating entitlement to Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.

    If my wages drop and this payment is disregarded will I receive more Universal Credit to make up for the drop in wages? 

    Your Universal Credit will adjust automatically to take into account the drop in your wages.

    How do you treat these payments in respect of benefits entitlement such as Housing Benefit and Universal Credit?

    These payments are not included when calculating entitlement to other benefits.

     

    Fraud and Payment checks

    Will there be any checks on the information that I provide?

    Yes, the applications will be checked against DWP and HMRC income details. The government has also said that it will be conducting some checks after payments have been made to check that the applicant did have reduced income as a result of self-isolation. If payments have been made to people who are not entitled, the Council will be asking for the money back

    If payments are made to someone who is not entitled, the Council will ask for the payment to be returned. Fraudulent applicants will be referred to the Police.

    What if a local authority has made a payment to someone who was in receipt of a specified benefit but shouldn’t have been?

    Local authorities will have the right to recover any payments paid to someone they discover has claimed the £500 fraudulently.

     

    Discretionary Scheme

    Do I still have to have an NHS Test and Trace number to claim under the discretionary scheme?

    To qualify for a payment you must still have a Test and Trace number. You must also be working or self employed and on a low income.

    Can you pay me if I am not working?

    No, you have to be working or self employed to qualify for a payment.

    What are the rules for the discretionary scheme?

    The discretionary scheme will apply to residents who:

    have been told to stay home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;

    are employed or self-employed; and

    are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

    In addition, the discretionary payment is for residents:

    who have property related costs, e.g. rent/mortgage and are liable for Council Tax  (occupied properties only). We may consider applications from those who are not liable for Council Tax where a formal tenancy agreement is in place;

    who 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

    who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.

    who have no recourse to public funds if they meet the criteria above

    I am classed as no recourse to public funds so even though I am on a low income I cannot claim any benefits?

    You would be able to claim from the discretionary scheme

    My partner has a good salary but I won’t be earning anything - are we able to claim from the discretionary scheme?

    To be eligible for the discretionary scheme your household has to be on a low income. We will take your joint income into account when working out eligibility.

    In terms of ‘low income’ we would compare your income to people normally in receipt of benefits and the benefit cap (broadly £20k for a family or couple, £13.4k if you are single). If your joint income is more than this you will not be eligible.

    I am a full time student and I also work. Can I claim under the discretionary scheme?  

    No, according to the government guidance students are not eligible for Test and Trace Self-isolation Support Payments. If you are a student who is eligible to claim benefits because for example you are a part-time student, are disabled or you have children, but don't currently receive benefits, you may be able to claim under the discretionary scheme.  

    Can you make payments of less than £500 or is it always £500 that is paid?

    People who are eligible will receive £500 as a lump sum.​


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