Coronavirus: Information and advice

Only meet indoors with people you live with or your support bubble. Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside. Work from home if you can. If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home.

Coronavirus: Information and advice

Fraud awareness

If you receive a text message regarding a Test and Trace Payment and it asks you to click on a link to a website for the purpose of entering additional information such as bank details please ignore it as it’s likely to be a scam or phishing and has not come from Oldham Council.

Under the Test and Trace Support scheme payments of £500 are now available for residents who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, providing that their period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020.

Please do not delay in applying for financial support to self-isolate. Complete the online application form and we will assess your eligibility.

What is a Test and Trace Support Payment?

If you have received notification from NHS Test and Trace or via the NHS COVID 19 app to self-isolate and your self-isolation period started on or after 28 September 2020, (8 March 2021 if you are claiming as a parent or guardian of a child who is required to self-isolate) you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500.

This payment has been designed to support those people on low incomes and who will lose income as a result of self-isolating.

It is important for people with symptoms to get tested and for contacts of people who have tested positive to self-isolate to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and to avoid further economic and societal restrictions. The scheme will last until 30 June 2021.

Eligibility

People who live in the borough of Oldham who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 App to self-isolate, will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment providing they satisfy all six of the following requirements:

  • Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by 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
  • Have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (by email, text, letter or phone call) in which you are required to provide your contact details and where you’ve tested positive, the details of your contacts
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Are currently 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
  • The application MUST be submitted within 42 days after the first day of an individual’s period of Self-Isolation.

From 8 March 2021 the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme has been extended to parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate, but who need to take time off work to look after a child or young person who is self-isolating. 

Applicants will need to satisfy the other eligibility criteria for the main scheme or the local discretionary scheme to receive the payment.

This extension applies to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.

Test and Trace Support Payment Discretionary Scheme

A discretionary £500 lump sum payment in exceptional circumstances may be available to an individual who meets the main qualifying criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment (i.e. they are a low-income worker who is unable to work because they or their child are self-isolating) providing that their period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020 (8 March 2021 if it’s their child who is self-isolating) but are not in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits and could suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.  

We will also take into account other factors that may increase your financial hardship as a result of self-isolating. These include, but are not limited to:

  • the number of children you are responsible for;
  • property related costs such as rent/mortgage or Council Tax;
  • other outgoings such as maintenance or loan payments;
  • the financial impact of having to self-isolate more than once;
  • the welfare of the family over the self-isolation period i.e. immediate need for food and fuel.

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.
  • Are no longer required to self-isolate (Eligible residents will have 42 days from the start of the self-isolation period to apply)
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate or where the application is for a parent of a child, the child has not received notification (from NHS; education or childcare setting; or NHS COVID-19 App for a young person who has an Education, Health and Care Plan) to self-isolate.
  • Have pay that is lower than normal because you have been furloughed. (However, if you have more than one job and you have been furloughed for one job but will lose income from a second because you are self-isolating, you may be eligible for support under the scheme). 

Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?

You can help someone else fill out an application or fill out an application on their behalf.

However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else; payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. 

Before you start

You will need the following information to complete this form:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of your NHS Test and Trace Account ID and notification or;
  • If you are a parent or guardian, proof of your child’s NHS Test and Trace Account ID and notification; evidence of communication from your child’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate; or a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan;
  • 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; and
  • Your National Insurance Number

If you are not in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits and wish to be considered for the discretionary support payment you will also be required to provide:

  • Evidence of the property related costs you have.
  • Further proof of income (and your partner’s income and national insurance number if you are in a couple).

What am I required to do?

If you receive a Test and Trace Payment you (or your child) must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace. 

Please visit the NHS website for details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those who are tested positive and those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self- isolate.

Fraud

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 may any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting Local Councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Data Sharing

The information you provide will be processed by Oldham Council. In submitting your application, you are agreeing to us accessing your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you are eligible for the Test and Trace Payment Scheme.

You can find more information on this via the NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice

We will carry out checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax and national insurance purposes, with your child’s education or care setting if you are applying as a parent of a child who is self-isolating, and with your employer. 

We will not share your data with other organisations or individuals outside of the Council for any other purpose.

To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you provide to us with TransUnion. This is not a credit check and won’t impact your credit rating.

For more information on how TransUnion may use your data, please visit www.transunion.co.uk/legal/privacy-centre.

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because Test and Trace Payments are subject to Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

If you are self-employed, you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

We may use some automated decision-making to determine if you are eligible to access funds.

This means that a decision may be made by automated means, without any human involvement. 

Your rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 allow you to object to any automated decision-making used in this process.

If you do, there may be a significant delay in the processing of your application.

We never sell your data to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without your consent.

All information is processed in accordance with the Council’s data protection policy https://uat.oldham.gov.uk/dataprotection

If you wish to request any changes to the way your data is used for the purposes of processing this application, you can exercise your rights under GDPR in writing to the Council’s Data Protection Officer.

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