Are you eligible for a Test & Trace Support Payment?

Published Friday, 20th November 2020

Self-isolating Hartlepool residents are being reminded they may be eligible for financial help through the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.

The scheme pays a £500 lump sum to people on low incomes who are unable to work whilst self-isolating.

However, people should only apply if they have been formally told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and provided with a unique eight-digit Test and Trace Number.

Hartlepool Borough Council which is administering the scheme locally, cannot approve payments without a valid number.

In addition to providing their eight-digit number, to qualify for a payment a person must:

  • Be employed or self-employed;
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolation; and
  • Be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Applications can be made at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/testandtracepayment

Anyone not able to access digital services or who is having problems completing the online application form can call (01429) 284188.

Discretionary support payments may also be available to individuals who do not meet all of the above criteria. Applicants who do not receive any of the qualifying benefits but who meet all of the other criteria may be considered if they have less than £3,000 in savings, are on low incomes and can show they will suffer financial hardship.

A person is not eligible for a support payment if they:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless they test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages whilst self-isolating.
  • Can work from home while self-isolating.
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.

Claims made more than 14 days after the last day of an isolation period, as shown by the NHS Test and Trace communication, will not be accepted.

Verified applications will be paid within three working days of receipt of a complete application and supporting information.

University students and those in higher education are excluded from the scheme.

Appropriate information will be required to support a claim.

For further information go to http://www.hartlepool.gov.uk/test-and-trace-support-payments-info Alternatively, email benefitstestandtracesupport@hartlepool.gov.uk or telephone (01429) 284188.

The scheme runs until January 31st 2021.Payments are subject to Income Tax but not National Insurance contributions, and they will not be taken into account for benefit purposes.