I need financial support
- going to work
- if you're off sick or told to stay home because of coronavirus
- if you're self-employed
- if you're claiming benefits
- if you can’t pay your rent
- Covid winter grant – food voucher scheme
- coronavirus and claiming benefits on the DWP website
- what to do if you were employed and have lost your job
- guidance for people who are employed and cannot work due to coronavirus
- guidance for people who are self-employed and getting less work or no work because of coronavirus
- Test and Trace support payment information
Having difficulty paying your Council Tax?
- If you're in financial difficulty and can’t pay your Council Tax, have you applied for Council Tax Reduction?
- If you need to delay payments or make an arrangement to pay let us know via our general enquiry form.
- While the UK has coronavirus restrictions on movement of people we've suspended council tax enforcement visits.
Council tax hardship fund
People of working age who receive council tax reduction (CTR) will receive a maximum of £150 per household (on top of their existing CTR).
Test and Trace support payments
Following the Government announcement the self -isolation payment scheme will be extended and will be changed to include parents or guardians who lose earned income because they are looking after a child that has been told to self-isolate.
At this moment in time we have no further information about these changes so recommend you visit this web page weekly for further updates including which date the changes will take place and how parents and guardians can apply.
As from the 10 December 2020 if you have received notification via the Covid19 App please open the Covid-19 PDF Document at the bottom of this page to see what steps you need to take. Please note without having taken the steps you will not be able to apply for a self-isolation payment.
What is a self-isolate support payment?
- have fully engaged with the NHS Test and Trace tracking scheme and completed the contact tracing on line questionnaire within 8 hours of receiving the message to self- isolate or have completed the questions over the phone with the NHS Test and Trace national or local team.
- comply with the NHS Test and Trace notification to self-isolate
- are employed or self-employed
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- you or a partner in the household are currently receiving one of the following:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
To be eligible an application must be received by us within 28 calendar days after the first day of self -isolation and must include proofs to verify eligibility. Applications received outside this timeframe will be invalid.
Please note: this payment will not reduce any welfare benefit entitlement but is subject to Income Tax.
What do I need to do to comply with the NHS Test and Trace notification to self-isolate?
If you receive a self-isolation payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.
Please visit the NHS Test and Trace website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:
- testing positive themselves
- been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace
Who is not eligible to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment?
- have not fully engaged with the NHS Test and Trace tracking scheme (Local Authorities will be notified by NHS Test & Trace via the Eligibility checker if a person has engaged. Where there is no engagement a payment will not be made)
- 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
- have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
- are on furlough and not working reduced hours or a second job while furloughed
- were notified to self-isolate before 28 September 2020
Local Discretionary Support Payment
- a low-income worker who is unable to work because they are self-isolating
- not in receipt of qualifying benefits and will suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work and are in receipt of one of the following
- Child tax Credit and Child benefit
- Council Tax Reduction
- are a Luton care leaver aged 18 to 25
- are in employment but have no recourse to public funds
- Are waiting to hear about a benefit application
You will need to provide proof of the above to support a discretionary application.
Where an applicant is eligible for the payment we will email or call them to confirm Where an application is declined as the criteria has not been met we will email or call the applicant to advise them of our decision.
Where a discretionary application is refused there is no right of appeal.
Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?
How the support payment will be paid
We intend to make payments within five working days of an application being approved. It can only be made into the account of the person who has been told to self- isolate.
The account must be able to receive BACS payments.
The bank statement you provide must match the details entered on the application form and show:
- name of account holder
- bank sort code
- bank account number
What if my account is overdrawn?
If you know that your account is overdrawn and to avoid any wage or benefit being taken as soon as we have deposited payment 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, such as your:
- gas or electricity
You will need to put this request in writing to your bank or building society and list the bills you wish to pay. For more information on your rights and a template letter, visit the National Debtline's Sample letter webpage.
Please note: we cannot get involved in disputes between account holders and their banks.
Fraud prevention measures
The government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.
We reserve the right to recover money where the recipient fails to comply with the self-isolation guidance and/or where fraud is detected. We will notify the police as well as seek to recover the money.
We will use your data for the processing of your Test and Trace Support payment application.
To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your support payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of support payments.
This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating.
Please visit the TransUnion website for more information on how TransUnion may use your data.
In completing the application form, you're providing consent for us to access your:
- coronavirus testing and contract tracing information via Public Health England
- benefits and earnings data via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), HMRC or your employer
We may check the information you provide, or the information about you which somebody else provides, with other details we hold.
Where permitted by law, we may also receive information from other people or organisations or give information to them to check the accuracy of records, to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways.
All information is processed in accordance with our data protection policy.
We never sell your data to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without your consent.
Before you start
- copy of a recent bank statement from the account you have requested payment is made into
- copy of the NHS Test and Trace notification you received - this can be a photo of the letter or email, but it must clearly show the date you received the notification and the Test and Trace ID your 8-digit NHS Test and Trace reference
- recent wage slip or your latest bank statement (issued in the last two months) showing your earnings being paid in - photos of these documents are acceptable)
- proof of self-employment such as:
- recent business bank statement (issued in the last two months)
- most recent set of accounts
- evidence of self-assessment returns to HMRC or DWP
- your National Insurance number
How to apply
Apply for Test and Trace Support payment