COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 Test and Trace support payments

You will not be eligible to claim a test and trace support payment if you are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and your income has reduced because you are unable to work from home, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period. 

People who are eligible will receive a payment of £500, which will be paid via BACS directly into their bank account. This payment will be subject to Income Tax and the Council will be required to inform Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of any payments made.

If you are overdrawn and you do not want your bank to use the £500 payment to pay your overdraft, you could request a first right of appropriation. Please contact your bank to find out how to do this.

Who is eligible?

People who live in Coventry who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate will be entitled to a self-isolation payment providing they:

  • Submit an application within 42 days of the start of their isolation period. Proof of the isolation number alone is not sufficient for a support payment
  • Comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate 
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result. Prior to making a claim, please confirm with your employer that you will not be receiving your usual salary.
  • Are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Employment and Support Allowance Income-related
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Job Seeker’s Allowance Income-based
    • Pension Credit
  • Parents and guardians of children who are required to self-isolate

Parents and guardians of children who are required to self-isolate

From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is. Applicants must meet all the criteria below:

  • they are the only 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. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
  • they are employed or self-employed.
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment

and

  • their 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.
  • has been told to self-isolate 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.

Applications

  • The child or young person must have been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021. Applications can be backdated to this point and the parent or guardian will be eligible for the payment if they meet all the existing eligibility criteria (for the main scheme or the discretionary scheme)
  • Claims made by parents and guardians can be made up to six weeks (42 days) after the child or young person’s first day of self-isolation. For example, if a child or young person was told to self-isolate on 8 March, their parent or guardian must apply by 19 April.

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for a test and trace support payment if you:

  • continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • were notified to self-isolate before the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme launched (28 September 2020 or in the case of a child or young person, 8 March 2021).
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate or in the case of a child or young person, they have not been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting.
  • are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
  • are furloughed, and your income is less because of this except if you are furloughed, work part-time and due to self-isolation, you are losing income because you can no longer work part-time.
  • are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits.
  • in the case of a child or young person requiring to self-isolate, there is another available parent or guardian in the same household who could care for the child / young person. Examples of people this could include are a resident: grandparent, partner who is not working /furloughed/working from home or any other suitable household member.

If you are not eligible for payment but need help, find out about support with finances, benefits, employment and skills.

From 10 December 2020 notifications from the NHS COVID-19 App will be considered for Test and Trace support payments.

Self-isolation payments following an alert from the NHS COVID-19 App

If the NHS COVID-19 App has told you to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will need to follow some steps to request your Account ID. This is because the app is anonymous, so you need to register with NHS Test and Trace by following a link in the app. You must do this while you are in your self-isolation period. You cannot request your Account ID after you’ve finished self-isolating.

To start the process, select ‘Financial support’. This button appears on the home screen of the app when you’ve been told to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

You’ll be taken to a website which will ask you for some information to check whether you could be eligible. None of the information you provide will be passed back to the NHS COVID-19 App. The app is designed to protect your privacy and does not know who or where you are.

If your answers show that you may be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, there are 4 steps to apply for the payment.

  1. Step 1 - Confirm who you are with NHS login: You need to log in or register with NHS login so we can check who you are. If you are registering, you will receive a confirmation link in an email. When you read the email, make sure you keep the existing screen open so that you can continue to the next step.
  2. Step 2 - Enter personal details: You will be asked to enter your name so that NHS Test and Trace can carry out some checks. None of your personal details will be given to the app.
  3. Step 3 - Register with NHS Test and Trace: You will get an email and text message from NHS Test and Trace within one hour.  Communication hours are between 7.30 am to 8.30 pm. If you register outside of these hours, there may be a delay in receipt of the email or text message until opening hours resume. Read about what to do if you have not received this email or text message.
    These messages will include a link which you need to follow to complete your registration with NHS Test and Trace. You must do this while you are still in your self-isolation period. You will not be able to apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment without completing this step.
    Once you have completed your registration, you will receive a final confirmation email and text message from NHS Test and Trace. You will then be subject to the legal obligation to self-isolate
  4. Step 4 - Apply to your local authority
    Once you have received this second email or text message with your NHS Test and Trace Account ID, you can apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment from your local authority. You can apply to your local authority up to 2 weeks after your self-isolation period has ended. You must apply to your local authority within 28 days of the start of your self-isolation period. Receiving an NHS Test and Trace Account ID does not necessarily mean you will be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment. You must request the Account ID during the self-isolation period
    Your local authority may also ask you to provide additional evidence to prove your eligibility.

Before you start

You will need the following information to complete the application:

  • Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns.
  • If employed, your employer’s name, address and contact telephone number and your latest payslip
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • An email address, as this is the way we will be contacting you

What am I required to do?

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

Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements.

Test and Trace Discretionary Support Payments

The government have allocated Local Authorities a set amount of funding for those who meet the main scheme criteria but who are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

We receive funding from the Government for the discretionary scheme, so awards will only be considered for those who are on a low income, are suffering financial hardship and are unable to pay their usual household bills because they have lost 2 weeks income as a result of self-isolating.

If your annual income is £25,000 gross or below, you have less than £6,000 and you can demonstrate that you are unable to pay your household bills, you can apply.

We receive funding from the Government for the discretionary scheme. When the funding is spent, we will no longer be able to make awards, therefore we will monitor the scheme and may change the local criteria to ensure those in most need receive help.

If you need help with food because you are self-isolating, there is help available.

Payments

Once we have verified the information that has been provided to support your application, we will email you to let you know the outcome. If your claim is successful, payment will be via BACS into your bank account. These payments normally take three working days to appear in your account.

Test and Trace Support Payment Discretionary Scheme

Fraud

Coventry City Council will not tolerate deliberate manipulation and fraud. This includes, but is not limited to, making false applications for a payment to which you are not entitled, making duplicate applications and failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. If false or misleading information is provided, we reserve the right to take further action against you including but not limited to the recovery of monies paid to you and / or legal proceedings. We will use the information provided in this form to prevent and detect fraud, including carrying out verification checks and will share information with other government and third-party agencies for this purpose.

Any payments made in error will also be subject to recovery.

The Government is supporting Local Councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Appeals

There is no right of appeal against any decision not to award a payment, either for the main Test and Trace Support Payment or for applications to receive a discretionary payment. People who are turned down will not be eligible because they do not meet the criteria.

However, where possible, we will work with you to make sure that you have an opportunity to provide the necessary evidence to support a successful application.

Data Sharing

The information you submit here will be processed by Coventry Council. We need your consent so that we can access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you are eligible for the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme.

You can find more information on this via the NHS Test and Trace Privacy notice.

We will carry out checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax and national insurance purposes, and with your employer.  

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because Self-Isolation Payments are subject to Income Tax. If you are self-employed, you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

All information is processed in accordance with the Council’s data protection policy.

If you wish to request any changes to the way your data is used for the purposes of processing this application, including the withdrawal of consent, you can exercise your rights under the GDPR in writing to the Council’s Data Protection Officer by contacting [email protected].

If you do withdraw your consent, we will not be able to continue payments to you. Your consent is necessary to establish your eligibility and to authorise any payments made.

In applying, you must confirm that you have read, understood and consented to your data being processed in this way for the purposes of assessing your eligibility for a Self-Isolation Payment.

How to apply

You will be able to upload evidence as part of your application. If you do not have original documents, you can send photocopies or capture the evidence in a photo to upload. If you are unable to upload you can email your evidence to [email protected].

You will need to quote your application reference number in the subject field. Please also include the applicant’s full name and address in the body of the email.   

If you've been asked to self-isolate

Apply for a COVID-19 Test and Trace support payment

If you're a parent or guardian of a child who need to self-isolate

Parents/guardians can apply if they have cannot work because they have to look after a child / young person who has been told to self-isolate.

Apply for a COVID-19 Test and Trace support payment for parents and guardians

If you are unable to apply online as you do not have access to a computer, you can make a telephone application by telephoning 08085 834333. You will need to have the information and documents listed above with you when you make the call. The officer helping you will give you an application reference number, which you must include with any correspondence, so we are able to link this information to your claim. If you need to post evidence to us, please use this address:

Coventry City Council
Benefits Service
Test and Trace Support Payments
PO Box 15
Council House
Coventry City Council
CV1 5RR

Please avoid contacting the team to obtain an update on your application for a Test and Trace Support Payment, please be advised we have had a significant increase in applications and emails during the Christmas period and to date. 

Email queries will cause delays with reviewing support payment claims.

To enable officers to get through the outstanding applications and to get payments out as soon as possible, we will not be replying to emails from customers who are asking when their claim will be assessed.

As a guide, it may take up to 10 working days for your claim to be reviewed and considered. If a claim is successful and agreed BACS payments can take up to 3-5 working days.

Once your application is allocated to an officer you will be contacted via email or by telephone for further information if needed, or you will receive a letter informing you of the outcome of your claim.

Please continue to use [email protected] to send in additional evidence to support your claim, or to respond to further information that has been requested.

Your patience is appreciated at this busy time. 

Customer Services

Open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Tel: 08085 834333

Visit: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/contactCustomerServices

If you do need to call us,
please try to avoid our busiest times
of lunchtime and early afternoon.

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