Self-isolation payment (Test and Trace)
If you have a low income and are unable to work from home, and you need to self-isolate, you may be eligible for financial support. This will be a £500 lump sum.
To be eligible for the self-isolation payment (test and trace), you must apply no later than 14 days after your period of self-isolation has ended and:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
- be employed or self-employed;
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and
- be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Payment, tax and scheme dates
Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum and subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.
These changes will come into effect on 28 September 2020, alongside the legal duty to self-isolate. The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.
How to apply for Test and Trace Support Payment
You will need to make an online application or call 020 8547 5001 and select the 'Housing Benefits' option. You will need to submit the following as supporting evidence:
- a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will includea Unique ID number);
- a bank statement; and
- proof of employment or, if self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that the business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria and is asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020 will be entitled to the new payment. Payments will be backdated from 28 September 2020 but not before that date.
A claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. All eligibility criteria must be met and supporting evidence provided.
If you need additional help and support
The Kingston Stronger Together Support Hub is being run in partnership between Kingston Council, Kingston Voluntary Action, Volunteering Kingston and other community groups. Together we are helping Kingston residents who cannot leave their home due to COVID-19 and need extra help on top of what friends, family, trusted neighbours and other local services are providing.
People can contact the Kingston Stronger Together support hub for help and the council will also be directly phoning those we know are most vulnerable. You can find out more about volunteering for the hub on our How can I help? page
Who are we helping?
The new support services are mainly aimed at residents of Kingston who cannot leave their homes because of Covid-19 (because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or they have been requested to isolate, as a ‘contact’ of someone with COVID-19) or who are particularly vulnerable to the illness and who don't have support from friends, family or trusted neighbours. We offer self-support advice and information to all residents on the Connected Kingston website. If you have a medical query you should continue to contact the NHS on 111.nhs.uk or on 111 (in an emergency call 999).
What support is available?
There is a variety of support available through the Kingston Stronger Together Hub, including:
Information and advice on staying fit and well through the current situation
All residents receive information to help them take care of themselves while staying at home. Connected Kingston (our local service offer website) has been updated to include the most relevant information based on the prevailing resident need, including information about wellbeing, housing, food access, finance, employment and bereavement.
Support to access food, medicine and other essential items
For those who need supplies to their door, we are able to support with food delivery advice (as well as delivering food where alternative options are not possible); medicine (including picking up a prescription where alternative options are unavailable); and other essentials such as soap, sanitary and baby products. For those who can afford it, a shopping service is available.
Befriending and mental health support
Residents who are feeling isolated at home, lonely or in need of someone to talk to can be put in touch with volunteers who will check in with them regularly over the phone.
Referral to professional services
For people needing a higher level of support, we will link with the relevant team.
How can people access help?
The easiest way to access help is by completing the support form. You can also complete the form over the phone by calling 020 8547 5000. The best time to call is between 9am- 5pm, Monday to Friday. Calls to this number are free if you have inclusive minutes on your landline or mobile tariff, otherwise you will be charged at the standard local rates outlined by your provider.
You can complete the form on behalf of someone you are caring for if they are unable to do this for themselves. The council is also proactively contacting residents who have recently been discharged from hospital and may be more vulnerable and need support from the Hub.
What happens next?
All forms are reviewed by our team within 24 hours. The team is made up of staff that have been deployed from other council services. They are supported by experienced social care staff and refer people to various support teams based on individual needs and requests.