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Coronavirus in Leicester

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Test and trace support payment

From 28 September 2020, the government introduced support payments of £500 if you cannot work because you’ve been instructed to self-isolate by NHS test and trace and are on a low income. The support payment scheme will run until 31 January 2021.

Ensuring those infected and their close contacts isolate is one of our most powerful tools for controlling COVID-19 transmission.

It can take up to 14 days for you to develop coronavirus symptoms after you catch the virus, and in this time, you can pass it onto others even if you don’t have symptoms. You can also remain infectious for up to 10 days after developing symptoms.

Staying at home and self-isolating helps prevent family, friends and the community from contracting coronavirus, as well as helping to protect the health and care system. You can find more information at GOV.UK

You are required by law to self-isolate if you test positive or are identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace, and your employer cannot knowingly enable or encourage you to do otherwise. Penalties include fines of at least £1,000 and up to a maximum of £10,000.

If you are employed or self-employed, on benefits and unable to work during self-isolation starting from 28 September 2020, you may be entitled to a test and trace support payment of £500.

If you meet the above criteria but are not on benefits and are in financial hardship, we may instead be able to pay you a discretionary payment of £500.

To be eligible for the test and trace support payment of £500, you must:

  1. Be a resident of Leicester City. If you are not from Leicester City, please use the post code checker at GOV.UK to find out the local authority you need to claim from.
  2. Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, for 10 days because you've tested positive or for 14 days due to being in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  3. Be employed (including under the furlough scheme, if you are still working part-time) or self-employed;
  4. Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating;
  5. Be receiving at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal credit
    • Working tax credit
    • Income-based employment and support allowance
    • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
    • Income support
    • Housing benefit
    • Pension credit

A discretionary payment can be made to individuals who are not receiving a qualifying benefit and meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Be a resident of Leicester City. If you are not from Leicester City, please use the post code checker at GOV.UK to find out the local authority you need to claim from.
  2. Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, for 10 days because you've tested positive or for 14 days due to being in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  3. Be employed (including under the furlough scheme, if you are still working part-time) or self-employed;
  4. Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating.

In most circumstances, you will also need to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Not be entitled to statutory sick pay for example you have been employed for less than six months or earn less than an average of £120.00 per week;
  2. Receiving contribution-based or ‘new style’ jobseekers’ allowance or employment & support allowance, council tax support or a State Retirement Pension
  3. Receiving a disability benefit such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments;
  4. Have been waiting at least 14 days after you should have received a new benefit you’ve claimed, or a decision you’ve appealed.

We will also take into account:

  • Your available savings;
  • Whether your employment is vulnerable to COVID-19, e.g. zero-hours/temporary with weekly pay;
  • Whether your employer is vulnerable to COVID-19, e.g. factory work, childcare
  • How much of your income you have lost due to self-isolation.

The fund is limited and no further payments can be made after it is spent. You can find the full policy at the top of this page.

You will not qualify if you are:

  • quarantining 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;
  • furloughed, unless you have continued to work part time before you self-isolated;
  • applying more than 14 days after your self-isolation period ended;
  • unable to provide all the evidence required within 14 days of your self-isolation ending;
  • a parent or carer of a child asked to self-isolate, unless your child has tested positive.

You will need to provide: 

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate;
  • your account ID number, which can be found in your NHS Test and Trace notification;
  • a bank statement in your name. Your name, sort code and account number needs to be clear on the statement provided;
  • proof of employment such as wage slips, P60, your contract of employment or a letter from your employer, or proof you are self-employed, such as evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income - and proof that the business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact;
  • your national insurance number.

For more details about how we will use your data see our privacy statement.

When you complete the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing journey you will receive a message by text, email or post (depending whether you have access to a mobile phone or email). The message contains the 8-character account ID.

Payment are made into a bank account in your name.

If your bank account is overdrawn, please see our information (PDF) for advice and contact your bank as soon possible before applying.

If you do not have a bank account, you will not meet the eligibility criteria to be awarded a payment until you have one. You can find more information at GOV.UK on how to open a basic bank account or alternatively contact Citizens Advice Leicestershire for more advice.

These payments will be subject to income tax, but not subject to national insurance contributions.  

No, they will be disregarded.

Yes, as long as the self-isolation periods do not overlap. You must meet all of the eligibility criteria and provide all required evidence each time. 

Yes, people in the same household can each make an individual application to receive a payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

Yes, you must meet the same criteria, and not be off sick for an unrelated reason.

Yes, as long as you have made your claim and provided all required evidence within 14 days of your period of self-isolation ending.

There are no formal appeal rights, but you can ask for a decision to be reviewed. Details are provided in the policy at the top of this page.

Yes – they will need to complete the Authority to disclose form (PDF) at the same time and upload the document with your application.

Before you start to complete the online form, please make sure that you have read and meet the eligibility criteria and have the appropriate evidence ready to upload.

You can apply for the support payment online.

If you need help to complete the test and trace support payment application form, ask a family member or friend to do so on your behalf or they can complete the C19 support form.

If the above options are not available, email your name and contact number to C19support@leicester.gov.uk with the subject line ‘Test and trace support payments’ or call on 0116 454 1019. Our customer support team will call you back within 12 working hours, Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4.30pm.

We can offer advice and support to city residents who are vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out about support with food, rent payments or other bills, as well as support with your housing costs or council tax

You can report a possible breach of coronavirus measures to Leicestershire Police.