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What is the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme?

The Government announced a new support payment for people facing financial difficulty if they've been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

If you've been contacted by the NHS and asked to self-isolate, either because you've tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you've been in contact with someone who's tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial help during your self-isolation period. This scheme will run from 28 September 2020 to 31 January 2021.

Who's eligible for this sheme?

To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:

  • live in the Mid Devon area, and;
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and;
  • be employed or self-employed, and;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and;
  • be aged 16 or over, and;
  • 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.

If you're not receiving one of these benefits or you're on a low income and unable to support yourself financially during your self-isolation period, you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.

Who's not eligible?

You won't be eligible for payment if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14 day quarantine period)
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate. Please note, the NHS Covid-19 app is not the same as NHS Test and Trace. You will not be eligible if the app has advised you to self-isolate unless you are also contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. your period of self-isolation ended before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020.
  • Your period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020, even if you're still required to self-isolate after that date

How do I apply?

To apply for a support payment, you'll need to complete an application form and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. Applications cannot be accepted without a valid Test and Trace ID reference number.

Can I get any help to complete an application?

You're allowed to have someone you know to help you complete the form or complete it on your behalf.

If you don’t have anyone who can help, an appointment can be made with one of our officers to complete the form with you over the phone. This will take longer than if you complete your own application online, which, if you're eligible, will delay any payment made. Please call us via 01884 255255 or email benefits@middevon.gov.uk to arrange a telephone appointment.

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your completed application and supporting evidence, we'll carry out the necessary checks to confirm you're eligible for a payment. If we're able to confirm you're entitled, we'll contact you to confirm when you'll receive your payment.

Please note, we can only make payments into the applicant’s bank account and not one belonging to anyone else.

Payments are subject to Tax, but exempt from any National Insurance contribution. You won't be taxed at the point of payment, but you will be contacted by HMRC at a later date.

If I receive a support payment, what am I required to do?

You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone:

  • testing positive, or;
  • anyone who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

What other support is available?

See our Community support across Mid Devon webpage to find out what other help is available for Mid Devon residents.

Fraud

You may face prosecution if you've manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action. This may include 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.

Data sharing

Please refer our privacy notice for information on how we collect and process your data.

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