On 28 September 2020, the government announced that it was a legal requirement for any UK resident who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or was identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, to self-isolate.
Visit the government website to find out more about when you need to self-isolate and how long for.
The government has introduced a scheme to help people who will struggle financially if they need to self-isolate. Anyone eligible for the scheme will get a £500 payment. The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
Who can apply?
The payment is available to anyone who meets all of the following criteria:
- lives within the Middlesbrough Council local authority area (find out if you live in the Middlesbrough Council area)
- has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they've tested positive for coronavirus, or because they've recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
- began self-isolation on or after 28 September 2020
- is employed or self-employed
- is unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- is currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit, and/or Pension Credit
You must submit your application within 14 days of the last day of your period of self-isolation. If you meet the criteria, we'll make a payment via BACS once we've received all the evidence and verified your Test and Trace number. We'll email you to let you know.
If you're asked to self-isolate more than once, you can apply for a payment for each period of isolation, as long as they don’t overlap, and you meet all of the criteria for each period.
Applicants who are overdrawn
If your nominated bank account is overdrawn, the bank is not allowed to use this payment to repay your overdraft. But you'll need to contact your bank directly as soon as possible to protect the payment. This protection is called a 'First Right of Appropriation of Funds Order'.
Tell your bank that a deposit of £500 from Middlesbrough Council is a self-isolation payment. Here's an example of what you should say:
'On or around October 15th, my Test and Trace Support Payment will be paid into my current account number (for example, 01010101). I am exercising my first right of appropriation over these funds.'
Keep a record of any correspondence with your bank or building society in case there are any problems later. Examples of correspondence might include: letters, emails, records of live-chats (you can usually get these sent to you via email), or if you speak on the phone or in person, make notes of times and dates, the names of anyone you speak to, and what you talk about.
How to apply
If you do not have access to the internet, or you cannot complete the online application form yourself, you can call us on 01642 726006, choosing the option for Test and Trace Support Payment. A caseworker will be able to help you with your application. Please note, this may delay your payment, as you'll still need to provide the evidence needed to support your application.
Please have all of the following evidence ready, as it'll be needed to claim your payment:
- a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (including your unique ID number)
- proof that you're getting one of the qualifying benefits
- a bank statement
- proof of employment or, if you're self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income, and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be done without social contact
Further help and advice
Find out where to get help and support, for example with debt, gas and electric, and housing.
We're also running a discretionary scheme to help residents who have to self isolate, but do not get any of the benefits listed in the 'who can apply?' section above.
To potentially get a payment through the discretionary scheme, you must meet all of the other criteria listed in the 'who can apply?' section above, and you must also:
- live with, and have responsibility for, a dependent child/children
- have no savings which can be used to alleviate the loss of earnings
- have no other form of income coming into your household
If you've been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and meet all of the criteria above, you can apply for the discretionary scheme. You'll need to upload copies of you and your partner's bank statements.
Alternatively, you can call us on 01642 726006, choose the option for Test and Trace, and a caseworker will help you to complete an application.