Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme
We are currently experiencing a high volume of applications for Test and Trace Support Payments. This is leading to delays in assessing claims of up to two weeks from the date of application.
In order to ease processing, please ensure all supporting information is submitted with your application. This includes a current bank statement, proof of employment / self-employment and evidence of loss of earnings (either a wage slip for the period of isolation of a letter from your employer confirming loss of earnings).
Please note, you must ensure you obtain a valid NHS CTAS number within the 10-day period of your isolation, and are fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace, prior to submitting your application to the Council.
The Council will contact you once it has assessed the claim. Please do not contact the Council to check progress with your application.
Who is eligible for support?
Hartlepool residents unable to work whilst self-isolating, or caring for a child that is self-isolating can apply for help from the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.
Those meeting the eligibility criteria will receive a £500 lump sum. (Payments are subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions, and they will not be taken into account for benefit purposes).
The scheme which is being administered locally by the Council, runs until September 30th..
There are two distinct strands to the scheme:
For those self-isolating either because they have tested positive or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Eligibility is linked to receipt of defined benefits.
Those not in receipt of defined benefits, may be eligible for a discretionary payment if they meet the criteria, have less than £10,000 of savings and are facing financial hardship. For self-employed individuals, the £10,000 threshold includes funds in business accounts.
As of 16th August 2021, fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means they are no longer eligible for the support payment.
Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate and are, therefore, eligible for the support payment, subject to meeting the criteria.
For parents or guardians who need to take time off work to care for children who are required to self-isolate. Eligibility is linked to receipt of defined benefits.
Those not in receipt of defined benefits may be eligible for a discretionary payment if they meet the criteria, have less than £10,000 of savings and are facing financial hardship. For self-employed individuals, the £10,000 threshold includes funds in business accounts.
As of 16th August 2021, people under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means that their parent/guardian will no longer need to care for them as they can continue to leave home to attend school, college, etc. As such they are no longer eligible for the support payment.
Some people aged 18-25 with an EHC Plan will still be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated. Parents or guardians may still be eligible for a support payment if they need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.
Children who test positive are still required to self-isolate and eligibility remains in place for their parents or guardians who meet the criteria.
For more information about discretionary payments click in the box below.
Local Welfare Support
Please telephone 01429 523469 during office hours to apply for crisis support.
A crisis could be an event of great or sudden misfortune such as major flooding, gas explosions or house fire or there is a severe risk to the health and safety of the applicant or an immediate family member or dependant which cannot be dealt with via other support mechanisms.
Awards may be made to cover the following risks:
- No access to essential needs
- Imminent deterioration in health
To qualify for crisis support you do not need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit but awards will only be given to those most in need and only where there is enough money in the fund. If you are eligible for crisis support you will not get any money but help may be given by providing access to food, pre paid vouchers, gas/electricity key cards charged for you or essential household goods obtained for you.
For further information contact The Children's Hub
Telephone 01429 284284
First rights of Appropriation
If you know that your accounts are at risk and to avoid any wages or benefits being taken as soon as they have been deposited into your account, you could exercise your ‘first right of appropriation’. This is a temporary measure under common law, allowing you to earmark funds for specific essential bills - for example your rent, your mortgage and your gas or electricity.