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COVID-19 self-isolation payments (Trace, Track, Protect)

If you have been contacted by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service (TTP) on or after 23 October 2020 and been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a payment of £500.

You may also be entitled to a payment if you are instructed to self-isolate for a period starting on or after 1 February 2021 by the NHS Wales COVID-19 app.

These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions. The council administers these payments on behalf of Welsh Government and follows the rules set by Welsh Government.

There are 3 types of payment

Self-Isolation Support Payment - for people who have been told to self-isolate by TTP or (from 1/2/21) the NHS Wales COVID-19 app and who satisfy the conditions laid down by Welsh Government.

Self-Isolation Discretionary Payment - for people in exceptional circumstances who have been told to self-isolate by TTP or (from 1/2/21) the NHS Wales COVID-19 app AND

  • Who satisfy the basic conditions laid down by Welsh Government but
  • Do not receive one of the benefits that make them eligible for a payment

Self-Isolation Payment for parents / carers (from 14/12/20) - of children up to and including Year 8 (or up to age 25 if the learner has multiple and complex needs) who have been told to self-isolate AND the parents/carers satisfy the conditions laid down by Welsh Government in respect of work and income.

When should you apply for a payment

If your self-isolation period starts before 1 February 2021 - you can apply up to 14 days after your period of isolation ends. 

If your self-isolation period starts on or after 1 February 2021 - you can apply up to 21 days after your period of isolation ends. More time has been allowed for you to claim from this date as you may need to provide additional information in support of your application.

We are not allowed to accept applications after these deadlines.

If you are having problems filling in the application form, please contact us by e-mail or telephone and we will be able to help you with the form.

e-mail: isolationpayment@swansea.gov.uk

Telephone: 01792 635353

 

Care workers
Care workers who are required to stay off work due to actual or suspected Covid-19 may be able to apply to the Welsh Government's Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Enhancement scheme. That was launched on 1 November 2020 and will run until 31 March 2021. Guidance on that scheme is available on Welsh Government's web page.

Please note: Care workers will not be able to apply for the isolation payment and sick pay schemes for the same period of isolation and will need to choose which payment to claim. Cross checks will be made by the Council to ensure duplicate payments for the same period of isolation are not made.

If you need advice to help decide which payment you should apply for, please ring our Welfare Rights Team on 01792 637401 OR send an e-mail to anti.poverty@swansea.gov.uk.  If you send us an e-mail, please title it - isolation payment advice needed.

 

Who can get a Self-Isolation Support Payment?

If you meet all of the eligibility conditions listed below, you are entitled to an Isolation Payment of £500

1. You have been told by NHS Wales, Test, Trace, Protect service (TTP) on or after 23 October 2020 to stay at home and self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive  OR

You have been notified by the NHS Wales COVID-19 app to self-isolate as a contact of someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus and your first day of self-isolation is on or after 1 February 2021

2. You are employed or self-employed 

3. You will lose income as a result of self-isolating 

4. You cannot work from home

5. You or your partner are currently receiving at least one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

In exceptional circumstances you may be eligible for a £500 Discretionary Payment if you meet conditions 1-4 for a self-isolation support payment but do not receive one of the benefits mentioned in point 5 above.

and

You will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self isolating.

From 17 February 2021 Welsh Government have updated the discretionary scheme.  For any decision made on or after 17 February 2021 a discretionary payment will be made in the following circumstances:

  • To people who have a temporary immigration status with a condition that means they cannot apply for most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance that is paid by the state (this is known as having  'no recourse to public funds)
  • To people whose normal income is below £500/week (net) as long as they are getting reduced wages for the isolation period
  • To people in receipt of Statutory Sick Pay (currently £95.85pw) or an income lower than that.

 

Who can get a Self-Isolation Payment as children/young people in their care have been told to self-isolate?

From Monday 14 December 2020, parents / carers will be entitled to a payment if their child has been told to isolate and all the necessary criteria are met. 

Please note: If you are a parent /carer of any child told to self-isolate between 23 October and Sunday 13 December 2020 you had until Sunday 27 December to apply for an isolation payment.

The criteria are:

  • The child/young person attends a school, further education or childcare setting up to and including Year 8 (or up to age 25 if the learner has multiple and complex needs) AND
  • The child has been asked to self-isolate by TTP or has been asked to self-isolate for 10 days or more by the school, further education or childcare setting as a result of an outbreak in a school, childcare or further education setting AND   
  • Parents or carers meet the criteria of the main scheme, namely:

a)    They are employed or self-employed;

b)    They will lose income as a result of their child self-isolating;

c)     They cannot work from home

d)    The applicant or their partner are currently receiving one of the following -  Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

In exceptional circumstances, as a parent/carer you may be eligible for a £500 Discretionary Payment if you meet all the other conditions but do not receive one of the benefits mentioned in point d) above.

and

  • You will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self isolating.

From 17 February 2021 Welsh Government have updated the discretionary scheme.  For any decision made on or after 17 February 2021 a discretionary payment will be made in the following circumstances:

  • To people who have a temporary immigration status with a condition that means they cannot apply for most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance that is paid by the state (this is known as having  'no recourse to public funds).
  • To people whose normal income is below £500/week (Net) as long as they are getting reduced wages for the isolation period.
  • To people in receipt of Statutory Sick Pay (currently £95.85pw) or an income lower than that.

No payment can be made unless the child/young person has been told to self-isolate by TTP or their school, further education or childcare setting and again we will need to see evidence of this. That will be a copy of the letter/e-mail issued by the school, further education or childcare setting. If you do not have this, you MUST obtain it from the school, further education or childcare setting before you can claim.

Payments cannot be made if your child has been told to self-isolate by the NHS Wales COVID-19 app. The instruction to isolate must come from TTP or the child's educational setting.

 

Can I apply on behalf of someone else if they cannot do it themselves?

Yes. However, the £500 must be paid into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made. A copy of the latest bank statement for that account must be submitted with the application.

For example, if someone applied on behalf of a parent who is too ill to do it themselves, the payment would be made into the parent's bank account.
The person making the application will need to provide some personal details in order to prevent fraud.

 

Applications from couples and other members of the same household

If you and other people in your household are told to self-isolate and are eligible, each person can apply individually for the payment.

 

How many times can a person apply for a £500 payment

Some people, and the children/young people they care for, could be told to self-isolate more than once but there is a limit on the number of payments that can be claimed by one person:

  • One payment where a person or their child  is found to have coronavirus

    AND up to a further

  • Two payments per person when they or their child are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus.

Welsh Government have advised us that although eligibility for the isolation payment has been extended to include parents/carers of children that have to self-isolate, the number of applications a person can make has not been increased and remains at 3. The 3 applications would include any made in respect of themselves and also the children in their care.

For adults, in every case, no payment can be made unless you have been told to self-isolate by TTP or the Wales COVID-19 app and we are required to check that this has happened. For children, they must have been told to self-isolate by TTP or their school, further education or childcare setting and again we will need to see evidence of this. Welsh Government have made it very clear that we cannot make payments where the instruction to isolate has come from any other source such as sports club leaders, dance clubs, Scouts/Guides etc.

For example: if someone claims for a period of self-isolation lasting from 1 November to 14 November and then claims again for a second period of self-isolation beginning on 10 November, they would only be allowed to claim once, because the two periods overlap.

However, they would be allowed to claim for a second period of self-isolation if it began after the first period had ended on 14 November.

More detailed information about the scheme can be found on the Welsh Government website.

 

When will the payment be made?

We aim to make a decision about whether you can be given a payment within 7 days of receiving your fully completed application (which must include the supporting evidence that is needed) and then make a payment soon after that.

 

If you are overdrawn

If you are overdrawn due to not receiving your usual wages, you can request that the funds from the self-isolation payment are used for particular bills you need to pay rather than being used to clear your overdraft.  This is called your 'first right of appropriation'.

A sample letter and advice on how to request this is available from the National Debtline.

 

Income Tax

Self-isolation payments are taxable. If you are employed, you will pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you are self-employed you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return. 

The council will be required to provide Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Service (HMRC) with a list of the people who are given an isolation payment and the amounts paid.

 

What do you need to make your application ?

Before starting this application form, make sure you have available:

  • If you are employed, a scan/photograph of your last pay slip (issued within the last 2 months)
  • If you are self-employed, evidence confirming you are self-employed. For example your SA302 or your Tax Year Overview for the last tax year (see .gov for more information on these documents) or a copy of your business accounts showing recent trading.

If you are applying as your child has been told to isolate, you will need to upload a copy of the letter/e-mail you have received from the school, further education or childcare setting. If you do not have this, you MUST obtain it from the school, further education or childcare setting before you can claim.

and

  • A scan/photograph of your latest bank statement (issued within the last 2 months) for the account into which the payment will be made AND
  • Your National Insurance Number 
  • You will be asked to tell us the start and end date of you or your child's isolation period so we can check the dates with the TTP service or other offices as appropriate. If you have the case reference given to you by the TTP service this will also assist in locating your case.

 

What you need to do if you have been told to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Covid 19 app

If you have been notified by the NHS Wales COVID-19 app to self-isolate as a contact of someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus you must register your details with the TTP service.

When you were identified by the NHS Wales COVID-19 app as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 a Financial Support button appeared on the App home screen. 

Screengrab of app

You will need to click on this financial support button and follow the instructions to register your details with the TTP service.  If you do not register your details with the TTP service you will not be eligible to claim the £500 self-isolation payment.

If you do not have this information ready to upload, you will not be able to fill in the form.

Please return to this page and complete the form when you have all the evidence needed.

If your isolation start date was before 1 February 2021 make sure  your application is made within 14 days of the end of your / your child's isolation period. If you do not claim with 14 days of the end of your / your child's isolation period, we will not be able to give you an isolation payment.

If your self-isolation start date is on or after 1 February 2021 make sure your application is made within 21 days of the end of your / your child's isolation period. If you do not claim with 21 days of the end of your / your child's isolation period, we will not be able to give you an isolation payment.

If you are having problems obtaining the necessary evidence, please contact us by e-mail or telephone as soon as possible and we can talk to you about alternative options where possible.

e-mail: isolationpayment@swansea.gov.uk

Telephone: 01792 635353

 

Applying for an isolation payment

The only way to apply for a grant is via the council's website. You will never be contacted by us asking for a payment to apply for a grant or for a payment to process a grant.

We will not contact you to ask for your banking and other financial details over the phone. The exception is if you contact us first to ask for help because you cannot fill in the application form yourself. In that case you will need to provide us with all the details we need to be able to assist you.

If you are in doubt about whether the person you are speaking to about your grants is from the council, please hang up and call the Benefits Section on 01792 635353 or e-mail us at benefits@swansea.gov.uk

To make an application, you will need to have created a Swansea Account. If you do not have one of these already, you will be able to create one at the start of the application process.

Once you have created your Swansea account and/or signed in, you will see a list of headings on the left of your screen. Select 'Self Isolation Support Grant'.

Start your self isolation application here

 

Note: you may also be able to obtain additional help by applying for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). You can apply for this payment if you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or an award of Universal Credit (UC) that includes a housing element towards rental liability and you are finding it hard to pay your rent. More information: Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs)

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