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Benefits & Council Tax Support

CORONAVIRUS Support

Test and Trace Support Payment

This payment is designed to support people on low incomes who will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage them to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

More information on this government announcement is available on the GOV.UK website.

Please read this page in full and consult the appropriate policy document before making an application for this support payment.

Eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment

Please note that in order to be eligible for this payment, you must have received a personal email or text message from the NHS Test and Trace service instructing you to self-isolate due to having had a positive test for Covid-19, or having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and who has provided your details to the NHS Test and Trace Service. This instruction will also provide you with your 8-digit Account ID, which we require in order to verify your application.

If you have not received this, you will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment or Discretionary Payment. We are therefore unable to accept applications made following a notification from the NHS Test and Trace App.

Anyone who is notified through the NHS Covid-19 app that they should self-isolate is strongly encouraged do so. However, there is no legal duty to do so because the privacy and anonymity protections on the app mean that it does not collect any personal details. This also means that eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme cannot be confirmed via the App. To be eligible for the scheme a person must have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace either by e-mail or text message and not through the App.

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and they have provided your details to NHS Test and Trace, you should be contacted by the Test and Trace service inviting you to start the contact tracing journey. If you have not already done so, please ensure you have followed all the steps provided by NHS Test and Trace before making an application.

National Scheme (for those in receipt of certain benefits)

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment (National Scheme) an individual must meet all of the following:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, on or after 28 September but not before that date, because:
    • they have been notified that they have tested positive for Coronavirus, or
    • they have been notified that they have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.

Please refer to the National Test and Trace Support Payment Policy before applying.

Discretionary Scheme (for those not in receipt of the benefits listed above)

If you are not currently receiving one of the incomes detailed above, but you meet all of the other eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment.

Please refer to the Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment Policy before applying.

Qualifying Conditions

For a claim to be considered, we must receive the claim and supporting evidence within 14 days of the applicant's self-isolation period ending. We will be unable to accept any claims received after this point.

Eligible individuals who are told to self-isolate more than once, may make a claim for a further self-isolation period as long as the individual meets the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and the periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

Evidence requirements

The government has set out that the following supporting evidence (electronic evidence such as scanned images, photo images, screenshots) must be supplied with the application for the Test and Trace Support Payment:

  • A notification from NHS Test and Trace asking that you self-isolate (this will include your unique 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID number)
  • Recent proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits (if applicable)
  • A recent itemised bank statement (which shows the full name on the account, the full account number and sort code)
  • Recent proof of employment (most recent payslip), or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
  • Evidence of the financial hardship that will be faced (if applying for the Discretionary Scheme)

Individuals who are quarantining after returning to the UK

Individuals who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, are not eligible to be considered under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, unless they have tested positive for Coronavirus or been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Apply online

If, after reading the above information, you believe that you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment and your main place of residence is in the Mid Sussex District Council area, please apply online at https://midsussex.grantapproval.co.uk .

Where more than one individual in the same household has been told to self-isolate, they may each make a separate application to receive a Test and Trace Support Payment, if they meet the eligibility criteria in full.

If you need help with applying online, please call us on 01444 477264.

How to upload evidence after applying to support your claim

If you are unable to supply the supporting evidence required at the time of submitting the application, evidence can be uploaded to your application at a later date by logging back into your application portal.

Right of Appropriation

If you know that your bank accounts are at risk and to avoid this payment being taken as soon as it has been deposited into your account, you could exercise your ‘first right of appropriation’. This is a temporary measure under common law, allowing you to earmark funds for specific essential bills, for example; your rent, your mortgage, and your gas or electricity.

You will need to put this request in writing to your bank or building society and list the bills you need to be earmarked.

If your bank or building society has already taken funds, leaving you with not enough to cover your essential bills, you should contact them anyway to discuss your circumstances and to request a full or partial refund to cover your essential living costs. If your bank or building society refuses your request, you should make a complaint to the bank.

When you make a 'first right of appropriation' request, your bank can make a decision to either freeze your account and/or remove an overdraft facility if you have one. You need to make sure that you can manage either or both of these situations before you make the request.