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Luton Borough Council

Test and Trace support payment

​Information on coronavirus

If you've been told by the NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because you have either tested positive for coronavirus or you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period. The notification will come with an 8 letter unique identifier, and is not part of the NHS ‘App’ notification scheme.

This payment is designed to support people on low incomes if they cannot work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating and to encourage people to get tested for if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and social restrictions.
The scheme will last until 31 January 2021.

What is a self-isolate support payment?

From 28 September 2020, people who live in the borough of Luton who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate team, (not th NHS App notification) will be entitled to a Test and Trace support payment of £500 if they:
  • 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
  • are currently receiving:
    • 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 for payment you must meet all the above requirements.
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:

Who is not eligible to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment?

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
  • 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
Where an application is refused due to not meeting the criteria there is no right of appeal.

Local Discretionary Support Payment

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 as detailed above and are:
  • a low-income worker who is unable to work because they are self-isolating
  • not in receipt of qualifying benefits and could 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
  • Is a Luton care leaver aged 18 to 25
  • Is in employment but no recourse to public funds
  • 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?

You can help someone else complete the online application, or complete it 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.

How the support payment will be paid

We intend to make payments within 5 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:
  • rent
  • mortgage
  • 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. Click here for more information on your rights and a template letter.
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.

Data sharing

We will use your data for the processing of your Test and Trace Support payment application. 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

You'll need the following information to complete this form:
  • 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 
To find out more about the scheme please see the Test and Trace self-isolate support payment scheme guidance and procedures PDF document

How to apply

Apply for Test and Trace Support payment



© 2020 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ