Benefits and assistance

Household Support Fund

The Department for Work and Pensions has recently given North Yorkshire County Council £3.5m to make sure people who might be struggling, and feeling the financial pressures of paying their bills over the winter, get additional help.

People who are eligible can get a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment of £250 to pay for food and other essentials over the coming months.

The remainder of the money will be distributed among other funding pots in the county, which can be accessed by residents who may struggle to afford basic necessities this winter. This includes the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund (NYLAF), Warm and Well in North Yorkshire and local food banks.

If you received a letter about claiming your Household Support Fund e-voucher payment because you meet the eligibility criteria of getting means-tested help to pay your council tax bill and you have a child under the age of 19 living at home, you can do so on the County Council website at www.northyorks.gov.uk/HouseholdSupportFund. You'll also find answers to frequently asked questions and information about other financial support.

Test and trace (self-isolation) support payment

Extra financial help may be available if you are on a low income, cannot work from home and are required to self-isolate.

The government will pay a taxable sum of £500 if you:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service, either because you've tested positive for Covid-19 or because you have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you have not been fully vaccinated
  • have engaged with NHS Test and Trace by responding to their messages
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • are currently receiving one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, housing benefit or Pension Credit

You need to meet all five criteria to be eligible for the payment and must provide evidence.

You are not required to self-isolate if you are notified that you have had close contact with someone with Covid-19 and any of the following apply:

  • you are fully vaccinated
  • you are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

You also cannot claim if you are self-isolating/quarantining because you have returned from a trip abroad or if you have income lower than usual because you are furloughed.

Claims for the payment can be made up to 42 days from the first day that your period of self-isolation begins and the scheme will stay open until 31 March 2022.

When you apply for the payment you will be required to provide the following supporting evidence:

  • your eight digit "CTAS" number from your Test and Trace notification (this is your unique ID number)
  • a bank statement
  • evidence of your employment status and that your income will reduce as a result of self-isolation, or, evidence you are self-employed (such as your latest self-assessment tax return) and evidence that your business provides services which cannot be undertaken without social contact

Help from our discretionary scheme

If you meet the first four criteria in the list at the top of the page, but are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, we may still be able to help you through our own discretionary support scheme.

The money available is limited but we will still consider your application if:

  • you meet the first four criteria above
  • your normal, before-tax earnings, are between £80 and £450 per week and
  • you don't have any savings (capital) exceeding £6,000 and
  • you can demonstrate, and evidence, that you have suffered/are suffering financial hardship by having to self-isolate

You can also apply if you have applied for a qualifying benefit but have not yet received a decision (or you have appealed).

Help for parents and guardians

A £500 taxable test and trace payment may be given if you are on a low income and are having to take time off work to care for a child or young person who has been notified to self-isolate.

You may be eligible for this payment if you:-

  • are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who lives in your household and you need to take time off work to care for them whilst they self-isolate
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home whilst caring for the child and will lose income as a result
  • are currently receiving one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, housing benefit or Pension Credit or your normal, before-tax earnings, are between £80 and £450 per week and you don't have any savings (capital) exceeding £6,000

The child or young person must:

  • be aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an education, health and care plan) and must have tested positive for Covid-19 and been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace service or
  • be 25 or under with an education, health and care plan and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or child care setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19
  • normally attend an education or care setting

Payment is limited to one parent or guardian per household during the child's self-isolation period.

Claims for the payment can be made up to 42 days from the first day that your child's period of self-isolation begins and the scheme will stay open until 31 March 2022.

When you apply for the payment you will be required to provide the following supporting evidence:

  • a bank statement
  • evidence of your employment or self-employment status and that your income will reduce
  • details of your child's name, address, age, the name of the school/nursery they attend and their year group
  • evidence that your child has been asked to self-isolate such as evidence of their eight digit NHS Test and Trace ID number and evidence that they have an education, health and care plan if they are aged 16-25

Please note that the information you provide about your child may be checked with the child’s education or childcare setting.

Apply now

View the full details of the test and trace support payments scheme.

View the full details of our discretionary support payments scheme.

Your data

As part of the application process, we may need to check any data you provide to us against other information that we hold about you. We may also receive information from other parties or organisations, or share your data with them, to check the accuracy of records. This includes the NHS Test and Trace service (CTAS) and the Department for Work and Pensions, education and childcare settings. This will enable us to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways where the law allows. We also need to share relevant information with TransUnion to validate your bank account details.

We will also need to provide information to HMRC about any payments we make as they are subject to income tax. If you are self-employed, you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

Read our privacy notice for details of how we will process your data.


Covid Self-Isolation Grant Scheme

If you do not qualify for the £500 self-isolation grant, you may be eligible for support through the North Yorkshire Local Assistance Fund.

In addition to its usual support for people and families on means tested benefits, the fund is also currently running a specific Covid Self-Isolation Grant Scheme.

Support with food and energy costs is available to anyone who is self-isolating either because they have tested positive or have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Please contact Family Fund Business Services at: covidsupport@familyfundservices.co.uk or nylaf@familyfundservices.co.uk.

View your benefits claim online

If you have a claim for housing benefit or council tax reduction you can now view your claim details online.

You will be able to:

  • check the status of your claim and your current entitlement
  • view household and income details included in your claim
  • contact us and tell us of a change

Your account details are held securely, so to access them you will need to register or sign in to your My Harrogate customer account. Once you are signed in, go to the My accounts tab to add access to your benefits claim. You will need your benefits claim reference which can be found on your latest award notice or any correspondence about your claim.

Register or sign in