Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What are the criteria to be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment?

Answer: You must meet the following four criteria to be eligible for a payment:
a. You must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
b. You must be employed or self-employed
c. You must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
d. You must be in receipt of either Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Job Seekers Allowance, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.


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Question: I am furloughed. Can I receive a Test and Trace Support Payment?

Answer: Yes – you can receive a payment as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

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Question: I have just returned from holiday or abroad. Can I receive a Test and Trace Support Payment?

Answer: No – you cannot receive a payment after returning from abroad unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

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Question: I have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS. Can I receive a payment?

Answer: Only people who have been told to self-isolate by Test and Trace may be eligible for a payment, however there is certain criteria to a test and trace payment.

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Question: I have been asked to self-isolate but am working from home. Can I receive a test and trace payment?

Answer: No – you can only receive a payment if you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of this.

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Question: What if I am not eligible for the Test and Trace Support payment but have been told to self-isolate?

Answer: If you are not eligible for the payment, but have been told by Test and Trace that you must self-isolate, you can apply for a discretionary payment from the Council if it means you will have a loss of income and experience hardship as a result.

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Question: What if I cannot make an application online?

Answer: You can contact the council on 01983 823950 to complete an application over the phone. You will need to supply the proofs to go with your application as we cannot make a payment without this. If you are applying over the phone, you will need to email your proofs to Testtrace.support@iow.gov.uk

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Question: How much is the payment?

Answer: The payment is £500 upfront directly into your bank account. It will be subject to income tax but will be disregarded when calculating your eligibility for any other benefits.

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Question: What will happen if I don't self-isolate?

Answer: If you do not self-isolate, there is a fine of £1,000 for breaching self-isolation rules, but this could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and serious breaches, including if you prevent others from self-isolating (for example, if you own a business and threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not go to work).

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Question: Are applications from members of the same household allowed?

Answer: People who live in the same household can each make an individual application to receive a support payment if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

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Question: Can I apply after my period of self-isolation has ended?

Answer: You can make an application claim up to 14 days after your period of self-isolation has ended if you meet the eligibility criteria. The scheme will last until 31 January 2021.

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Question: Is a Test and Trace support payment taxable?

Answer:
Yes, the support payment will be subject to income tax but will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. Tax will not be deducted from the payment itself. You will need to declare the payment to HMRC.


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Question: Can my bank take the payment to pay my overdraft?

Answer: You should contact your bank and ask to make a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’ to prevent the payment being used to pay your overdraft.

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Question: Can I get a payment if I have two jobs and I can only do one from home?

Answer: If you have two part-time jobs and are continued to be paid a full wage by one employer, but the other employer is not paying you whilst you are self-isolating then you can be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment if you meet all the eligibility criteria.

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Question: Do I have a right of appeal if a payment is not awarded?

Answer: No, if you are turned down for an award it is because you are not eligible as you do not meet the criteria.

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Question: What is a discretionary payment?

Answer: Local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who do not meet the criteria for a Test and Trace payment.

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Question: What happens if I’m self-employed and in receipt of the discretionary support payment?

Answer: The payment will be a coronavirus support payment and therefore a revenue receipt of your business, contributing towards your profits. The payment will need to be included on your Self Assessment Tax Return along with any other coronavirus support payments you may have received.

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Question: What happens if I’m employed and in receipt of the discretionary payment?

Answer: There is nothing you need to do. If your income for the year is not more than £12,500, you will not have any tax to pay. If tax is due, HMRC will automatically recover it from your pay through a change in your tax code. HMRC will send you a new tax code notice.

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Question: Does the discretionary payment impact existing benefit entitlements?

Answer: No, the payment does not affect existing entitlements to Universal Credit, Pension Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit. The payment will also be disregarded as income for the purposes of tax credits.

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Question: Can I receive the discretionary payment whilst in receipt of Statutory Sick Pay?

Answer: Claimants can claim Statutory Sick Pay as well as a Test and Trace Support Payment, but not contractual sick pay from their employer. Employers can claim Statutory Sick Pay Reimbursement for those self-isolating.

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Question: What are the qualifying conditions for a discretionary payment?

Answer: You can qualify for a discretionary payment if:

• 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;
• are employed or self-employed; and
• are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
• you are not 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; and
• you are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating.
• You are an Island resident.
• You are not a full time student.
• You do not have capital over £6,000.
• You must normally earn between £80 and £400 gross per week.


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Question: How and when do I apply for Test and Trace Support Payment scheme?

Answer: You can be eligible for a payment from 28 September 2021. You will be able to make an application via the Council website by 12 October 2021. You need to apply immediately when you have been advised to self-isolate. A complete application must be received within 42 days of the start of your self-isolation period. Any application submitted after this time, or incomplete application will be unsuccessful.

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