Coronavirus update and advice

The Government has introduced a 3-tier Coronavirus set of rules for England – Medium, High and Very High. Oldham is in the Very High tier.

More information

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 and the correct payment you may be entitled to under the pilot scheme or national scheme as appropriate.

What is a Test and Trace Support Payment?

If you have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate and your self-isolation period started on or after 28 September 2020, 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 31 January 2021.

Eligibility

People who live in the borough of Oldham who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate will be entitled to either a Self-Isolation or a Test and Trace Support Payment providing they satisfy all four 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

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 are self-isolating) providing that their period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020 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. 

The funding available for the discretionary scheme is limited so the Council will prioritise applications from those who have property related costs for the property they occupy such as Council Tax and/or rent/mortgage costs.

Low income for the discretionary scheme is defined as

  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if you are in a couple or are a single parent and your children live with you; or
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if you are a single adult.

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 two weeks from the end of the self-isolation period to apply)
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you 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 self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Proof of your NHS Test and Trace Account ID and notification 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 Self-Isolation / Test and Trace Payment you 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 Self-Isolation / 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, and with your employer. 

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

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because Self-Isolation / 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 www.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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