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Test and Trace Payments

What are Test and Trace Payments?

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period. 

Who is eligible?

From 28 September 2020 people who live in the district of Folkestone & Hythe who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate will be entitled to a Test and Trace payment of £500 providing they: 

  • Comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate 
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
  1. Universal credit
  2. Working Tax Credit
  3. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  4. Housing Benefit
  5. Income Support 
  6. Income based Job Seeker's Allowance
  7. Pension Credit

This is applicable if anyone has been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September. This payment is designed to support people on low incomes, if they will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage them to get tested if they have symptoms.

People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

Icon for pdf Folkestone & Hythe District Council Test & Trace Standard Scheme [264.54KB]

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 i.e. your period of self-isolation before the Test and Trace Payment Scheme launched (28 September 2020) 
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate 

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. 

Discretionary Payments

We are operating a discretionary scheme for residents that fall outside of the standard criteria.

Residents must meet the following criteria:

  • 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

This scheme will consider applicants that have made a claim for a relevant benefit but not yet received a payment or those that are not in receipt of any benefits, residents that have no recourse to public funds under standard benefit rules and have capital and savings below £3,000.

To apply you can complete the same form as the standard scheme and specify that you are not in receipt of a relevant benefit.

Icon for pdf Folkestone & Hythe District Council Test & Trace Discretionary Scheme [285.58KB]

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 Account ID for coronavirus COVID-19 or;
  • Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
  • Your National Insurance Number

If you do not have access to a computer you can download a copy of the form 

Icon for pdf FHDC Test & Trace Payment Application Form [301.43KB]

What am I required to do?

If you receive a Test and Trace payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace. 

Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those

Can my bank take my Test & Trace Payment to pay my overdraft?

No, banks are not allowed to use your Test and Trace Payment or any other benefit to repay an overdraft. You can protect your Test and Trace Payment by writing to your bank. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'. You will need to tell your bank how to use these payments.

You will need to write to your bank at least seven days before the Test and Trace Payment is due, making it clear what this money can be used for, for example your rent, electricity bill and water rates. Keep a copy of the letter in case there is any dispute later.

You may want to ask your bank/building society for a written acknowledgement of your instructions. If there are any items you no longer want to pay from your account, or which you cannot afford, you should give your bank separate cancellation instructions.

The first right of appropriation does not stop the bank paying items as well as those you have listed. If you do not cancel these items, your bank may return the items as unpaid, which they may charge you for. However, payments from your account to repay a loan with the same bank cannot be cancelled.

For example, you may want to instruct your bank or building society:

"On or around September 28th, my Test and Trace Payment will be paid into my current account number 0101010101. I am exercising my first right of appropriation over these funds and wish you to pay the following items from it: £50 standing order payable to Southern Water on 25th of the month."

Data Sharing

The information you submit here will be processed by Folkestone & Hythe District Council. We need your consent so that we can access 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, 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 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. 

If you wish to request any changes to the way your data is used for the purposes of processing this application, including the withdrawal of consent, you can exercise your rights under GDPR in writing to the Council's Data protection Officer on the link above.

If you do withdraw your consent, we will not be able to continue payments to you. Your consent is necessary to establish your eligibility and to authorise any payments made.

In submitting an application you must confirm that you have read, understood and consented to your data being processed in this way for the purposes of assessing your eligibility for a Test and Trace Payment.

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