A national lockdown is in place across England until 2 December after this the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees will be in ‘Tier 3: Very High Alert’.
For information about the rules, any disruptions to Council services and the support available for our residents and businesses visit www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus
Test and Trace Support Scheme
If you are working, on a low-income and are required to self-isolate, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support payment.
Who is eligible?
Stockton-on-Tees residents who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate will be entitled to a Self-Isolation Payment providing they satisfy all of the following requirements:
- They comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
- Have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020
- Have an 8 digit NHS Test and Trace reference number
- Are employed or self-employed;
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
- Are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate
- Can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
What if I don't meet the criteria?
Applicants who do not receive any of the qualifying benefits outlined above but do meet all of the other criteria may be considered for a Discretionary Payment provided they:-
- are on a low income and
- would sustain financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while self-isolating.
Applications for a Discretionary Support payment are identified automatically from the main Test and Trace Support payment application form. A separate application is not required but if you do qualify for a Discretionary Support payment you will need to provide:
- details of your income and expenditure;
- details of any savings or capital
- details of any financial hardship caused by being told to self isolate
You may also be considered for alternative welfare support schemes and referred to other support and welfare services available. This may include, but is not limited to, food bank organisations, CAB, Tees Credit Union (not for profit community bank) and the Department of Work & Pensions DWP.
All payments will subject to taxation but not National Insurance contributions.
How do I apply?
If you are a Stockton-on-Tees resident, applications should be made to Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. You must submit your application within 14 days of the last day of your period of self-isolation.
If you have any difficulty completing the online form you can call 01642 393829
Before you start
You will need the following information to complete the form:
- 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;
- Your 8 digit NHS Test and Trace reference
- Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
- Your National Insurance Number
You can read our privacy statement to see how we handle your data.
What Happens Next?
We will make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and made correctly. We will confirm your isolation status with NHS Test and Trace and we may contact the Department of Work and Pensions and your employer as well as HMRC for tax purposes.
We will email you about the outcome of your application. If you meet the criteria we’ll aim to make a payment into your bank account within 3 working days of verifying all of your evidence.
Successful Applicants Who Are Overdrawn On Their Bank Account
The Council is aware that some applicants may be overdrawn and the bank may use the isolation payment to offset an overdraft. To protect the isolation payment you should contact your bank to explain that a self-isolation payment is due and that you would like to exercise your ‘first right of appropriation’ over these funds.
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as well as any grants paid in error.
What are the penalties for not self-isolating?
As well as new support measures, f you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.
If you test positive for COVID-19, it is also an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.
Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.