Test and Trace Support Payment
The Test and Trace Support Payment has been introduced to help residents to self-isolate, who may have previously struggled to self-isolate due to financial constraints.
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.
Changes to self-isolation requirements
From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for Test & Trace Support Payments from 16 August 2021 (unless they test positive, at which point they would become eligible).
From this date, anyone under 18 & 6 months who is a contact will also be exempt from self-isolation. This will mean that most parents and guardians will be ineligible for Test & Trace Support Payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, their parents and guardians may still be eligible, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated (as they may need to stay at home and look after their child).
Who will be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment?
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (and they have been given a unique eight digit reference number), either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
- from 10 December 2020, if you are told to self-isolate through the NHS COVID-19 app you will also be able to get the eight-digit reference number needed to claim – see rule change as of 16 August above and see instructions to follow if you have been asked to self-isolate;
- from 8 March 2021, if you are a parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test & Trace, because they have tested positive for covid 19, you can apply for a Test & Trace Support Payment (or Discretionary Payment). This is providing you need to take time off work to care for a child or young person and you meet all of this criteria – see rule change as of 16 August above and view guidance for parents and guardians;
- be employed or self-employed;
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; 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.
If you fit all the criteria listed above but you are NOT in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, you may be eligible for the Test & Trace Discretionary Payment Scheme.
Test and Trace Discretionary Payment Scheme
The council has set out the following additional requirements:
- You must be over 18
- Your normal average weekly gross earnings must not be above £500pw
- If you are responsible for mortgage payments or you pay rent to a landlord, then your application can be considered if your normal weekly earnings are above £500pw gross
- Your normal average weekly gross earning must not be below £80pw
- Your capital must not be more than £3000 (money in all bank accounts, savings, current accounts, joint accounts, shares, 2nd properties owned etc all count as capital)
- If you meet all of the criteria and you are waiting to hear the outcome of your claim for one of the qualifying benefits listed for the main Test & Trace Support Payment scheme, you may be eligible for the discretionary scheme
- If you are usually excluded from the qualifying benefits by the “persons from abroad” provision within the welfare benefit schemes, as long as you meet all of the other criteria listed, you may be eligible for the discretionary scheme
- In all cases you will need to demonstrate that having to isolate has caused you financial hardship. Please explain the bills that you are responsible for and, where possible, provide evidence of the bills leaving your bank account
To claim under the discretionary scheme you need to complete the same form as for the main Test & Trace Support Payment. If you are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, we will automatically go on to consider your eligibility for the discretionary scheme.
The council will carry out post payment checks. If your wages did not drop, you will be required to repay the £500 Test & Trace Support Payment. If you are unsure if you will get paid during your isolation period, please check with your employer before making a claim.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are employed, you will pay tax on your 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 will need to report the payment on your self-assessment tax return
Who is not eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment?
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 10-day quarantine period).
- Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
- Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
- Are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. your period of self-isolation ended before the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme launched (28 September 2020).
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
How do I apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment?
If you have problems completing the online form, please call our customer services team and they can register your interest for you 01233 331111.
The evidence you will be asked to provide will be:
- A notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number);
- A bank statement; and
- Proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
Please also provide the following information to enable the quick processing of your application:
- Your name, address and national insurance number;
- Your phone number in case we need to contact you regarding your application.
What am I required to do?
If you receive a Self-Isolation Payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.
Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:
- Testing positive for Coronavirus;
- Who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and have now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Visit the NHS Test and Trace website for more information.
For more information about your data protection rights please see our Covid-19 Self Isolation Payment Scheme Privacy Notice.