Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

On 28 September 2020, the Government set up a scheme to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose earned income as a result. This scheme is being administered by local councils.

The scheme will last until 30 September 2021. People eligible for support under the scheme will receive a payment of £500. If your isolation period starts after 30 September 2021 you will not be eligible for this support payment.

Who is entitled to a payment?

You will be entitled to a payment under the main scheme if all the following statements apply to you:

  • you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (they will provide you with a unique reference number which you will need to give when you apply for the payment)
  • you are employed or self-employed and will have a reduction in your earned income due to being unable to work while self-isolating (the reduction must be because of this, and not because you are furloughed)
  • you are currently receiving one of the following benefits Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Pension Credit

How to claim?

The form will tell you if the answers you give mean that you do not meet the eligibility criteria, and you will be unable to continue with the application. If you do meet the eligibility criteria, you must answer all questions and upload all evidence or you will be unable to submit the form.

You will need to provide the following evidence with your form:

  • proof of current employment/self-employment (e.g. most recent payslip or letter from employer; most current tax return, evidence of self-employed work done prior to self-isolation e.g. invoices or payments received for work done)
  • bank statement for the account you want payment to be made into (this must be an account in your own name)

It is your responsibility to provide the required evidence to support your claim when you apply. If you do not provide all the required evidence when you apply, your application will be unsuccessful

Make a claim

You must apply within 42 days (6 weeks) of your isolation period starting. If you do not apply within the time limit, you will not be entitled to a payment. Another person can complete the application form for you, but we can only make payment to the person who has been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

If you are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace more than once between 28 September 2020 and 30 September 2021, and you meet the eligibility criteria during each period of self-isolation, you will be able to claim more than once (providing the self-isolation periods do not overlap).

Discretionary scheme

The Government has provided limited funding for a discretionary scheme for people who meet the first two eligibility criteria and are on a low income, but do not receive one of the qualifying benefits so are not entitled under the main scheme. In Bexley, it has been decided that this support will be made available to residents on a low income.

If you are employed/self-employed and will experience a reduction in earned income because you have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, but you do not receive one of the main qualifying benefits, you may be considered for a discretionary payment if the following statement applies to you:

  • your total annual earnings are less than £15,410 if you are single with no children, or £23,000 if you are a lone parent or have a partner who lives with you

You can apply using the main scheme application form. In addition to evidence of your employment/self-employment and your bank statement, you will be required to provide evidence of your partner’s income and address if you have a partner living with you, or evidence that you receive Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit if you are a lone parent. If you do not provide all the required evidence when you apply, your application will be unsuccessful.

Test and Trace Support Payments for parents/guardians of a child/young person required to self-isolate

Parents or guardians who themselves are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment under the main scheme or discretionary scheme if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is instructed to self-isolate from 8 March 2021 and 30 September 2021.

In order to claim, you must meet all of the main scheme or discretionary scheme criteria and apply within the timescale as detailed above, but you do not need to have your own Test and Trace reference number. In addition, you must meet all the criteria below: 

You must be the parent or guardian of a child or young person living in the same household as you, and you must need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. Only one parent or guardian can claim.

Your child or young person: 

  • must be aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
  • has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

In addition to the evidence detailed in the main scheme/discretionary scheme sections above (except for having your own Test and Trace reference), you will need to provide the following: 

  • your child/young person’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate; or
  • notification from your child/young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate (e.g. letter, email); or
  • a screenshot of your young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate, and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan

If you do not provide all the required evidence when you apply, your application will be unsuccessful.

Applications that overlap with another period of self-isolation

A parent or guardian can claim more than once, as long as the child or young person’s self-isolation periods do not overlap. For example, if you are looking after one isolating child who then has a second isolation period that overlaps with the first one, you can only claim once. Similarly, if you have two children who have the same isolation periods, you can only claim for one child.

Can I appeal if am I told I am not entitled?

The Government has stated that there is no right of appeal against a decision that you are not eligible under the main scheme or the discretionary scheme. As such, appeals will not be accepted by the Council.

Test and Trace Enquiries and Complaints Service

You can now call NHS Test and Trace on 119 if you have any enquiries about self-isolating, complaints about contact tracing or self-isolation period disputes, and to receive general support/information on self-isolation.

Self-Isolation Payment Privacy Notice

If you apply, we will need to process your personal data to assess whether you are eligible to receive financial support, and if so, to provide a payment to you. This Privacy Notice sets out what personal data we will use, how we will use it, and why we need to, when an applicant applies for this support.

Data Controller

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has commissioned NHS Test and Trace on behalf of the government and is the data controller for the purposes of providing Test and Trace data to the London Borough of Bexley.

The London Borough of Bexley are the data controller for the purposes of assessing eligibility, administering and making payments under the Test and Trace Support scheme.

New package to support self-isolation

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for 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.

What are Self-Isolation Payments?

People who are eligible will receive a £500 one-off Test and Trace Support payment or provision from the discretionary fund to remain at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

Categories of personal data we collect and process

We collect and process the personal data that you provide to us when completing your application for a self-isolation support payment, which may include:

  • full name
  • full residential address
  • email address
  • mobile telephone number
  • home telephone number
  • proxy applicant details (as above where you may nominate someone else to complete this application on your behalf)
  • employer name and address
  • NHS notification number (the unique reference you will be given by NHS Test and Trace Service to self-isolate)
  • bank account details
  • your National Insurance number
  • 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

Source and categories of personal data

We will obtain data from the NHS Test and Trace Service to confirm that you have either tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. As this data is related to your health it is referred to as 'special category data'.

You or your nominated representative will also provide us with additional personal data in relation to your application for a Self-Isolation Payment.

What we use your personal data for

We will carry out checks with the NHS Test and Trace Service and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax and National Insurance purposes, and potentially with your employer in validating your application.

Information relating to your application will also be sent to the DHSC to help understand public health implications, allow us to carry out anti-fraud checks and determine how well the scheme is performing.

We will not share this data with other organisations or individuals outside of the London Borough of Bexley for any other purpose.

We will provide information to HMRC in relation to any payments we make because Self-Isolation 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.

To validate your bank account details, the Department for Health and Social Care (who we administer this scheme on behalf of) require us to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your Test and Trace Support Payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating.

For more information on how TransUnion may use your data, please visit https://www.transunion.co.uk/legal/privacy-centre.

Our lawful basis for processing the personal data

We must have a legal basis to process your personal data. Our lawful basis in the processing that we'll undertake in assessing your eligibility for, and in making any self-isolation payment to you, is based on a legal obligation.

Where we use personal information to confirm that someone is eligible for a self-isolation payment, the sections of the law that apply are:

  • GDPR Article 6(1)(e) - processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
  • GDPR Article 9(2)(i) - processing is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against serious cross-border threats to health or ensuring high standards of quality and safety of healthcare
  • Data Protection Act 2018 Schedule 1 Part 1 (2) - health or social care purposes

Separately, we have special permission from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to use confidential patient information without people’s consent for the purposes of diagnosing, recognising trends, controlling and preventing, and monitoring and managing communicable diseases and other risks to public health.

This is known as a 'section 251' approval and includes, for example, using your test results if you test positive for COVID-19 to start the contact-tracing process.

The part of the law that applies here is section 251 of the National Health Service Act 2006 and Regulation 3 of the associated Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002.

You can find more information on this via the NHS Contact Tracing Privacy Notice.

Data Processors and other recipients of your data

These are the recipients with which your personal data is shared:

  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for tax and National insurance purposes
  • your employer for verification checks purposes where required
  • the Department for Health and Social Care (who we administer this scheme on behalf of)
  • TransUnion (via the Department for Health and Social Care system) to ensure your Test and Trace Support Payment is paid to a valid bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

International Data Transfers and Storage

The London Borough of Bexley does not transfer personal data outside the UK.

Personal data disposal and retention

We will only keep your personal data for as long as it is needed for the purposes of the COVID-19 emergency, and for audit and payment purposes.

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Your rights as a data subject

By law, you have a number of rights as a data subject and this does not take away or reduce these rights. Your rights under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 applies.

All information is processed in accordance with the London Borough of Bexley’s data protection policy.

These rights are:

  1. Your right to get copies of your information - you have the right to ask for a copy of any information about you that is used.
  2. Your right to get your information corrected - you have the right to ask for any information held about you that you think is inaccurate, to be corrected
  3. Your right to limit how your information is used - you have the right to ask for any of the information held about you to be restricted, for example, if you think inaccurate information is being used.
  4. Your right to object to your information being used - you can ask for any information held about you to not be used. However, this is not an absolute right, and we may need to continue using your information, and we will tell you if this is the case.
  5. Your right to get information deleted - this is not an absolute right, and we may need to continue to use your information, and we will tell you if this is the case.

If you are unhappy or wish to complain about how your personal data is used as part of this programme, you should contact the London Borough of Bexley in the first instance.

If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office. Their website address is www.ico.org.uk and their postal address is:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Security

We use appropriate technical, organisational and administrative security measures to protect any information we hold in our records from loss, misuse, and unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We have written procedures and policies which are regularly audited, and the audits are reviewed at senior level.

Data Protection Officer

You can contact our Data Protection Officer at data.protection@bexley.gov.uk

Automated decision making or profiling

No decision will be made about you solely on the basis of automated decision making (where a decision is taken about you using an electronic system without human involvement) which has a significant impact on you.

Changes to our policy

We keep our privacy notice under regular review, and we will make new versions available on our privacy notice page on our website. This privacy notice was last updated on 6 October 2020.