Coronavirus Financial Support for Residents
TEST AND TRACE PAYMENTS
Please read the following and make your application, if you meet the criteria.
Individuals are now able to claim a payment of £500 if they are required to self isolate, by the NHS Test an Trace process, claim an in-work benefit, cannot work from home and will lose money as a result.
The scheme has 2 elements
- Main Scheme – with the qualifying criteria being prescribed by Government
- Discretionary Scheme – whereby the Council can extend the payments to people who satisfy most of the main criteria but are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit.
Main Scheme Qualifying Criteria.
Individuals may be entitled to a Test & Trace Support Payment of £500 if they:
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
Are employed or self- employed
Cannot work from home and will lose money
Are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income based Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
The payment is fixed amount of £500 for each separate period of isolation.
People may qualify several times for several periods of isolation provided the isolations are entirely separate and do not overlap.
Members of the same household (including partners) may each qualify for a £500 payment simultaneously provided each meets the qualifying criteria.
Employees who are ‘Furloughed’ are not eligible.
Discretionary Scheme Qualifying Criteria.
The Council manages a Discretionary Scheme to cover people who satisfy most of the criteria of the Main Scheme, would suffer hardship as a result of self isolation, but do not receive a qualifying benefit.
Individuals may be entitled to a Discretionary Test & Trace Support Payment of £500 if they:
- Have been told to stay at home and self isolate by the NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
are employed or self-employed; and
are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
are not currently in receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and
are a low income worker; (see below) and
have accessible capital of less than £6000; and
are suffering financial hardship due to a loss of income. The applicant will need to demonstrate that hardship.
Definition of a low income earner:
An individual will be classed as a low income worker if their average normal gross weekly income is below £322.64. This reflects 37 hours at the National Minimum Wage of £8.72.
Definition of financial hardship
Financial hardship will be classed as an inability to meet essential living costs such as rent/mortgage, food, utilities, medical needs, which cannot be resolved by personal budgeting.
Application Payment Process.
The applicant will need to provide the following information via the on-line Test & Trace Support Payment Application Form
- A notification from NHS Test and Trace asking the claimant to self-isolate.
- Proof of receipt of a qualifying benefit
- Your most recent bank statement for the account the support payment will be paid into.
- Recent proof of employment or self employment, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that the business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
You will need to declare that that you cannot work from home due to the nature of your work and will lose income as a result of self-isolation.
Payments will be made by bank transfer into a verified bank account.
If you are overdrawn at the bank, you can exercise your first right of appropriation to ensure that the bank does not use the payment to pay the overdraft. You should speak to your bank in the first instance, they may ask you to make your request in writing.
If you’re on benefits already but your income has stopped or reduced
If you’re on Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, it’s really important that you tell both us and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) about any changes to your income so that we can adjust the amount you’re entitled to.
In addition, if you have claimed Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or Local Council Tax Support, you can apply to the Council for a Discretionary Payment which can provide additional short term help with the payment of both Rent and Council Tax.
To tell us about a change in your circumstances or to apply for a Discretionary Payment please visit our website at www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/benefitforms
Accessing benefits for the first time if your income has stopped or reduced
If you’re struggling financially and not on benefits already, you may be eligible to apply for both of the following:
- Council Tax Support: this is a type of benefit that reduces the amount of council tax you need to pay. The discount you’re entitled to is worked out by comparing your income and your family circumstances with the table below.
If you are in employment the income figures below can increase by up to £70 per week.
If your household includes children under 5 or severely disabled people, your entitlement will usually increase by a further 20% of you bill, up to your full council tax bill.
Single person with one child
Single person with two or more children
Couple with one child
Couple with two or more children
Income up to
Income up to
Income up to
Income up to
Income up to
Income up to
Further information about the scheme or changes to benefits can be found here www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/residents/benefits. Also please follow this link to see our Coronavirus Benefits Bulletin.
If you think you’re eligible and want to apply you can do this by visiting our website at www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk/benefitforms
- Universal Credit: if you’re not claiming benefits at the moment and you’re now unable to work or your income has dropped, as long as you fit the criteria, you can apply for Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) manages this so you will need to call them on 0800 328 5644 or go to gov.uk to apply. You do not need to go to the job centre and you can receive an advance payment from DWP
For further advice on the council’s benefit schemes:
Please complete the online form: Covid-19 Benefits Enquiry
or call 01543-464292
For advice about debt or money management call CAB on 03444 111 444
Last Updated: 20/10/2020